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The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)

Approved | | Drama | 15 December 1944 (USA)
Trailer
3:19 | Trailer
A young priest, Father Chisholm is sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese. While his boyhood friend, also a priest, flourishes in his calling as a ... See full summary »

Director:

John M. Stahl

Writers:

Joseph L. Mankiewicz (screenplay), Nunnally Johnson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Father Francis Chisholm
Thomas Mitchell ... Willie Tulloch
Vincent Price ... Angus Mealey
Rose Stradner ... Rev. Mother Maria-Veronica (as Rosa Stradner)
Roddy McDowall ... Francis Chisholm - as a Boy
Edmund Gwenn ... Father Hamish MacNabb
Cedric Hardwicke ... Monsignor at Tweedside (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Peggy Ann Garner ... Nora - as a Girl
Jane Ball ... Nora - as an Adult
James Gleason ... Rev. Dr. Wilbur Fiske
Anne Revere ... Agnes Fiske
Ruth Nelson ... Mrs. Chisholm - Francis' Mother
Benson Fong ... Joseph
Leonard Strong ... Mr. Chia
Philip Ahn ... Mr. Pao - Envoy for Mr. Chia
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Storyline

A young priest, Father Chisholm is sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese. While his boyhood friend, also a priest, flourishes in his calling as a priest in a more Christian area of the world, Father Chisholm struggles. He encounters hostility, isolation, disease, poverty and a variety of set backs which humble him, but make him more determined than ever to succeed. Over the span of many years he gains acceptance and a growing congregation among the Chinese, through his quiet determination, understanding and patience. Written by E.W. DesMarais <Jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin | Cantonese

Release Date:

15 December 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Las llaves del reino See more »

Filming Locations:

Laguna, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only Oscar nominated performance by Gregory Peck in a non-Best Picture nominated film. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Father Francis Chisholm (Gregory Peck) is leaving his mission in China after being ordered into retirement, the children are heard singing his favorite hymn as he steps from the car, but when the camera shows the children singing, it is obvious that they are mouthing something entirely different from what is being heard. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title card: On a September evening in 1938, Father Francis Chisholm returned to his little church near Tweedside, Scotland.
Father Francis Chisholm: Good afternoon, Monsignor.
Monsignor: Good afternoon, Father.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Brotherhood (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ah, the Greatness of Gregory!
26 July 2003 | by stacymrSee all my reviews

Before getting started I should confess that I am an unabashed worshipper of Mr. Gregory Peck. In mourning his death, I resolved to track down and watch those few of his films that I hadn't yet seen. The Keys of the Kingdom came early in the process and was a delighful surprise. I admit, I had rather low expectations knowing that this was only his second film. Nevertheless, Greg shines as brightly in this as he does in so many of his later films. Thomas Mitchell (best known as Uncle Billy in It's a Wonderful Life) is also charming as the atheist best friend to Peck's priest.

The movie explores the unusual tension within the church between succeeding at being a good person and succeeding at climbing the ecclesiastical ladder. As you might guess, Peck plays to type as the good-hearted priest who never quite gains the respect of his superiors. Look for Vincent Price as an example of the latter; a less than caring priest who is consistently promoted.

This is a charming albeit slightly sentimental film that I hope to see available in DVD format someday. Until then it is well worth the effort it might take to track it down.


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