7.0/10
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Turn the Key Softly (1953)

After three women are released from prison, we follow them for their first day of freedom.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Yvonne Mitchell ...
Monica Marsden
Terence Morgan ...
David
...
Stella Jarvis
Kathleen Harrison ...
Granny Quilliam
Thora Hird ...
Mrs. Rowan, landlady
Dorothy Alison ...
Joan
Glyn Houston ...
Bob
Geoffrey Keen ...
Mr. Gregory
Russell Waters ...
George Jenkins
Clive Morton ...
Walters
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Massingham ...
Bystander
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Storyline

Three women are released from Holloway prison on the same morning into the bustle of post-war London with its trolleybuses and rationing. They meet for a meal in the West End in the evening after a day trying to pick up their lives, and with at least two of them needing to decide whether it is time to start afresh. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Intimate Study in Passion and Suspense...!

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 February 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amartolo parelthon  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Near the start of the film, a Piccadilly train arrives at an underground station bearing the destination board Uxbridge. When it arrives at the next station the destination has miraculously changed to Hounslow. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Secret History of Our Streets: Portland Road (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Plaisir d'amour
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Martini
Arranged by Mischa Spoliansky
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User Reviews

 
Turn the Key Softly
3 June 2015 | by (Argentina) – See all my reviews

I loved this movie! The three women destinies in a large metropolis (London -1950s) after they come out of jail with very different expectations seems to be quite an usual storyline in those years. London itself --as any large city-- looks completely different from the present London, although through this gloriously misty black and white photography it has a nostalgic Memory Lane feeling absolutely unique.

One wishes to have been able to walk those streets and feel that particular atmosphere, completely gone by now.

The film: It's so very well acted and edited that when it comes to the end, it seems to have only lasted for ten or fifteen minutes. The three women stories are quite banal but engaging because they are displayed alternately so we get to know these characters one by one and at the same time, since they run parallel lives and will keep in touch through different daily happenings.

The beauty and sex appeal of a young Joan Collins was something to be seen. She was gorgeous! specially at the beginning, when still in jail and without any noticeable make up, she was stunning. As stunning as Joan, but on a different level was Yvonne Mitchell, a sedated beauty, classy and cool, very elegant and certainly as grand as any titled lady (many titled ladies will kill their grandmothers if they could look like her).

The sequence on top of the building with the intervening police was quite nerve wreaking and superbly filmed and edited. The scenes with the old lady --Kathleen Harrison-- and her beloved dog, Johnny, were the sentimental segment that cemented the different episodes among these three women.

There is a crucial scene where the title "Turn the key softly" makes sense because it was dependent on that, that one of the protagonists could escape a cruel and unjust outcome. Even if nowadays the strings pulled in this movie to keep one interested in the story telling are too obvious, the film doesn't fail in entertaining one from beginning to end.


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