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The Key (1958)

6.7
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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 »

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Title: The Key (1958)

The Key (1958) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

He had the life expectancy of a match...

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 September 1958 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Stella  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The tug used in the film was HMS Restive (HMT W 39), a Royal Navy Rescue Tug of the Assurance class. This class of tugs was built between 1940 and 1943. With a 1350 horsepower engine, these tugs could make 14 knots and were powerful enough to haul just about any capital ship back to port. Five (out of twenty-one built) were lost during the war. The ship numbers used in the film (W 83, W 86 and W 88) were not used by any ship of this class during the war. See more »

Goofs

Chris accidentally drenches his shirt in red wine. But in the next shot his undershirt is clean and dry, with no sign of inevitable wine stains. See more »

Soundtracks

The First Noel
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by a vocal group at the air raid shelter
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very Unusual Story
13 June 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film tells the story about Tug Boats being utilized by England during 1941 in order to try and salvage damaged ships which were hit by German U Boats. David Ross, (William Holden) is an American assigned to one of these Tugs which are poorly armed, with guns that do not function when needed. David has not been on a tug in over ten years and meets up with an old chum named Capt. Chris Ford, (Trevor Howard) who shares an apartment with a very attractive gal named Stella, (Sophia Loren) who seems to like Tug Boat Captains as she has had many Captains who have died once she gives them a key to her apartment. The story makes a complete turn when Chris gives David a key to the apartment and that is when the trouble starts to happen. There is plenty of action, drama and romance. Great film with an outstanding story and Sophia Loren looked great at the age of 24 years. WOW


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