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The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)

Approved | | Drama | 15 December 1944 (USA)
3:19 | Trailer

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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 »
Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
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
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 <Jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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 The Closer You Get (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Keys of the Kingdom
22 October 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This movie would have to be the greatest movie ever made. The sheer brilliance of Gregory Peck in the manner he displays as a Missionary Catholic Priest is just mind boggling, the support from the Nuns is just spot on. Real People in a Real world. Relationships are formed congenially and with love and affection of the right kind. To see it in black and white makes the movie real. The melodrama that Thomas Mitchell and Sir Cedric Hardwicke gives to movies provides the right tone to their scenes Gregory Peck show his capabilities and indicates his greatness in other movies such as Gentleman's Agreement and To Kill a Mockingbird (his greatest performance ever). The ability to communicate with non-English speaking Chinese is depicted calmly and sensitively . Finally the wonderful Edmund Gwen as the Seminary mentor shows the characteristic of a keen thinking priest when he refers to "ecclesastical mechanics", those bureaucrats who are inflexible and forget the ordinary People of God. I am sure God will bless all who watch this move with good heart

I just wish I could get a copy of it somewhere.

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