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 ...
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Toward the end of his life, F. Scott Fitzgerald is writing for Hollywood studios to be able to afford the cost of an asylum for his wife. He is also struggling against alcoholism. Into his life comes the famous gossip columnist.
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>
"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 »
On a September evening in 1938, Father Francis Chisholm returned to his little church near Tweedside, Scotland.
Father Francis Chisholm:
Good afternoon, Monsignor.
Good afternoon, Father.
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Before getting started I should confess that I am an unabashed worshipper of Mr. Gregory Peck. In mourning his death, I resolved to track down and watch those few of his films that I hadn't yet seen. The Keys of the Kingdom came early in the process and was a delighful surprise. I admit, I had rather low expectations knowing that this was only his second film. Nevertheless, Greg shines as brightly in this as he does in so many of his later films. Thomas Mitchell (best known as Uncle Billy in It's a Wonderful Life) is also charming as the atheist best friend to Peck's priest.
The movie explores the unusual tension within the church between succeeding at being a good person and succeeding at climbing the ecclesiastical ladder. As you might guess, Peck plays to type as the good-hearted priest who never quite gains the respect of his superiors. Look for Vincent Price as an example of the latter; a less than caring priest who is consistently promoted.
This is a charming albeit slightly sentimental film that I hope to see available in DVD format someday. Until then it is well worth the effort it might take to track it down.
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