The Glass Key (1935 film)

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The Glass Key
The Glass Key (1935 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Frank Tuttle
Produced by E. Lloyd Sheldon
Written by Kathryn Scola
Kubec Glasmon (screenplay)
Harry Ruskin (additional dialogue)
Based on The Glass Key
1931 novel
by Dashiell Hammett
Starring George Raft
Edward Arnold
Claire Dodd
Cinematography Henry Sharp
Edited by Hugh Bennett
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • June 15, 1935 (1935-06-15)
Running time
80 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Glass Key is the first of two film adaptations of the classic suspense novel The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett. The film was released in 1935 starring George Raft, featuring Edward Arnold and Claire Dodd, and directed by Frank Tuttle.

The film was remade in 1942, with Alan Ladd in Raft's role, and Brian Donlevy and Veronica Lake in the roles previously played by Arnold and Dodd.


Paul Madvig (Edward Arnold) controls crime and politics in the city, helped by the brains and brawn of Ed Beaumont (George Raft). As he throws his support behind Janet (Claire Dodd) Henry's father in a political campaign, Paul also plans to marry her.

Janet's brother Taylor (Ray Milland) is a gambler heavily in debt to O'Rory (Robert Gleckler), a gangster whose club Paul intends to put out of business. Taylor, who has been romancing Paul's younger sister Opal (Rosalind Keith), is found dead. The temperamental Paul falls under suspicion.

Ed pretends to betray Paul while offering to work for O'Rory's organization. He is beaten by Jeff (Guinn Williams), a brutal thug who works for O'Rory, and has to flee for his life.

Paul is going to face murder charges, but Janet knows who is really behind her brother's death. It's up to Ed to get her to reveal the truth.



Writing for The Spectator, Graham Greene described the film as "unimaginatively gangster" and grouped it with the contemporary comedy No More Ladies to describe both as "second rate" and "transient".[1] Nevertheless, the film became one of Raft's biggest box office hits of the 1930s.[2]


  1. ^ Greene, Graham (5 July 1935). "The Bride of Frankenstein/The Glass Key/No More Ladies/Abyssinia". The Spectator.  (reprinted in: John Russel, Taylor, ed. (1980). The Pleasure Dome. p. 6. ISBN 0192812866. )
  2. ^ Everett Aaker, The Films of George Raft, McFarland & Company, 2013 p 60

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