The Glass Key (1942) Alan Ladd Smashes In Violent Film Noir

The Glass Key (1942) Alan Ladd Brian Donlevy Veronica Lake movie poster film noir

Sometimes you watch so many films that you forget some of the plot lines. Like was there actually a Glass Key in the story? I really can’t recall if there was? Kind of one of the reasons I do these posts. To cement in that old cranium what went down.

The Glass Key (1942) Alan Ladd Brian Donlevy

Haha what I do remember were these little people stomping around at a peculiar great speed. Alan Ladd looked speeded up and funny in his oversized jacket. His walk made me laugh. I know he would clock me right on the jaw if he was here right now but look next time you sit and watch it. His movements are funny. Then there’s Brian Donlevy who I once said looks like he’s lost from the silent era with his facial expressions. (Hangmen Also Die!). He’s also made me giggle as he quick steps around ready to sock a bunch of fives into some geezers chops. Where Alan’s suits are over size, Brian’s are bursting at the seams with his stocky frame. There’s even the impish floozy Veronica Lake with bones you could pick your teeth with. A wonderful wraith like beauty with flowing peek-a-boo hair. It wouldn’t be long before the smiles are wiped from my face!

Paul Madvig – “I just met the swellest dame… She smacked me in the kisser.

The Glass Key (1942) Alan Ladd Brian Donlevy film noir drama

Of course I being facetious. Alan Ladd is so awesome and I love watching his films. He might be of small stature but this dude is tough as nails. Whether he’s the tough hit man, Raven, in This Gun For Hire or the weary gunfighter, Shane. There’s also one of my favorites where he plays an ex-bomber pilot veteran accused of murder in the brilliant The Blue Dahlia. He dishes out a few well placed trips and jabs. He so cool. There’s still so many Alan Ladd films for me to see. Feel free to recommend, fire away, please.

The Glass Key (1942) Alan Ladd Brian Donlevy film noir drama mirror

Now the thing I was not expecting from The Glass Key was the monster beating he was gonna get. I’m gonna spoil this shocking and brutal scene for you in a moment if you haven’t seen it. So stop reading if don’t want to know. But hey it’s a 76 year old film now! Here’s a short description of what’s going on in the story to get you kinda caught up with that crazy scene!

Ed Beaumont (Alan Ladd) is good friends with politician Paul Madvig (Brian Donlevy). He’s a bodyguard of sorts for Paul, his right hand man. Paul is a crooked politician, has a raging temper on him and wants Janet Henry (Veronica Lake) on his arm. Shady deals and shadowy gangsters sniff around. Paul commits a murder? Ed investigates. Poking his nose into his friends affairs is gonna get him trouble.

Tagline – The Tougher They Are – The Harder They Fall

The Glass Key (1942) Crazy face Jeff William Bendix punching Alan Ladd publicity photo

Enter the scene I hinted at above. Ready? It’s incredibly brutal. A vicious fight. Well a one sided beating from a smiling human brickwall as it unleashes sucker punches and devastating body blows. Jeff (William Bendix) confidently laughs and informs what’s happening to his victim Ed as he reigns down power slugs of clubbed fist and brawn. “Look, sweetie pie, you ought to lie down. You don’t feel so good” BAM! Ed’s tough, he takes it. Gives some back. Then the lights go out. Like a rag doll he’s dumped on a bed. Jeff is sad. His fun is over. Then he remembers the steak in the fridge. He’d earned it and when the little fella wakes up he can smash him some more. Jeff smiles. Food time.

The Glass Key (1942) Crazy face Jeff William Bendix smashed beaten up Alan Ladd

It’s a tough scene and extremely violent for 1942. I read that William did in fact clock Alan for real, right on the kisser, rendering him unconscious. But it doesn’t end there! There’s a whole sequence to the extremes Ed has to go through to escape his predicament. With a happy family just about to tuck into their spaghetti, they were not expecting another guest. One cut, bruised and smashed, like mashed potato! Flying through the air! It’s a frantic and first-rate series of scenes.

The Glass Key (1942) Crazy face Jeff William Bendix wild eyed and crazy hair

A few things I’ve learnt.

