Sat, 10 November 2007
Stuart Heisler's 1942 film THE GLASS KEY retained the personages and major plot twists of Dashiell Hammett's 1930 novel by the same name, but wiped the grim off the original tale. By cleaning up the characters and their motives, the film missed an opportunity to picture its stellar cast (Dunlevy, Ladd, and Lake) in a noir light. Instead, for much of its running time it looks and feels like the glamour whodunnit pictures, or populist clean-government reform films, of the 1930's. Hammett's novel finally received proper treatment in the Coens' 1990 masterpiece MILLER'S CROSSING. Though filmed in color, this movie borrows heavily from classical noir, and gives us characters as complex and morally flawed as any envisioned by Hammett. This podcast—the third double-feature of "Out of the Past" to examine how the Coens' films have been inspired by the fiction of Cain, Chandler, and Hammett, as well as previous film adaptations of these masters of hardboiled—is brought to you by Clute and Edwards of www.noircast.net. To leave a comment on this episode, or make a donation to the podcast, please visit "Out of the Past: Investigating Film Noir" at outofthepast.libsyn.com.