The Glass Key

Synopsis: During the campaign for reelection, the crooked politician Paul Madvig decides to clean up his past, refusing the support of the gangster Nick Varna and associating to the respectable reformist politician Ralph Henry. When Ralph's son, Taylor Henry, a gambler and the lover of Paul's sister Opal, is murdered, Paul's right arm, Ed Beaumont, finds his body on the street. Nick uses the financial situation of The Observer to force the publisher Clyde Matthews to use the newspaper to raise the suspicion that Paul Madvig might have killed Taylor.
Director(s): Stuart Heisler
Production: MCA Universal Home Video
Rotten Tomatoes:
85 min

- MAN:
Here he comes, now.

- Hello, Paul.

- Let me get a picture, Mr Madvig.

- Yeah, all right.

- Thank you.

- That's all right.

- Swell.

- MAN:
Hello, Paul. How're you?

- Fine. How're you?

- Who is that guy?

Paul Madvig.

- He's head of the Voters League.

- MAN:
Hello, Mr Madvig.

Glad to see you. Hello, son.

He's the biggest crook in the state.

I hear he feeds a thousand people a week.

Is it true you've throwing over

Governor Hartman?

What about Ralph Henry

and his Reform Party?

If Ralph Henry's so anxious

to reform somebody,

why don't he start on that son of his?

He's gets in more jams

than the dead end kids.

That's for talking about decent people.

A little reform wouldn't do you any harm.

As a matter of fact, I think it would do

the state good if somebody'd reform you

right out of existence.

Get out of my way, you cheap crook.

Hey, what a slugger.

- Who is that?

- Ralph Henry's daughter.

- Yeah?

- Yeah.

- Hey, Ed.

- Hiya, Paul.

I just met the swellest dame.

- Yeah?

- Yeah. She smacked me in the kisser.

- All right.

- Hey, Sloss, come here.

- I don't get it.

- Look...

- What do you want?

- Oh, never mind.

Go out and tell old man Henry

I want to see him, will you?

- That's a good one.

- What is?

- Are you serious?

- Why not?

What'll Nick Varna

and the rest of the boys say

if they hear you've been talking

to a Reform candidate?

Oh, what do I care what they say.

- You'd better care!

- Oh, yeah?

Yeah, if you want to keep on being boss.

You better wash your mouth out,

young fellow. Come here.

Lay off there, will you!


Tell Madvig I want to see him right away.

Yes, Mr Varna.

Four is your point, Ed.

MAN 2:
Come on, Ed.

Ed, Nick Varna wants to see Paul.

Little Joe, brother, that's it.

I'll tell him you're here.

Yeah, take care of yourself, Gus. Right.

Hi, Ed.

Nick Varna's downstairs.

- Yeah?

- He wants to see you right away, Paul.

- Tell him I'm busy.

- But, Paul...

Tell him if he wants to wait around,

maybe I can find some time for him later.


Tell him.

- Paul.

- Yeah?

You're really going through

with that crazy idea?

What crazy idea?

Backing old man Henry on the Reform ticket.

- That's right.

- That's wrong.

- "That's wrong"?

- Yeah.

As wrong as those socks.

Wait a minute, what's wrong with them?

- The clock.

- Yeah.

Mmm-hmm, it ticks too loud.

You know I thought they was pretty.

Yeah, old man Henry and me

is cooking up the deal tonight at dinner.

At his house.

And say, Ed, it's his daughter's birthday,

what do you think I ought to give her?

- Want to make a good impression?

- Sure.

- Nothing.

- But why?

Because you're not supposed to

give people things,

unless you're sure

they like to get them from you.

Well, maybe.

But I'm not gonna pass up

an opportunity like this.

- You see, I like...

- All right.

Give her a convertible

or a handful of diamonds.

Well, maybe you know more

about it than I do, I guess.

Think he'll play ball after election?

I know he will.

Why, he's practically given me the key

to his house.

- Yeah, a glass key.

- Hmm?

- Be careful it doesn't break off in your hand.

- Don't worry.

It won't.

How far has that dog

got her hooks into you?


I'm gonna marry Janet Henry.

Course nobody knows about it yet,

except you and me.

Well, you'd better insist on the wedding

before election day.


Then you can be sure of your pound of flesh.

But, Mr Varna, he left positive orders to...

Shut up, Oswald.

Come on in.

Have a chair.

- Cigar?

- Thanks.

You know, Paul,

they closed my places last night.

Broke a lot of equipment.

Yeah. We read about it in the paper.

Rainey said the order came

straight from you.

Well, what do you think of that, Ed?

I think somebody ought to give Rainey

a nice long vacation.

Business is business and politics is politics.

But they ought to be kept apart.

I bought protection, Paul, and I want it.

Well, I tell you, Nick.

We're gonna clean up this town.

I'm too big to take the boot from you now.

You maybe too big to take it laying down,

Nick, but you're gonna take it.

- You are taking it.

- Oh, no, I'm not.

The Golden Club's open tonight.

Get me Rainey.

Hello, Rainey, it's Paul.

How're the folks? Good.

Hey, look, Rainey,

just got the tip that Nick is opening

his Golden Club tonight.

Yeah, slam him down so hard, they'll splash!

- Well, Nick, now you know where you stand.

- Thanks.


I tell you, you haven't got

a thing to worry about.

We mustn't forget the opposition.

What, that guy here reminds me

of is an electric fence.

Buzzing around all day,

nothing comes out but wind.


You know politics is simple.

All you need is a little muscle.

Look, muscle gave me my start in politics.

It was when I was assistant

to old man Zimmerman, the plumber.

Mr Madvig, you're joking.

You mean about the plumbing

or the muscle?

Well, I just can't imagine you as a plumber.

No? I'll drop up to your bathroom some day

and show you.


Well, Paul, I must say,

you've come a long way since then.


Coffee will be served in the living room,

Mr Madvig.


He's funny, but don't you think

he'll get a bit tiresome as a steady boarder?

Paul's support means

the Governorship for me.

I know, but is being Governor worth it?

Don't joke.

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Jonathan Latimer

Jonathan Wyatt Latimer (October 23, 1906 – June 23, 1983) was an American crime writer noted for his novels and screenplays. more…

All Jonathan Latimer scripts | Jonathan Latimer Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Glass Key" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 13 Jun 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    The Glass Key


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.