  • Directed by Stuart Heisler who made the recently watched by me, Rogers, Reagan, Day and that klan movie, Storm Warning.
  • Based on a novel by Dashiell Hammett who had wrote the two classic thrillers The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man.
  • The trio of William Bendix, Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake would go on to star in many films together.
  • The Glass Key is in fact a remake of a 1935 version starring George Raft and Edward Arnold as Ed and Paul.
  • Top quality write up by wordsmith Gary over at Cracked Rear Viewer

The Glass Key (1942) Alan Ladd Brian Donlevy Veronica Lake publicity photo

The Glass Key is definitely worth tracking down if you haven’t seen it. It’s got a short punchy runtime, it’s exciting,  features some dodgy looking gangsters and there’s even some room left for a few laughs. And you know what, that firecracker scene is something to truly behold.

Not been able to post at all recently which is a shame as I love it. Each film that excites I instantly know I wanna do a post. To share what I’ve seen, to hear what others thought. To discover more, to find new films. To keep learning and enjoying…… All the best, Mikey

PS. Darn it, I’m still not sure if there was a glass key*?

*A glass key symbolizes an act or experience which cannot be reversed or forgotten. It is a key made of glass which allows one entry to a room or a building but which shatters after one use!

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A Matter of Life and Death (1946) Well I Thought It Was But It Wasn’t Really

A Matter of Life and Death (1946) The Criterion Collection Blu-ray artwork DVD

There I was in my teenage years lying on the back room sofa all alone drifting in and out of consciousness. Not only had I caught glandular fever but the doctor, in his wisdom, had prescripted the wrong antibiotics. The mix up had caused my whole body to breakout in a rash. It looked like scarlet fever and I was beside myself! In between the crazy itching and bouts of fever sweats I’d become drowsy from all the medication.  I was hallucinating. There I was making my way up the Stairway to Heaven! Continue reading “A Matter of Life and Death (1946) Well I Thought It Was But It Wasn’t Really”

Harry and Tonto (1974) New York Old Man And His Cat Go On A Road Trip

Harry and Tonto (1974) poster record cover Bill Conti vinyl soundtrack art carney

Coming of age films are usually for that life transition of teenager becomes a young adult or those pre-teens losing their innocence and growing through puberty hell. Usually they are of a feel good nature that can be looked back with either fond memories or terrifying angst! Films like The Breakfast Club (1985) Stand By Me (1986) The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) are a few in this genre. Continue reading “Harry and Tonto (1974) New York Old Man And His Cat Go On A Road Trip”

The Entertainer (1960) That Saucy Seaside Comic Sir Laurence Olivier

The Entertainer (1960) Archie Rice (Laurence Olivier)tony richardson movie poster

Come along and sing-along with me. Here we go. “Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside. Oh, I do like to be beside the sea. Oh, I do like to stroll along the prom, prom, prom where the brass bands play tiddley-om-pom-pom.

The old British seaside holiday traditions. Bucket and spades, chips in cones, fairground rides, annoying seagulls and Punch and Judy puppet shows. Beauty competitions, cheeky postcards, sticks of bright coloured rock and of course a saucy joke telling comic. Meet Archie Rice (Laurence Olivier) our music-hall stage performer. The gap toothed smiling painted face man with a whole arsenal of well seasoned innuendos ready to fire off from his repertoire. Continue reading “The Entertainer (1960) That Saucy Seaside Comic Sir Laurence Olivier”

Storm Warning (1951) President Reagan In Klan Film With Ginger Rogers And Doris Day!… Saaay Whaaat!

Storm Warning (1951) Ginger Rogers Ronald Reagan Doris Day Steve Cochran movie poster

I was intrigued with Storm Warning not only by it’s daunting subject matter but also alarmed to see three actors included that I just couldn’t fathom in a movie based around the Ku Klux Klan. Stamped on the poster are the names of three giant stars. The future President Of The United States, Ronald Reagan and the all singing, all dancing ladies, Ginger Rogers and butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth, Doris Day. Seriously WTF? Continue reading “Storm Warning (1951) President Reagan In Klan Film With Ginger Rogers And Doris Day!… Saaay Whaaat!”

