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The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)

 -  Drama  -  15 December 1944 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,311 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 7 critic

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 »

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(screenplay), (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:
...
...
...
Angus Mealey
Rose Stradner ...
Reverend Mother Maria-Veronica (as Rosa Stradner)
...
Francis Chisholm as a Boy
...
Father Hamish MacNabb
...
Monsignor at Tweedside (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Peggy Ann Garner ...
Nora as a Girl
Jane Ball ...
Nora, as an Adult
...
Rev. Dr. Wilbur Fiske
...
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

Plot Keywords:

priest | church | mandarin | china | bishop | See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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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  »
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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

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

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User Reviews

 
What a wonderful story!
3 March 2002 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

What a wonderful story of a man, despite much adversity, contributes himself to the Chinese community he loves so much. It is amazing how Peck makes it so effortless (even in his only second film)in portraying a young man to one in his twilight years. He personifies morality and quiet integrity in this film, reminiscent to the role that he would play nearly twenty years later in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

The supporting cast which performs more than ably is led by Cedric Hardwicke playing a monsignor who was initially critical of the Peck character but emerges having respect for him after reading his memoirs (which form the narration for the film. Others include Thomas Mitchell as the irreverent self-proclaimed atheist who does much to provide the witty humour for the film, Edmund Gwenn as Peck's plucky mentor at the seminary who uses the term "ecclesiastical mechanic" to describe priests who are inflexible and bureaucratic, and Rose Stradner as the Mother Superior who falls in love with Peck (you only get a hint of this).

One of the highlights is the film's efforts in portraying the Chinese in a sensitive manner in terms of the customs shown and dialects used. This is very unlike films of its era which tended to portray Asians in a more stereotypical fashion.


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