7.5/10
1,633
22 user 9 critic

The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)

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

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After King David sees the beautiful Bathsheba bathing from the palace roof, he enters into an adulterous affair which has tragic consequences for his family and Israel.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, Raymond Massey
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill
The Scarlet and the Black (TV Movie 1983)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Vatican efforts, lead by Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, to save Allied POWs and downed Allied airmen as the Nazis invade Rome.

Director: Jerry London
Stars: Gregory Peck, Christopher Plummer, John Gielgud
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An ex-soldier faces ethical questions as he tries to earn enough to support his wife and children well.

Director: Nunnally Johnson
Stars: Gregory Peck, Jennifer Jones, Fredric March
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

All her life Englishwoman Gladys Aylward knew that China was the place where she belonged. Not qualified to be sent there as a missionary, Gladys works as a domestic to earn the money to ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Robert Donat, Curd Jürgens
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1944, Capt. Josiah J. Newman is the doctor in charge of Ward 7, the neuropsychiatric ward, at an Army Air Corps hospital in Arizona. The hospital is under-resourced and Newman scrounges ... See full summary »

Director: David Miller
Stars: Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Angie Dickinson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A reporter pretends to be Jewish in order to cover a story on anti-Semitism, and personally discovers the true depths of bigotry and hatred.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After losing his bride in a Luftwaffe air raid, bomber pilot Forrester becomes a solitary killing machine, who doesn't care whether he dies. The reckless Canadian pilot is both admired and ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Parrish
Stars: Gregory Peck, Bernard Lee, Win Min Than
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Concentration camp survivor Victoria Kowelska finds herself involved in mystery, greed, and murder when she assumes the identity of a dead friend in order to gain passage to America.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Richard Basehart, Valentina Cortese, William Lundigan
The Bravados (1958)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jim Douglas has been relentlessly pursuing the four outlaws who murdered his wife, but finds them in jail about to be hanged. While he waits to witness their execution, they escape; and the... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gregory Peck, Joan Collins, Stephen Boyd
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell, James Dunn
Madame Curie (1943)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Despite himself, accomplished physicist and avowed bachelor Pierre Curie falls for brilliant student Marie, and together they embark on the discovery of radium.

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Albert Lewin
Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Henry Travers
Edit

Cast

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
...
Joseph
Leonard Strong ...
Mr. Chia
Philip Ahn ...
Mr. Pao - Envoy for Mr. Chia
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

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

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

15 December 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Las llaves del reino  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"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 »

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

Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Singularly Rewarding Life
28 January 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

In his second film Gregory Peck got the first of his Best Actor nominations for playing the pious and devote Father Francis Chisholm in The Keys of the Kingdom.

When we meet Peck he's an elderly priest who's got a visitor in Monsignor Cedric Hardwicke who has come to the Scottish town where he's from and now is a pastor. Hardwicke's there to investigate complaints about him. Peck puts him up for the night in his own room where he keeps a journal that he has faithfully recorded his life. On an impulse, Hardwicke decides it might be good bedtime reading.

When we first meet Peck, elderly and infirm that he is, he looks like he could be the model for Alec Guinness's muddled old reverend in Kind Hearts and Coronets. But as Hardwicke reads Peck's words and we go back over his life, it's been a pious and rewarding one as a missionary in China.

The film is a flashback narrative of his life as a missionary. And the film is held together by the sincere and deeply felt performance of Gregory Peck as Father Chisholm. Peck has some terribly unorthodox ideas as a priest. For one thing he's not preaching that his own denomination has the corner on a good afterlife. Late in the film, some Protestant missionaries come, James Gleason and Anne Revere, and he becomes great friends with both. He's even friends with a self styled atheist in Thomas Mitchell who is an atheist, a medical doctor and a good man indeed. Mitchell's deathbed scene with Peck is quite touching and avoids a lot of the clichés associated with such scenes.

Another thing is Peck and the sisters led by Rose Stradner who later come to help live as simply and modestly as the Chinese around them. They gain some converts, but even more importantly they gain the respect of those around them. This is contrasted when Peck's childhood friend Vincent Price who has become a bishop and takes the phrase Prince of the Church quite literally.

The casting in the film is first rate and 20th Century Fox did a good job in recreating the feel and atmosphere of China which at that point was engaged in expelling the Japanese from their soil. The Keys of the Kingdom got several Oscar nominations including Peck's, but came up short on the statues.

I enjoyed the film a whole lot and I don't think one has to be a firm believer in any Christian denomination to enjoy it. Peck's Father Francis Chisholm may have led an obscure life, but his faith sustains him through all and he leads by sheer example. It's something that a lot of religious leaders fall short of, but not in this case.

Peck's life will surely gain him possession of The Keys of the Kingdom and we could all use a lot more Father Chisholms in this world.


35 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Converting a Favorite Movie to DVD wtmccain
One of the most touching scenes ever filmed fnj2002
Gorgeous Gregory! Blondfashionisto
A rather funny blooper... jncma
Perhaps the most triumphant casting ever fnj2002
New DVD coming out in UK. notvertigo
Discuss The Keys of the Kingdom (1944) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?