RARA-AVIS: RE: Lattimer and "The Glass Key"

From: Dick Lochte ( dlochte@adelphia.net)
Date: 17 Nov 2002

Bill Denton wrote:
>Latimer also wrote the screenplay for THE GLASS KEY (1942), with Alan
>Ladd and Veronica Lake. It was on TV the other week and I gave up
>half-way through it, too. I don't know if I can blame Latimer or Ladd
>Lake, who used up most of their limited talent in giving each other the

Bill, was the movie on commercial TV, interrupted every five minutes by ads? This second version of "The Glass Key" is generally considered to be pretty good. I've given up on the earlier George Raft version which doesn't make any sense whatsoever, but I'm a big fan of the Ladd movie. Particularly Latimer's script which is very faithful to the novel. Granted Ladd and Lake weren't exactly Academy Award material, they did have a noir chemistry that worked pretty well in several movies, including "This Gun For Hire." And his Novocained (a kinder word would be "unruffled") countenance was exactly what was called for in interpreting Hammett's enigmatic antihero. Come to think of it, he's a perfect fit for Sam Spade, the blond Satan. Two other plusses: Brian Donlevy's town boss and William Bendix's sadomasochist thug.

Dick Lochte

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