8 user 8 critic

The Key (1934)

Approved | | Drama | 9 June 1934 (USA)
British officer is assigned to duty in Ireland and gets embroiled in Anglo-Irish battles and old girl friend who is now married to an Irishman. Powell learns more than he wanted to know ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (play) (as R. Gore-Browne) | 1 more credit »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A discredited diplomat accidentally finds work with a seedy private detective. The diplomat's ethics later bump up against the detective's illegal methods after their new partnership is ... See full synopsis »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: William Powell, Margaret Lindsay, Ruth Donnelly
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two English aristocrats pursue a rich American widow who may not be quite the person she claims to be.

Directors: Richard Boleslawski, Dorothy Arzner, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Robert Montgomery, Joan Crawford, William Powell
Libeled Lady (1936)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A newspaper man, his jilted fiancée, and his lawyer hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news story into the truth, before a high-society woman can sue for libel.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy
High Pressure (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Gar Evans is a "high pressure" promoter who tends to be unrealistically optimistic about his projects and exaggerates the chance of success. He sets up the "Golden Gate Artificial Rubber ... See full summary »

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: William Powell, Evelyn Brent, George Sidney
Certificate: Passed Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The neglected wife of a high profile attorney dallies with a unscrupulous womanizer and finds herself involved in blackmail and murder.

Director: William K. Howard
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Una Merkel
Romance | Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a dancer disappears from a theater, her former lover asks lawyer Clay Dalzell to investigate, leading him on a trail of murder and deception.

Director: Stephen Roberts
Stars: William Powell, Ginger Rogers, Paul Kelly
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two sisters of differing temperaments, the younger's milquetoast fiancé, and a free spirited artist in an auto trailer have romantic complications in this screwball comedy.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Florence Rice
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A terminally ill woman and a debonair murderer facing execution meet and fall in love on a trans-Pacific crossing, each without knowing the other's secret.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: William Powell, Kay Francis, Frank McHugh
Reckless (1935)
Drama | Musical | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Wealthy Bob Harrison buys all the seats in the theatre to watch Mona Leslie's musical by himself. He loves her, her agent Ned Riley loves her. Conflict ensues.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Franchot Tone
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A wife and husband's marriage is destroyed due to her infidelity.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: William Powell, Doris Kenyon, Marian Marsh
Escapade (1935)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Escapade is a 1935 romantic comedy film starring William Powell and Luise Rainer. It is a remake of Maskerade (1934).

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: William Powell, Luise Rainer, Frank Morgan
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Sherwood Nash is a swindler who bootlegs Paris fashions for sale at cut-rate prices. His assistant Lynn poses as An American interested in a dress and Snap conceals a camera in his cane. ... See full summary »

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: William Powell, Bette Davis, Frank McHugh


Complete credited cast:
Capt. Bill Tennant
Norah Kerr
Capt. Andrew 'Andy' Kerr
Hobart Cavanaugh ...
Homer, Tennant's Aide
Halliwell Hobbes ...
General C.O. Furlong
Peadar Conlan
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Young Irishman Killed by Andrew
Arthur Treacher ...
Lt. Merriman, Furlong's Aide
Pauline O'Connor
Gertrude Short ...
Evie a Barmaid
Flower Girl (as Dawn O'Day)


British officer is assigned to duty in Ireland and gets embroiled in Anglo-Irish battles and old girl friend who is now married to an Irishman. Powell learns more than he wanted to know about "the Irish Problem." Written by Ed Lorusso

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 June 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

High Peril  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The £1,000 reward for Conlan's capture in 1920 would be the equivalent of $3,664 then, or over $43,400 in 2016. See more »


Capt. Bill Tennant: [sadly, to Norah] I suppose it's only in storybooks there's a path back to yesterday.
See more »


There's a Cottage in Killarney
by Mort Dixon and Allie Wrubel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

From Another Age
17 March 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This review is more in the manner of an observation than a review as it doesn't seem quite fair to cast stones from the 21st Century on something that was quite well done for its time. It is probably most significant for having Colin Clive in a part that is reasonably compassionate and human rather than brutal towards women, or, on the other hand, digging up corpses to bring them back to life as in "Frankenstein". It seems rather an all-star cast for having Donald Crisp, Haliwell Hobbs, Henry O'Neill, Arthur Treacher, Dawn O'Day (Anne Shirley), in addition to William Powell, Edna Best, and Colin Clive. Without having a deep background in Irish 20th Century history, it seems difficult to place the action in a particular time, before or after the Easter Uprising, before or after the Anglo-Irish Treaty, before or after the Irish Free State, so it becomes sort of a plot full of intrigue without knowing what the characters have already been through historically. It is simply a very rich experience with a sterling script, from the moment of Powell's captain entering the presence of Haliwell Hobbs the general, being upbraided for "conduct unbecoming" etc, until in private they can clap each other's shoulder and greet each other as old comrades in arms. And knowing it was directed by Michael Curtiz is confirmation that it was being done professionally, and there was a very good reason why something being shot in Burbank on a back lot was nearly identical to actual scenes from Ireland. The only thing missing is subtitles or close-captioning, and an opportunity to actually make out what each character in each scene is saying without that help.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
the title? dtdeneau
I liked it. waltereckland
Discuss The Key (1934) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: