‘The Glass Key,’ directed by Stuart Heisler

Movie, 1942

A somewhat curious political film noir, in which we start by closely examining and exploring the oafish movements of Paul Madvig and his support of a candidate in a city’s mayoral election, before switching to the sharper, smarter exploits of his assistant, Ed Beaumont. The change in gear is a little unsettling, as is quite a lengthy section involving Beaumont’s incarceration at the hands of a gang boss. Many tropes of the noir genre play out to pretty good effect, although you get the sense that the corruption in the system is the real story here, which struggles to get through the procession of acts carried out by the characters. Not bad, by any means, though not entirely compelling.

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