Mill Creek Musings: The Green Glove (1952)

Michael Blake (Glenn Ford) is an American lieutenant in France, soon after the Allied invasion of the country. Though he’s there to fight a war, he finds himself entangled in a plot involving art, spies, bombs, the German army, and a hotel room-dwelling dead body. With the help of tour guide Chris Kenneth (Geraldine Brooks), whom Michael meets at the Eiffel Tower, he tries to get himself out of the mess.

(Image via My Favorite Movies)
(Image via My Favorite Movies)

The Green Glove appears in Mill Creek’s 50 Mysteries set and was directed by Rudolph Maté. The picture quality is pretty rough at times, but the sound is decent. All in all, not the worst-quality film I’ve seen from the public domain, but far from the best.

And where the print quality suffers, the quality of the film’s content does not. This is one of the best Mill Creek discoveries I’ve made in a long time!

The “green glove” of the title is a gauntlet covered in large jewels, which holds a great significance to a small French town. The church bells haven’t been heard since the gauntlet was stolen during the second World War. It’s an important, mystical artifact that used to attract thousands of visitors to the local church, where it was kept.

The story is told in a flashback and begins with a teaser of the outcome: someone ends up dead, and the glove is returned to its hometown. We all know that flashbacks are a popular storytelling tactic here at TMP, so I was immediately hooked by the film. The story remains genuinely mysterious, with plenty of shady and untrustworthy characters introduced, and little plot twists throughout its run time.

Glenn Ford is great in his leading role. He brings a certain confidence to the character — a necessary trait to have when being hunted by several people who also want the glove, in order to avoid cracking under pressure. This confidence also helps when wooing a beautiful tour guide, played by Geraldine Brooks. Such chemistry these two have! They make a sizzlin’ screen pair.

Ford and Brooks share some great romantic scenes (such as sharing a room under the guise of “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” newlyweds), but their relationship never takes precedence over the plot involving the glove. The story is kept interesting thanks to the sheer variety of characters involved and the mythology behind that mysterious glove.

(Image via filmnoire)
(Image via filmnoire)

There’s some humor woven into to the film, making it even more enjoyable than if it were a straight mystery. There are still many scenes of pure mystery, with the humor thrown in sporadically, mostly in the banter between Ford and Brooks. On a deeper level, the story deals with the lasting scars of war and the crimes committed in the name of war.

Top a likable central couple and a great story off with an exciting, extended chase scene (on foot, through the wilderness!) and you’ve got one heck of a good watch. Things get wrapped up in an outcome that is unexpected, or at least was to me. I greatly enjoyed watching The Green Glove. The score: 4.5/5

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