A young priest, Father Chisholm is sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese. While his boyhood friend, also a priest, flourishes in his calling as a ...
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A young priest, Father Chisholm is sent to China to establish a Catholic parish among the non-Christian Chinese. While his boyhood friend, also a priest, flourishes in his calling as a priest in a more Christian area of the world, Father Chisholm struggles. He encounters hostility, isolation, disease, poverty and a variety of set backs which humble him, but make him more determined than ever to succeed. Over the span of many years he gains acceptance and a growing congregation among the Chinese, through his quiet determination, understanding and patience.Written by
E.W. DesMarais <Jlongst@aol.com>
According to Hollywood columnist Erskine Johnson, Joseph Cotten tested for the role of the minister in The Keys of the Kingdom. He also referred to the project as David O Selznick's version although screen credits list no such connection (Newspaper Enterprise Association, "Erskine Johnson's Hollywood," The Sa Bernardino Daily Sun, San Bernardino California, Sunday 1 February 1942, Volume 48, page 20.) See more »
In the scene where Father Francis Chisholm (Gregory Peck) is leaving his mission in China after being ordered into retirement, the children are heard singing his favorite hymn as he steps from the car, but when the camera shows the children singing, it is obvious that they are mouthing something entirely different from what is being heard. See more »
On a September evening in 1938, Father Francis Chisholm returned to his little church near Tweedside, Scotland.
Father Francis Chisholm:
Good afternoon, Monsignor.
Good afternoon, Father.
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A wonderful, moving film-- for religionists and atheists alike.
Although in part this is about missionaries in China and therefore could turn off anyone appalled by either religion or proselytizing (including me), the movie transcends those issues and is one of the great black and white Hollywood films of all time.
Its greatness is carried by its variegated and compelling story, by the exquisite characterizations of its excellent actors, and by Gregory Peck's simple, powerful portrayal of a man who remains true to his character.
Well-written and well-directed, the film requires only a modest suspension of disbelief for one to become enthralled, excited, and moved by this cross-section of history concentrated on the personal life, from childhood on, of a man whose goodness and idiosyncratic talents never leave one with any sense of sanctimony or piousness. Indeed, this man's capacity for survival and warmth help illuminate much of the hypocrisy and pomposity around him.
There are grander, greater movies, of course, but this is a real find, and inspiring whether you are nine, nineteen, or ninety. Watch it alone, or with your family... give yourself to it and you will be rewarded.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful.
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