The Glass Key par T.S.

The Glass Key par T.S.

15 octobre 1942. L’Europe est en pleine guerre. Les Etats-Unis ont pris part au conflit mondial. Il est temps de se divertir et d’oublier cet enfer. Mais quel film choisir se demande le Passant Cinéphile ? The Glass Key ? Voyons ce qu’en dit T.S. dans les colonnes du New York Times.

Critique d’époque :

« An absorbing puzzle in murder when it was first made in 1935, The Glass Key, the new remake of the Dashiell Hammett thriller, still has some of the fascination of the original, despite its unevenness. The motivations of Mr. Hammett’s original characters are sometimes more than a little askew, but his sleight of hand is so expert that one only occasionally realizes one is being cheated; his characters speak in a terse, telegraphic style that blends well with violence. Unfortunately for the new film at the Criterion, it sags under the endless complexity of Mr. Hammett’s plot.

All too often it paralyzes the adaptor by the necessity for exposition, and at those points the sleight of hand fails and the characters become no more than puppets in a bizarre pattern.The whole plot is strung on a rather long bow. An easy-going ward heeler swings his vote to a reform politician and cleans out a nest of gamblers because he finds the reform candidate’s daughter winsome, Soon after, the playboy son of the reformer is slain, and the ward heeler finds himself under suspicion. The ward boss’s loyal lieutenant begins some devious research. He is nearly killed in a mauling by the gambling-ring henchmen, pursues wisps of clues to a fantastic meeting in a publisher’s country home and finally, through a maze of strange relationships and oddly motivated conduct, he pounces on the real murderer.

As the ward heeler’s pal who wrenches the truth out of bits and pieces of clues, Alan Ladd is again the cold, monosyllabic toughie he was in This Gun for Hire. His performance, almost more than anything else, gives « The Glass Key » its frequent suspense. As the ward-heeler, Brian Donlevy, that excellent actor, is providing a blurred carbon copy of his similar portrait in « The Great McGinty. » As the sadistic mauler William Bendix does his best by an overwrought role, and Miss Veronica Lake is still little more than a sullen voice and a head of yellow hair. Nevertheless and despite its faults, « The Glass Key » still kindles some of the excitements of a tough-spoken story ». Par T.S. pour le New York Times.

Alan Ladd et William Bendix

Avis mitigé pour notre critique cinéma. Trop complexe, trop alambiqué. The Glass Key a pourtant des atouts indéniables. La réalisation de Stuart Heisler, Alan Ladd, Brian Donlevy. Veronica Lake n’a pas encore ses faveurs. Ca ne saurait tarder…

A lire, ma propre critique de cette Clé de Verre par ici.

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4 réflexions sur « The Glass Key par T.S. »

  1. David Kloth from the group Classic Film Noir Lovers : « I’m not in the least surprised that Bosley Crowther found The Glass Key too complex. Bosley Crowther was a simpleton. This is a pretty good movie made of a very good novel. Dashiell Hammett’s stories are always complex. That’s one of the reasons they’re so good ».

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