7.3/10
2,126
25 user 10 critic

The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)

Approved | | Drama | 15 December 1944 (USA)
Trailer
3:19 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $7.99 (HD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 ... See full summary »

Director:

John M. Stahl

Writers:

Joseph L. Mankiewicz (screenplay), Nunnally Johnson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 4 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Days of Glory (1944)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A heroic guerilla group fights back against impossible odds during the 1941 Nazi invasion of Russia.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Gregory Peck, Tamara Toumanova, Alan Reed
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An Irish maid falls for the son of her wealthy boss, though their disapproving fathers and a bitter strike at the steel mill complicates matters.

Director: Tay Garnett
Stars: Greer Garson, Gregory Peck, Donald Crisp
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Writer Harry Street reflects on his life as he lies dying from an infection while on safari in the shadow of Mount Kilamanjaro.

Directors: Henry King, Roy Ward Baker
Stars: Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, Ava Gardner
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After King David sees the beautiful Bathsheba bathing from the palace roof, he enters into an adulterous affair which has tragic consequences for his family and Israel.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gregory Peck, Susan Hayward, Raymond Massey
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A hard-as-nails general takes over a bomber unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A reporter pretends to be Jewish in order to cover a story on anti-Semitism, and personally discovers the true depths of bigotry and hatred.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

During the Napoleonic wars, a British Navy Captain has adventures in Central American waters.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Gregory Peck, Virginia Mayo, Robert Beatty
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Beautiful half-breed Pearl Chavez becomes the ward of her dead father's first love and finds herself torn between her sons, one good and the other bad.

Directors: King Vidor, Otto Brower, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck
The Scarlet and the Black (TV Movie 1983)
Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Vatican efforts, lead by Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, to save Allied P.O.W.s and downed Allied airmen as the Nazis invade Rome.

Director: Jerry London
Stars: Gregory Peck, Christopher Plummer, John Gielgud
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Notorious gunfighter Jimmy Ringo rides into town to find his true love, who doesn't want to see him. He hasn't come looking for trouble, but trouble finds him around every corner.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott, Millard Mitchell
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1944, an Army doctor is in charge of a neuropsychiatric ward at an Army Air Corps hospital in Arizona, and he must deal with a variety of tough cases.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Angie Dickinson
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1858 France, Bernadette, an adolescent peasant girl, has a vision of "a beautiful lady" in the city dump. She never claims it to be anything other than this, but the townspeople all ... See full summary »

Director: Henry King
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford, William Eythe
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Father Francis Chisholm
Thomas Mitchell ... Willie Tulloch
Vincent Price ... Angus Mealey
Rose Stradner ... Rev. Mother Maria-Veronica (as Rosa Stradner)
Roddy McDowall ... Francis Chisholm - as a Boy
Edmund Gwenn ... Father Hamish MacNabb
Cedric Hardwicke ... Monsignor at Tweedside (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Peggy Ann Garner ... Nora - as a Girl
Jane Ball ... Nora - as an Adult
James Gleason ... Rev. Dr. Wilbur Fiske
Anne Revere ... Agnes Fiske
Ruth Nelson ... Mrs. Chisholm - Francis' Mother
Benson Fong ... Joseph
Leonard Strong ... Mr. Chia
Philip Ahn ... Mr. Pao - Envoy for Mr. Chia
Edit

Storyline

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>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Mandarin | Cantonese

Release Date:

15 December 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Las llaves del reino See more »

Filming Locations:

Laguna, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Academy Award Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on August 21, 1946 with Gregory Peck reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[first lines]
Title card: On a September evening in 1938, Father Francis Chisholm returned to his little church near Tweedside, Scotland.
Father Francis Chisholm: Good afternoon, Monsignor.
Monsignor: Good afternoon, Father.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bandstand: Episode dated 15 May 1965 (1965) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Singularly Rewarding Life
28 January 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In his second film Gregory Peck got the first of his Best Actor nominations for playing the pious and devote Father Francis Chisholm in The Keys of the Kingdom.

When we meet Peck he's an elderly priest who's got a visitor in Monsignor Cedric Hardwicke who has come to the Scottish town where he's from and now is a pastor. Hardwicke's there to investigate complaints about him. Peck puts him up for the night in his own room where he keeps a journal that he has faithfully recorded his life. On an impulse, Hardwicke decides it might be good bedtime reading.

When we first meet Peck, elderly and infirm that he is, he looks like he could be the model for Alec Guinness's muddled old reverend in Kind Hearts and Coronets. But as Hardwicke reads Peck's words and we go back over his life, it's been a pious and rewarding one as a missionary in China.

The film is a flashback narrative of his life as a missionary. And the film is held together by the sincere and deeply felt performance of Gregory Peck as Father Chisholm. Peck has some terribly unorthodox ideas as a priest. For one thing he's not preaching that his own denomination has the corner on a good afterlife. Late in the film, some Protestant missionaries come, James Gleason and Anne Revere, and he becomes great friends with both. He's even friends with a self styled atheist in Thomas Mitchell who is an atheist, a medical doctor and a good man indeed. Mitchell's deathbed scene with Peck is quite touching and avoids a lot of the clichés associated with such scenes.

Another thing is Peck and the sisters led by Rose Stradner who later come to help live as simply and modestly as the Chinese around them. They gain some converts, but even more importantly they gain the respect of those around them. This is contrasted when Peck's childhood friend Vincent Price who has become a bishop and takes the phrase Prince of the Church quite literally.

The casting in the film is first rate and 20th Century Fox did a good job in recreating the feel and atmosphere of China which at that point was engaged in expelling the Japanese from their soil. The Keys of the Kingdom got several Oscar nominations including Peck's, but came up short on the statues.

I enjoyed the film a whole lot and I don't think one has to be a firm believer in any Christian denomination to enjoy it. Peck's Father Francis Chisholm may have led an obscure life, but his faith sustains him through all and he leads by sheer example. It's something that a lot of religious leaders fall short of, but not in this case.

Peck's life will surely gain him possession of The Keys of the Kingdom and we could all use a lot more Father Chisholms in this world.


42 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 25 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed