Film Noir 2021
Screening Dates
  • August 7, 2021 4:00
  • August 9, 2021 6:30
  • August 11, 2021 8:30

My first wife was the second cook at a third-rate joint on 4th Street.” Based on a novel by Dashiell Hammett, and reuniting Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake—fresh off their popular pairing in This Gun for Hire the same year—this excellent early noir spins a moody, sadomasochistic tale of political corruption, sexual impropriety, and murder. Ladd is an up-from-the gutter political aide attempting to extricate his employer from a mob-hatched murder frame-up. Lake is the boss’s seductive fiancée. William Bendix, in a scene-stealing supporting role, is the sadistic thug who gleefully administers a vicious marathon beating to Ladd. Scripted by pulp writer Jonathan Latimer, and shot in low-key light by Theodor Sparkuhl, The Glass Key remains the best adaptation of a Hammett story … The Maltese Falcon excepted” (Robert Porfirio, Film Noir Encyclopedia).