Notes: Chapter 3

Not much in this chapter to make notes about, except that I really do have terrible hand writing and am often at a loss to understand what I wrote down as recently as the day before. (Unlike Fielding, however, I do not have a memory that helps.)

220px-Theglasskey1942Film noir is referenced a great deal in this story, what with Fielding being such a fan (his final line, “I don’t mind a reasonable amount of trouble”) is from The Maltese Falcon. But the focus in this chapter is on The Glass Key.

There are two film versions of The Glass Key, the first being filmed in 1935 starring George Raft, Edward Arnold and Claire Dodd. It’s the 1942 version, however, with Brian Donlevy, Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake that is the most well-known to audiences in general, and to Fielding in particular. Both movies are based on the Dashiell Hammett novel of the same name.

The plot summarised below is from Wikipedia.

Crooked political boss Paul Madvig (Brian Donlevy) is determined to back reform candidate Ralph Henry (Moroni Olsen) for governor after falling in love with Henry’s daughter, Janet (Veronica Lake). Madvig’s right hand man, Ed Beaumont (Alan Ladd), believes the move is a big mistake and rightly distrusts Janet’s motives. She is only playing along at her father’s request; she is put off by Madvig’s crudity and becomes very attracted to the more eclectic Beaumont. He fends off her advances out of strong loyalty to his friend. The deluded Madvig boasts that Henry has practically given him the key to his house; Beaumont warns him that it is liable to be a glass key, one that can break at any moment.

WilliamBendixGlassKeyWhile the major actors are wonderful, William Bendix in his supporting role as Jeff, the thug who likes bouncing around Alan Ladd’s character “like a rubber ball,” is memorable far beyond his screen time. His role in the plot is simply to be a menacing presence, but Bendix plays his character with such disturbing relish that he sticks in the viewer’s mind long after many other elements of the movie have been forgotten. Think of it as the closest a ’40s film could come to doing the “gimp scene” from Pulp Fiction.

LifeOfRiley_CastGiven the unsavoury nature of his role in The Glass Key, it is a little surprising that Bendix went on to become the lovable character of J. Riley Farnsworth in the TV series, The Life of Riley. It was in Riley, too, that audiences were introduced to “Digger” O’Dell, the friendly undertaker. (If you don’t remember anything about Digger, ask your parents. Or your grandparents, you damned whipper-snapper.)

As for the paraphrase from Romans 8: 38-39, here’s the actual quote from the King James Version. (There are other versions?):

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Well, what do you know? I guess there was more to note about this chapter than I thought. (But am I really going to keep doing this? The chapters are tough enough; writing another few hundred additional words is a bit much. The problem is, I always want to say, “Oh, did you see this?” and “Look over here, see that?” It’s a bad habit.)

And since I’ve mentioned Veronica Lake, I believe it is mandatory by law that I post a picture of her. (Yep — just checked and it says so right in the manual given out by Doris Sanchez.)


3 thoughts on “Notes: Chapter 3

  1. Sigh…. I had some intelligent comments about your story notes, but then I saw that picture of Veronica Lake, and now I’m mostly just trying to type with one hand. Thanks a lot.

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