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Key to the City (1950)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 398 users  
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At a mayors convention in San Francisco, ex-longshoreman Steve Fisk meets Clarissa Standish from New England. Fisk is mayor of "Puget City" and is proud of his rough and tumble background. ... See full summary »

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Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Steve Fisk
...
Clarissa Standish
...
Fire Chief Duggan
Marilyn Maxwell ...
Sheila the 'Atom' Dancer
...
Les Taggart
...
Sergeant Hogan
Lewis Stone ...
Judge Silas Standish
Raymond Walburn ...
Mayor Billy Butler
Pamela Britton ...
Miss Unconscious
Zamah Cunningham ...
Mrs. Butler
Clinton Sundberg ...
Mark Mont Desk Clerk
Marion Martin ...
Emmy
...
Emmy's Husband
Emory Parnell ...
Council Chairman
Clara Blandick ...
Liza, Silas' housekeeper
Edit

Storyline

At a mayors convention in San Francisco, ex-longshoreman Steve Fisk meets Clarissa Standish from New England. Fisk is mayor of "Puget City" and is proud of his rough and tumble background. Standish is mayor of "Winona, Maine", and is equally proud of her education and dedication to the people who elected her. Thrown together, the two opposites attract and their escapades during the convention get each of them in hot water back home. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mayor | psychic | scandal | arson | politician | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 August 1950 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

La dama dijo que no  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Frank Morgan (it was released after his death in 1949). See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the movie when Steve (Gable) and Les (Burr) are fighting, the handkerchief in Steve's jacket pocket is even across the top. The camera switches to Les, then back to Steve and the left side of the handkerchief is higher than the right. Not long after, both sides are even again. Then towards the end of the fight, the handkerchief is missing completely although we didn't see it fall. See more »

Quotes

Steve Fisk: I proposed to YOU? All I said I was, 'You don't wanna marry a guy like me' and you said, 'Ohhh yes, I do.' I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Clark Gable: Tall, Dark and Handsome (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

San Francisco
(uncredited)
Music by Walter Jurmann and Bronislau Kaper
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lighthearted Comedy Silly, but Endearing!
9 December 2003 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

KEY TO THE CITY is certainly a lighthearted, if occasionally lightheaded comedy about a Mayors' Conference in San Francisco, but it is also great fun, and a throwback to Clark Gable's enjoyable comic work of the 1930s. Since 'the King' had returned from wartime service, his films had all been preachy and somber (perhaps in deference to the continuing sense of loss he felt over the death of his wife, Carole Lombard, or, more likely, because MGM simply hadn't figured out how to best utilize the older, more care-worn veteran star), and you can see that he's enjoying every moment portraying a ruggedly virile 'Longshoreman Mayor'. Casting Loretta Young as his co-star certainly helped, as the pair had quite a history together!

Young had been a 'star' since childhood, sort of the Jodie Foster/Diane Lane of her day, and had often been attracted to her older leading men. Marrying co-star Grant Withers at 17 (it was soon annulled), she then became involved in a scandalous affair with Spencer Tracy during the filming of A MAN'S CASTLE, which ended badly when Tracy, a devout Catholic, refused to divorce his wife. At 22, she made CALL OF THE WILD with the 34-year-old Gable, and was soon pregnant with his child (after shooting ended, she took a long leave of absence for 'health' reasons, and gave birth to a girl, who she eventually adopted). Gable knew of his daughter, although the threat of scandal kept both stars silent (a child born out of wedlock would have destroyed both of their careers), creating a 'bond' between Young and Gable that surpassed any of his other co-stars. At 37 when KEY TO THE CITY was filmed, Young, by now an Oscar-winner and screen legend, was still radiantly beautiful, and the sexual chemistry between the stars was genuine. As a good-hearted but repressed New England mayor, she brought out his 'nobler' qualities, as he aroused her 'baser' desires.

One of the joys of KEY TO THE CITY is getting to see so many of MGM's legendary 'stock' company, late in their careers, but still giving 'first-rate' performances. Frank 'Wizard of Oz' Morgan, Lewis 'Judge Hardy' Stone, James 'Pop Corkle' Gleason, Raymond 'His Honor' Walburn, and Clara 'Auntie Em' Blandick all shine, as do 'future stars' Marilyn Maxwell (as a sexy dancer) and Raymond Burr, who is simply terrific as Gable's corrupt nemesis. Watch carefully, and you'll also spot veteran Western star Jack Elam, and future 'My Favorite Martian' leading lady, Pamela Britton, in small roles, early in their careers.

While some moments (Gable dressed as the 'Blue Boy', for example) are downright silly, and the climax, a 'no-holds-barred' fistfight between Gable and Burr (and Young and Maxwell), stretches credibility well past the breaking point, the film never loses it's sense of fun. This is the Gable of legend, looking good, "cracking wise", and unafraid to 'size up' a woman, or cut an opponent 'down to size'.

Definitely worth watching!




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