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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Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) Gingers Pig Latin And Those Gorgeous Choreographed Scenes

Gold Diggers of 1933 art deco poster film artwork showgirls

Not my usual film choice you might note but after seeing it I’d of been well gutted if I’d never seen this. It’s like it says in the title, this film is from 1933! And shocker! it’s got boob silhouettes, girls in skimpy outfits, naked in the bath, risque conversations, innuendos and above all incredible choreographed sequences and one helluva brilliant Ginger Rogers ditty. Gold Diggers of 1933 is really fun, rather cheeky and absolutely stunning to look at.

Gold Diggers of 1933 saucy boob silhouettes showgirls changing Continue reading “Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933) Gingers Pig Latin And Those Gorgeous Choreographed Scenes”

The Way to the Stars (1945) Johnny In The Clouds WWII Bomber Base Drama

The Way to the Stars (1945) Johnny In The Clouds poster film movie anthony asquith

Called The Way to the Stars in the UK and Johnny in the Clouds in the USA. This outstanding World War Two drama focuses on the lives of RAF bomber pilots during the course of the war. It shows the progression of new and improved aircraft being tested and flown into battle. Whilst following the day to day routine of the pilots responsible for flying them awaiting their next mission. Moving through the years of 1940 to 1944. It was released in the UK in June 1945 a few months before WWII had finished and overseas in the US during November. Continue reading “The Way to the Stars (1945) Johnny In The Clouds WWII Bomber Base Drama”

Millennium (1989) Kris Kristofferson & The Cyberpunk Charlie’s Angel

millennium (1989) movie poster we've been expecting you sci-fi time travel

Ex trucker Kris Kristofferson reminisces back to his old rig with a joyful smile. They were the days, stuck in a convoy traveling down the highway. Sat up high, blasting his horn and chatting to friends, Spider Mike and Widow Woman on his CB radio. Six years working on this new job as the chief investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board had taken its toll on poor Kris. Depressed, tired and desperate to get out, he’d promised himself a vacation. Maybe even quit all together. Continue reading “Millennium (1989) Kris Kristofferson & The Cyberpunk Charlie’s Angel”

Je t’aime, Je t’aime (1968) French Surrealism Experimental Time Travel

Je t'aime, Je t'aime (1968) French time travel film Alain Resnais poster artwork

The French do mind trippy fantastic science fiction surrealism in film with ease. Just check 1965’s Neo Noir sci-fi Alphaville and snappy 1962 time travel short film La Jetee. Amazingly creative, thoughtful science fiction. Here’s another sixties onslaught attack on your precious grey matter cells. From director Alain Resnais and his 1968 film Je t’aime, Je t’aime (I Love You, I Love You). Continue reading “Je t’aime, Je t’aime (1968) French Surrealism Experimental Time Travel”

Of Human Bondage (1934) A Sucker For Punishment!

Of Human Bondage (1934) Bette Davis Leslie Howard John Cromwell movie poster

Featuring one of the most scathingly brutal smash downs I’ve seen on screen. Not only do you witness the moment the human spirit breaks inside a poor unfortunate fellow but you the viewers own eternal soul is torn from its tether. The intensity of the fierce, savage beatdown is spat into the face of its victim like erupting molten lava. He stands, shocked, flabbergasted and innocently stupid as he takes his punishment!  But what else would you expect from a movie with a title called Of Human Bondage?

Tagline – The story of a man who burnt up his soul for an idol cold as ice!

Continue reading “Of Human Bondage (1934) A Sucker For Punishment!”

The Naked Jungle (1954) Charlton Hates Ants And Sloppy Seconds!

The Naked Jungle (1954) Eleanor Parker Charlton Heston ants technicolor poster

Christopher (Charlton Heston) is a king kong prat! He’s gifted a beautiful, intelligent, free spirited, buxom, mail order bride with only one real desire, to procreate! And all this moody plonker can worry about is sloppy seconds! He’s not a happy bunny at all, huffing and puffing, this primadonna has mood swings coming out his arse! Temper tantrums, door smashing, perfume throwing and he even proudly announces his skill at reframing from bedding his indigenous workers! He’s a total twonk.

The Naked Jungle (1954) Christopher (Charlton Heston) moody Continue reading “The Naked Jungle (1954) Charlton Hates Ants And Sloppy Seconds!”

The Snake Pit (1948) Olivia de Schizo Journeys The Levels Of Madness!

The Snake Pit (1948) movie poster film artwork olivia de havillandMaybe it’s an insight into my own fractured mind but I do enjoy a good insane asylum film. Traveling into the depths of madness. They do have to be done well and feature deep thoughts on the subject. Films like David and Lisa and Shock Corridor have score high on my wolfy meter. Continue reading “The Snake Pit (1948) Olivia de Schizo Journeys The Levels Of Madness!”

Sunset Boulevard (1950) Gloria Swanson & 10 Awesome Things I Loved!

Sunset Boulevard (1950) movie poster billy wilder drama film noir

Well I got there in the end, the mighty Sunset Boulevard from director Billy Wilder is now in the bag. I sure was late to the party but wasn’t it just worth the wait. Gloria Swanson smashed it right out into the stratosphere.  No point doing a rough plot rundown on this one so here’s 10 Awesome Things I Loved! Continue reading “Sunset Boulevard (1950) Gloria Swanson & 10 Awesome Things I Loved!”

Our Blade Runner – The Final Cut Secret Cinema Experience

blade runner final cut secret cinema

Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is one of my and many’s favourite movies, it perfectly features everything I love within a science fiction film. To say I was excited hearing the news that Secret Cinema was not only going to show the Final Cut but were actually going to recreate the over-populated dystopian futuristic city of Los Angeles in the year 2019. It all sent me into pure ecstatic buzz mode, making me as giddy as a drunken man. I just had to book, by hook or crook and get myself Off-World and immersed into this ultimate movie going experience.

Spoiler Alert – If you are booked to go before the last showing in July then please don’t read any further, just turn up and enjoy the wonders that will behold you.  Trust me, you will be astonished.

Continue reading “Our Blade Runner – The Final Cut Secret Cinema Experience”