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THE GLASS KEY: Blu-ray (Paramount, 1942) Shout! Factory

A triumvirate of Paramount’s rising stars, Brian Donlevy (ever more congenial in life than on the screen), Veronica Lake (infamously, fast garnering a reputation as a real pain in the ass) and Alan Ladd (who gets the living tar knocked out of him), headline Stuart Heisler’s The Glass Key(1942), a fascinating, though not altogether kosher mélange of the American crime drama meets the political potboiler. This was the studio’s second bite at the same apple, having premiered The Glass Keyin 1935, costarring Edward Arnold and George Raft. Ladd, riding his newfound crest of popularity as Paramount’s stud du jour, thanks to his strange amalgam of ‘pretty boy’ good looks and steely-eyed sincerity, first exercised to perfection in This Gun for Hire (1942) is a definite improvement on Raft’s lugubrious Ed Beaumont, the faithful as a bird dog sidekick to thug/politico, Paul Madvig (Donlevy). Lake and Ladd had made such a splash in This Gun for Hire, it was inevitable the studio would reteam the…

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