The only time I sat up in my chair while watching this first version of THE GLASS KEY was a scene in a hospital where George Raft is recovering from a beating by Guinn ( before he was ‘Big Boy’) Williams.
The pretty nurse treating Raft is Ann Sheridan. One short scene, but Ann makes an impact. If only she had played either of the two female leads in the film.
Based on the Dashiell Hammett novel of the same name, but like The Maltese Falcon,it took more than one attempt to get a screen adaptation right.
Raft plays a gambler who works for political fixer Edward Arnold. ( Now there’s an actor who couldn’t give a poor performance). Raft and Arnold are friends, almost a father/son relationship.
Arnold is backing a senator in upcoming elections. Claire Dodd is the senator’s daughter whom Arnold wants to marry.
Raft has a soft spot for Arnold’s daughter played by Rosalind Culli but she only has eyes for Claire’s brother,Ray Milland. Ray gets ten minutes screen time before he is bumped off.
I much preferred the 1942 version with Ladd,Lake and Donlevy.
According to IMDB,Ann Sheridan had done 26 bits and uncredited appearances before Glass Key. That’s what you call an apprenticeship. And it would be another couple of years before she hit the big time at Warners.
The only reference to a glass key is near the start of the film when Edward Arnold is going to dine at the senator’s house and jokes to Raft that “…he’s practically given me a key to his house.”
Raft replies, “A glass key. Make sure it doesn’t break off in your hand.”