The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  15 December 1944 (USA)
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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 »



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rose Stradner ...
Rev. Mother Maria-Veronica (as Rosa Stradner)
Francis Chisholm - as a Boy
Father Hamish MacNabb
Monsignor at Tweedside (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Nora - as a Girl
Jane Ball ...
Nora - as an Adult
Rev. Dr. Wilbur Fiske
Agnes Fiske
Ruth Nelson ...
Mrs. Chisholm - Francis' Mother
Leonard Strong ...
Mr. Chia
Philip Ahn ...
Mr. Pao - Envoy for Mr. Chia


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

priest | church | mandarin | china | bishop | See All (65) »




Approved | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

15 December 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las llaves del reino  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


"Academy Award Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on August 21, 1946 with Gregory Peck reprising his film role. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Gregory Peck (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

A tremendous job by Gregory Peck
7 December 2002 | by (Los Angeles, California) – See all my reviews

I've always loved this movie. My mother introduced me to it and its remained one of my favorites over the years. I find the character of Father Chisholm to be my ideal of what a priest should be. Kind, loving, humble and unpretentious. I don't think Peck ever surpassed himself. He is tremendous in the part. Ably written and directed, I think it is a superb film

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