The Key (1958)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, War  |  1 September 1958 (Italy)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 883 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 3 critic

During World War II, tug boats conduct what are called salvage missions - picking up disabled ships. Not well equipped with weaponry, the tugs are sitting ducks for enemy fire. As such, the... See full summary »



0Check in

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Video

Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Frenchwoman Michele de la Becque, an opponent of the Nazis in German-occupied Paris, hides a downed American flyer, Pat Talbot, and attempts to get him safely out of the country.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Joan Crawford, John Wayne, Philip Dorn
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A cuckolded embezzler on the verge of suicide is helped by a tout, an alcoholic playwright, and a pick-up girl to reimburse the money with a gambling sting.

Directors: Ben Hecht, Lee Garmes
Stars: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Rita Hayworth, Thomas Mitchell
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A Ukrainian village must suddenly contend with the Nazi invasion of June 1941.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, Walter Huston
The Prowler (1951)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When Susan Gilvray reports a prowler outside her house police officer Webb Garwood investigates and sparks fly. If only her husband wasn't in the way.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Van Heflin, Evelyn Keyes, John Maxwell
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

After mobsters murder her husband, Rose Bianco works long hours making artificial flowers, to support herself and her son. Some suspect that Rose's demand for a lavish lifestyle pushed her ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn, Peter Mark Richman
The War Lover (1962)
Adventure | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Buzz Rickson is a dare-devil World War II bomber pilot with a death wish. Failing at everything not involving flying, Rickson lives for the most dangerous missions. His crew lives with this... See full summary »

Director: Philip Leacock
Stars: Steve McQueen, Robert Wagner, Shirley Anne Field
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In the Post-World War II, the British Susanne Mallison travels to Berlin to visit her older brother Martin Mallison, a military that has married the German Bettina Mallison. The naive ... See full summary »

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: James Mason, Claire Bloom, Hildegard Knef
Drama | War | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In 1941 an American journalist in Greece is given a secret list of collaborators. He is helped by the Greek resistance as he is pursued across the country by the Nazis.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Stanley Baker, Elisabeth Müller
Blind Date (1934)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young woman is torn between a wealthy suitor who wants her body and the honest young man who wants what's best for her.

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Ann Sothern, Neil Hamilton, Paul Kelly
What a Woman! (1956)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Antonietta viene fotografata per caso e la sua foto finisce in copertina. Il suo fidanzato vuol far causa al giornale per questo, ma Antonietta decide di farsi conoscere e con l'aiuto di ... See full summary »

Director: Alessandro Blasetti
Stars: Sophia Loren, Charles Boyer, Marcello Mastroianni
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

This lurid exposé of the Hitler Youth follows the woes of an American girl declared legally German by the Nazi government.

Directors: Edward Dmytryk, Irving Reis
Stars: Tim Holt, Bonita Granville, Kent Smith
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A ruthless fashion designer steps on everyone in her way in order to reach the top of her profession. Eventually she is forced to choose between her ambition and the man she loves.

Director: Michael Gordon
Stars: Susan Hayward, Dan Dailey, George Sanders


Cast overview, first billed only:
Capt. Chris Ford
Oskar Homolka ...
Capt. Van Dam (as Oscar Homolka)
Kieron Moore ...
Cmdr. Wadlow
Beatrix Lehmann ...
Noel Purcell ...
Hotel Porter
Bryan Forbes ...
Sidney Vivian ...
Rupert Davies ...
Russell Waters ...
Irene Handl ...
John Crawford ...
American Captain
Jameson Clark ...
English Captain


During World War II, tug boats conduct what are called salvage missions - picking up disabled ships. Not well equipped with weaponry, the tugs are sitting ducks for enemy fire. As such, the crew working the tugs have precarious lives, many with deep seated emotional problems. Before the Americans join the war, ex-American military man David Ross is assigned to captain a tug for the British military. He is shown the ropes by an old friend, Captain Chris Ford. Chris currently shares a flat with a young beautiful Italian-Swiss woman named Stella, who came with the flat and who lives a reclusive life there. Chris is the latest in a long line of tug boat captains who have lived there, each who has found another person to take over the flat and the associated looking after of Stella if anything is to happen to him. That person is given a key to the flat, the key only to be used if needed. The first in the series was Phillip Westerby, to who Stella was to be married before Phillip was killed... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


"with this key I thee wed." See more »


Drama | Romance | War


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 September 1958 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Stella  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kieron Moore was second choice for Kane. See more »


When Captain Ross is standing in the office listening to the Morse code transmission several people say that the ship is sending an SOS. While the shipboard operator may be requesting help, he is not sending SOS which consists of 3 short - 3 long - 3 short keystrokes. See more »


Flat Foot Floogie
Music by Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart
Lyrics by Bud Green
Sung by the chorus girls
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

little-known film with interesting and original topic.
7 September 2014 | by (Spain) – See all my reviews

Little known but interesting and original in its theme film combines action and romance. Hopelessness, fear and courage to overcome them are common to all the characters in the film, they both try to cope war as his own inner battle. All this takes place without prejudice as bombings of action at sea, ships on fire ...-. The only failure the film is at its end, something rushed, and could have developed better.

It is a little-known film by the general public, has a stellar roster, W.Holden, S.Loren, T.Howard and direction of British Carol Reed ("The Third Man"). It is quite interesting, is not pleased that his long-term becomes too heavy.

It should be noted at a very young Sophia Loren meets well with your paper giving life to a beautiful woman at the sea tragedy is leaving the one after another without lovers.

W.Holden gives replica playing a captain of a tug boat offshore torpedoed by the Germans, who tries to assist with risk involved.

In the third level we have Trevor Howard and also some wisdom we briefly explore the presence of Michael Caine. I think the biggest flaw of the film is that halfway remains what we want to become, torn between the romantic drama, intrigue and mystery ... and finally the military action.

To conclude an interesting film, which seems somewhat forgotten and Sure liked the stalwarts of the Italian star.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Key berryman2
Name of the tug blackhawk66
Was the key given ? greenheart814
Radio Silence? aciddropkid
re: Sophia Loren geoffzman04
The key to the key? Hm. paradesend
Discuss The Key (1958) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: