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t1g3r5fan

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Crime writer Dashiell Hammett is no stranger to Hollywood; his novel The Maltese Falcon was filmed three times with the 1941 version starring Humphrey Bogart becoming an all-time classic, MGM had a long running series of movies based upon his novel The Thin Man, and he also contributed a few screenplays as well (his final script, 1943’s Watch on the Rhine, earned him an Oscar nomination). His 1931 novel The Glass Key was obviously a favorite of Paramount Pictures; they had released a film adaptation in 1935 with George Raft in the lead, but it’s the 1942 version with Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake that’s the best known adaptation and a benchmark in the burgeoning film noir genre. This acclaimed version finally makes its US debut on Blu-ray courtesy of Shout Factory via their Shout Select sub-label.



The Glass Key (1942)



Released: 23 Oct 1942
Rated: NOT RATED
Runtime: 85 min




Director: Stuart...

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Robert Crawford

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Thank you for the fine review. A personal favorite film of mine so I need to watch my copy so I can listen to the audio commentary. My last purchase of this film on home video as I have three different Blu-ray releases of it including the Arrow and Koch Region "B" releases.

One of my holy grail titles is the (1938) version of "The Glass Key" which I've never seen before and has never been released on disc in any format. Anyhow, at least the "This Gun for Hire" is coming out on Blu-ray in the next few months.
 
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bujaki

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Thank you for the fine review. A personal favorite film of mine so I need to watch my copy so I can listen to the audio commentary. My last purchase of this film on home video as I have three different Blu-ray releases of it including the Arrow and Koch Region "B" releases.

One of my holy grail titles is the (1938) version of "The Glass Key" which I've never seen before and has never been released on disc in any format. Anyhow, at least the "This Gun for Hire" is coming out on Blu-ray in the next few months.
I caught the first version of The Glass Key once over the air in NYC, sometime in the '70s. I'd love to see it again in a double feature with the Ladd version.
 
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lark144

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mark gross
I caught the first version of The Glass Key once over the air in NYC, sometime in the '70s. I'd love to see it again in a double feature with the Ladd version.
William K. Everson screened it at the New School in the early 70's. A great film, muscularly directed, with possibly George Raft's best performance. Bill had a beautiful print of the picture, which gleamed and glowed, yet the visuals had a somewhat rough-hewn texture which perfectly matched the material. Though I love the later version of THE GLASS KEY, the earlier Frank Tuttle directed picture--1935 according to IMDB, which doesn't mean it's correct--is better overall and also more faithful to Hammett's novel.
 

bujaki

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William K. Everson screened it at the New School in the early 70's. A great film, muscularly directed, with possibly George Raft's best performance. Bill had a beautiful print of the picture, which gleamed and glowed, yet the visuals had a somewhat rough-hewn texture which perfectly matched the material. Though I love the later version of THE GLASS KEY, the earlier Frank Tuttle directed picture--1935 according to IMDB, which doesn't mean it's correct--is better overall and also more faithful to Hammett's novel.
I didn't see it when Bill screened it, but I agree with your assessment of the earlier version. That's why I'd like to see it again!
 

Osato

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Discovered Veronica Lake this past year. This is on my list to pick up very soon.
 

Bert Greene

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I like both the 1935 and the 1942 versions. Always been partial to Alan Ladd, a longtime favorite of mine. Yet, in a way, I'm tempted to give the edge to the earlier George Raft version. Mostly because the storyline really seems to fit better within that Thirties milieu, and the interplay between Raft and Edward Arnold (as the political boss) just seems smoother and more believable.
 

Robert Crawford

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I like both the 1935 and the 1942 versions. Always been partial to Alan Ladd, a longtime favorite of mine. Yet, in a way, I'm tempted to give the edge to the earlier George Raft version. Mostly because the storyline really seems to fit better within that Thirties milieu, and the interplay between Raft and Edward Arnold (as the political boss) just seems smoother and more believable.
For me, the interaction between Ladd and Bendix makes their film version the better of the two versions.
 

Bert Greene

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For me, the interaction between Ladd and Bendix makes their film version the better of the two versions.

It's certainly a close call. Both films are very solid, and each has its own merits.

That same year and same studio (Paramount), George Raft made another film I'm fond of, although it's a very loopy bit of nonsense, "Stolen Harmony" (1935). It's a weird mix of comedy, music, and crime. Primarily a showcase for Ben Bernie and his Orchestra. Raft plays an ex-con who joins up with them, and the band tours around in wild-looking, modernistic bus. Eventually they all get kidnapped by public-enemy Lloyd Nolan and his gang, who force them to do a private show. Despite a rather comedic tone, there's a violent finale. Quirky movie that most probably wouldn't care for, but I found enjoyable.
 

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