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 »
Jim Wormold is an expatriate Englishman living in pre-revolutionary Havana with his teenage daughter Milly. He owns a vacuum cleaner shop but isn't very successful so he accepts an offer ... See full summary »
Catherine, an out-spoken Parisian laundress follows Napoleon's army to the battlefront to be near her Sergeant Lefevre. The couple perform a deed of heroism which abets Napoleon's victory, ... See full summary »
Ephraim Cabot is an old man of amazing vitality who loves his New England farm with a greedy passion. Hating him, and sharing his greed, are the sons of two wives Cabot has overworked into ... See full summary »
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 »
Davey Fenwick leaves his mining village on a university scholarship intent on returning to better support the miners against the owners. But he falls in love with Jenny who gets him to ... See full summary »
Young Tina lives with her mother and stepfather on a wildlife reserve in Kenya. While her stepfather believes this is a wonderful environment for her to grow up in, her mother becomes ... See full summary »
Phaedra is a poor sponge diver on the lovely Greek isle of Hydra. While diving, she discovers an ancient brass and gold statue of a boy riding a dolphin, which is said to have the magical ... See full summary »
A Liverpool tug boat captain finds he's won a fortune on the penny pools and it changes his life. However, after giving up his job and throwing a large expensive party, he discovers that he... See full summary »
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
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 »
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 »
Carol Reed's "The Key" is a forgotten film, or so it seems. It was a rare occasion when it showed up the other night on TCM. This film presents a different side of WWII that many of us are not aware of. We are given an account of England's way of rescuing ships that have been attacked at sea and the courageous men that commanded those small vessels to bring the damaged ones to safe haven. The film is based on a novel by the Dutch writer Jan de Hartog, with a screen play by Carl Foreman. The film was photographed in white and white by Oswald Morris and has an interesting music score by Malcom Arnold.
The film capitalizes on the rescue operations, which are reproduced in vivid detail by Mr. Reed and his crew. The ocean settings have a poetic look, at times. The story is set before America's entry into the war and we are introduced to David Ross, who is assigned to the rescuing team. Ross happens to know one of the captains in the operation, Chris Ford, who in turn, takes an interest in him and hands him a duplicate of the key to his flat. Little does Ross knows what awaits him there.
Trevor Howard is excellent as Capt. Ford. This actor showed an inner integrity no matter what role he played. Sophia Loren is Stella, the mysterious girl who lives in the flat and seems to bring out emotions from all the men that share the apartment. At the same time, she seems to be a jinx to all the men that she comes in contact with. Ms. Loren gives a subtle performance. William Holden, is also effective as Capt. Ross. Bernard Lee, Oskar Homolka and Kieron Moore do excellent work under Mr. Reed's direction.
"The Key" is an interesting look at the way the war was fought at sea and Mr. Reed makes a compelling account of those days.
22 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?