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The Keyhole (1933)

Anne Brooks is being blackmailed by her old dancing partner Maurice. They married when she was young but broke up after which he said he was getting a quickie divorce. Anne married the much... See full summary »


Michael Curtiz


Robert Presnell Sr. (screen play) (as Robert Presnell), Alice D.G. Miller (based on the story "Adventuress")


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Complete credited cast:
Kay Francis ... Anne Vallee Brooks
George Brent ... Neil Davis
Glenda Farrell ... Dot
Monroe Owsley ... Maurice Le Brun
Allen Jenkins ... Hank Wales
Helen Ware ... Portia Brooks
Henry Kolker ... Schuyler Brooks
Ferdinand Gottschalk ... Brooks' Lawyer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Billy Gilbert ... Cuban Carriage Driver


Anne Brooks is being blackmailed by her old dancing partner Maurice. They married when she was young but broke up after which he said he was getting a quickie divorce. Anne married the much older millionaire Schuyler Brooks only to have Maurice return to reveal he didn't obtain the divorce after all. Now he wants money to keep quiet. Anne reveals her secret to Schuyler's sister Portia who devises a scheme to trick Maurice into leaving the country by having Anne suddenly travel alone to Cuba. Once out of the country Portia will use her influence to block Maurice's return. However, Anne's request for a vacation by herself in Cuba arouses Schuyler's already simmering jealousy. He hires detective Neil Davis to follow her and prove whether or not she is faithful. Neil is unsuccessful in seducing Anne, then realizes he is falling in love with her. Written by Brian Cady <cadyb@home.com>

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Comedy | Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

25 March 1933 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Genom nyckelhålet See more »


Box Office


$169,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


First film pairing of Kay Francis and George Brent. They would co-star in a total of six films together, all at Warner Bros. See more »


In the restaurant of the Hotel Metropole in Havana, the supposedly Cuban waiters (one of whom is referred to as "Pedro") speak to each other in Italian rather than Spanish. The actors playing these roles, George Humbert and Gino Corrado, were both born in Florence, Italy. See more »


[first lines]
Maurice: In the nick of time. Come in.
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¡A los toros!
Music by Agustín Salvans
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User Reviews

Kay Francis potboiler from the early '30s
21 August 2012 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"The Key Hole" is one of those "If you've seen one, you've seen them all" type films, though it's certainly not bad. Francis plays Ann Brooks, married to a wealthy man (Henry Kolker). She was married before, to Maurice (Monroe Owsley) who never got the divorce he promised her and is now blackmailing her because of it. She works out a scheme with her sister-in-law Portia (Helen Ware) to lure him out of the country, and then Portia would use her influence to have his visa taken away.

As part of the plan, Ann heads for Havana by ship, with Maurice following. Her suspicious husband has hired a detective, Neil Davis (George Brent) to try and seduce her, and along with Brent comes his spy, Hank Wales (Allen Jenkins). Wales meets Dot (Glenda Farrell), and these two provide the film's humor.

Well, you can guess what happens.

Kay Francis wears many fabulous gowns. I used to think the kind of lifestyle her character lived was just in the movies until I saw a 1930s Vogue magazine. What a formal time that was, with people dressing to the nines for lunch and to do any kind of traveling. Almost all the ads in Vogue were for trips on ocean liners. We've come a long way, and I'm not sure that's a good thing.

Anyway, the film is predictable, but Francis is good, as are Jenkins and Farrell. Brent is very smooth and charming.

Kay Francis made these films by the truckload, and I have to admit I watch them when they appear on TCM. She really epitomizes that early '30s era for me - an era that has not one vestige of it visible today.

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