6.7/10
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18 user 3 critic

The Key (1958)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, War | 1 September 1958 (Italy)
During WW2, successive tug boat British captains sent on dangerous salvage missions pass-on the key to a home-port apartment where a lonely Swiss-Italian young war-widow lives.

Director:

Writers:

(novel),
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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
...
Capt. Van Dam (as Oscar Homolka)
...
Kane
...
Cmdr. Wadlow
Beatrix Lehmann ...
Housekeeper
...
Hotel Porter
...
Weaver
Sidney Vivian ...
Grogan
...
Baker
Russell Waters ...
Sparks
...
Clerk
...
American Captain
...
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:

Each night she was warm and waiting for him...and then one night she drew him gently to her...calling him softly by another man's name. See more »

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

After just a few weeks of filming, Carl Foreman wanted to replace Sophia Loren with Ingrid Bergman but William Holden persuaded Foreman to keep her. See more »

Goofs

Later in the movie, when they show "the key" in William Holden's hand, the key is smooth, with no cuts. It wouldn't open any lock, anywhere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in McCullin (2012) 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

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.


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