The Glass Keyi is the delightful pre-war production Miller's Crossing is definitely the re-make ofii. A very convincingly demented psycho (that'll be remade by James Gandolfini fifty years later) ; a beautifully excellent party machine boss ; a... well, I don't think much at all of Veronica Lake, but whatever, a
dame unwanted potato they keep passing back and forth like so much ballast... it's got everything!
As far as noir goes this is probably the best example (however befouled by the unwelcome presence of the insufferable "hero" / agricultural engineer, as well as the utterly insane tendentious fraudulenceiii at the time fashionable). The threads make sense and tie together very well, which isn't to say "like in real life". The story stands on its own terms, it checks out by the fictive algebra it itself defines -- and there's absolutely nothing wrong with this.
As far as cinematic neorealismiv goes this is probably the best offering the US ever produced. It certainly foretells, and leads, the genre (and not just in the beating of the "hero" either). Too bad this single solitary promising strand of genuine cultural production in the sad colonies got choked out by the usual crap, under the usual excusesv.
I wish people could make more films like The Glass Key. I wish people could still make films like The Glass Key. I wish there were still people ; but then... the "reform" ticket prevailed, and so...
Never again ; because that's what happens when you give in.———
- 1942, by Stuart Heisler, with Brian Donlevy, Veronica Lake, William Bendix, Alan Ladd, Joseph Calleia. [↩]
- Consciously, too, including such breadcrumbs as a direct "It's the kiss-off!" quote, not to mention seeding for the "half-smart" dialogue etcetera. [↩]
- Misrepresenting the "reform" ticket as anything but outright evil is evildoing in and of itself, no ifs or butts about it. [↩]
- You know, the Italians' stuff, La Strada and so on. [↩]
- "Oh, people like it..."