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The Glass Key (1935 film)

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The Glass Key
Theatrical release poster
Directed byFrank Tuttle
Produced byE. Lloyd Sheldon
Written byKathryn Scola
Kubec Glasmon (screenplay)
Harry Ruskin (additional dialogue)
Based onThe Glass Key
1931 novel
by Dashiell Hammett
StarringGeorge Raft
Edward Arnold
Claire Dodd
CinematographyHenry Sharp
Edited byHugh Bennett
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • June 15, 1935 (1935-06-15)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Glass Key, released in 1935, is the first of two film adaptations of the suspense novel The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett. The film stars 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.



Elissa Landi was once announced for the female lead.[1]


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".[2] Nevertheless, the film became one of Raft's biggest box office hits of the 1930s.[3]


  1. ^ Schallert, Edwin (February 20, 1935). "Binnie barnes scores as new personality; placed in "storm over the andes"". Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File).
  2. ^ Greene, Graham (5 July 1935). "The Bride of Frankenstein/The Glass Key/No More Ladies/Abyssinia". The Spectator. (reprinted in: Taylor, John Russel, ed. (1980). The Pleasure Dome. p. 6. ISBN 0192812866.)
  3. ^ Aaker, Everett (2013). George Raft: The Films. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 60. ISBN 978-0786466467.
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The Glass Key (1935 film)
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