Charlie Bubbles (1968) Albert Finney The Returning Disillusioned Prodigal Son

Charlie Bubbles (1968) Albert Finney Liza Minnelli Billie Whitelaw Colin Blakely film poster

Charlie Bubbles (Albert Finney) was tired. He was rich beyond his wildest dreams but like they say, money and fame doesn’t always bring the happiness. He’d started to realise the people around him were leeches, bad influences, money grabbers or just plain annoying. Actually, to Charlie, everyone and everything was annoying. The manner people spoke to him, the mundane world of bankers and solicitors, the reporters and the industry always hounding him. You know what, even Mrs. Noseworthy (Margery Mason) his housekeeper treats him with contempt. Charlie wasn’t happy. Continue reading “Charlie Bubbles (1968) Albert Finney The Returning Disillusioned Prodigal Son”

Unearthly Stranger (1963) A British Sci-fi Gem With An Explosion Inside His Brain

Unearthly Stranger (1963) John Neville British Science Fiction film poster thriller

A spine-chilling sound resonates eerily through the cloudy skies. A man appears, panicked. Fear upon his face. Rain falls in the pitch black of night. Big Ben looms in the moody landscape. The man turns and runs. Down steep stairs, along cobbled lanes. By the River Thames he hurries through the puddles as beams of light from street lamps make ghostly lines and angles. London is asleep. The man is alone. He carries on to his destination. Bursting through the doors of his office, covered in a mix of sweat and rain, he grabs the tape recorder. Agitated and holding back hysteria, Dr. Mark Davidson (John Neville) looks us directly in the eyes and feverishly warns the world of the Unearthly Stranger.

Unearthly Stranger (1963) John Neville British Science Fiction fear thriller tape recorder panic

Dr. Mark Davidson – In a little while I expect to die. To be killed by… something… that you and I know is here? Visible yet moving unseen amongst us all each moment of the day and night. There were times when you thought I was insane BUT listen to this tape I beg you so you know what it is you have to fight!

Continue reading “Unearthly Stranger (1963) A British Sci-fi Gem With An Explosion Inside His Brain”

Paradise Alley (1978) Video Store Action Heroes 4 x Action Packed Fight VHS Movie Memories

Paradise Alley (1976) Sylvester Stallone Armand Assante vhs cover poster

So it’s that time again when the dreamboys or The Video Store Action Heroes as we sometimes go by join forces and unleash a choice selection of our movie rental memories. Now where this is of course a very fun excursion, its not without its dangers, yep I said it, dangers. It’s a tightrope that we walk to bring these reviews. Hacking into the hippocampus part of the brain has peril written all over it. Why you just don’t know what unearthly memory you could tap into. With a gentle prod a sweet memory might bring a bittersweet tear to fall down the side of your cheek or maybe release a slight giggle of laughter. Though truth be told it’s normally a spontaneous bout of Wilhelm Screams. Continue reading “Paradise Alley (1978) Video Store Action Heroes 4 x Action Packed Fight VHS Movie Memories”

Tiger Bay (1959) Brat Attack From Lie Machine Hayley Mills

Tiger Bay (1959) Hayley Mills and dad john mills movie poster

Little Hayley Mills is a trendsetter. I used to rock that mop style haircut in the 70’s and here she is parading around the streets of Cardiff in 1959! I must of been so outta fashion. I guess I have my Mum to blame for that? Stick a bowl on my head and cut around it.

Tiger Bay (1959) Hayley Mills Gillie Evans Continue reading “Tiger Bay (1959) Brat Attack From Lie Machine Hayley Mills”

Twelve O’Clock High (1949) Gregory Peck Savage General Of Bomber Command

Twelve O'Clock High (1949) Gregory Peck B-17 bomber pilots world war 2 movie poster

No sooner had I watched and posted about the superb World War Two bomber drama The Way To The Stars that all round good dude, Todd at Cinema Monolith recommends me the similar themed, Twelve O’Clock High.  I was soon to be transfixed on the plight of, 918th Bomb Squadron.

Twelve O'Clock High (1949) Gregory Peck B-17 cockpit mission bomber flying fortress General Frank Savage 2 Continue reading “Twelve O’Clock High (1949) Gregory Peck Savage General Of Bomber Command”