Nanocomposites were made using deionized gelatin filled with well-dispersed nanoscale alumina particles. Scratch tests on the nanocomposite films showed substantially improved scratch resistance. Tensile tests revealed increases in both modulus and tensile strength of the nano-filled gelatin films accompanied by a decrease in strain-to-failure. The increase in modulus and strength reduced the degree of plastic deformation during scratch testing, but the onset of periodic cracking in the scratch track was unaffected. Optical transmittance measurements of the gelatin composite showed that the films retained transparency in the visible light range.