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Key to the City (1950)

Approved | | Comedy , Romance | 17 July 1950 (UK)
At a Mayor's convention in San Francisco, California, ex-longshoreman Steve Fisk meets Clarissa Standish from New England. Fisk is Mayor of Puget City, and is proud of his rough and tumble ... See full summary »

Director:

George Sidney
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Clark Gable ... Steve Fisk
Loretta Young ... Clarissa Standish
Frank Morgan ... Fire Chief Duggan
Marilyn Maxwell ... Sheila the 'Atom' Dancer
Raymond Burr ... Les Taggart
James Gleason ... Sergeant Hogan
Lewis Stone ... Judge Silas Standish
Raymond Walburn ... Mayor Billy Butler
Pamela Britton ... Miss Unconscious
Zamah Cunningham Zamah Cunningham ... Mrs. Butler
Clinton Sundberg ... Mark Mont Desk Clerk
Marion Martin ... Emmy
Bert Freed ... Emmy's Husband
Emory Parnell ... Council Chairman
Clara Blandick ... Liza, Silas' housekeeper
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Storyline

At a Mayor's convention in San Francisco, California, ex-longshoreman Steve Fisk meets Clarissa Standish from New England. Fisk is Mayor of Puget City, and is proud of his rough and tumble background. Standish is Mayor of Winona, Maine, and is equally proud of her education and dedication to the people who elected her. Thrown together, the two opposites attract, and their escapades during the convention get each of them in hot water back home. Written by Ron Kerrigan <mvg@whidbey.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They click like a key in a lock. (One-sheet poster). See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 July 1950 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

La dama dijo que no See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Production was briefly suspended when Loretta Young had a miscarriage. See more »

Goofs

Towards the end of the movie when Steve (Gable) and Les (Burr) are fighting, the handkerchief in Steve's jacket pocket is even across the top. The camera switches to Les, then back to Steve and the left side of the handkerchief is higher than the right. Not long after, both sides are even again. Then towards the end of the fight, the handkerchief is missing completely although we didn't see it fall. See more »

Quotes

Clarissa Standish: You have brains but on your brawn they're so becoming.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, the names all have "house keys" shown in the name. See more »

Connections

Featured in Clark Gable: Tall, Dark and Handsome (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

San Francisco
(uncredited)
Music by Walter Jurmann and Bronislau Kaper
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lighthearted Comedy Silly, but Endearing!
9 December 2003 | by cariartSee all my reviews

KEY TO THE CITY is certainly a lighthearted, if occasionally lightheaded comedy about a Mayors' Conference in San Francisco, but it is also great fun, and a throwback to Clark Gable's enjoyable comic work of the 1930s. Since 'the King' had returned from wartime service, his films had all been preachy and somber (perhaps in deference to the continuing sense of loss he felt over the death of his wife, Carole Lombard, or, more likely, because MGM simply hadn't figured out how to best utilize the older, more care-worn veteran star), and you can see that he's enjoying every moment portraying a ruggedly virile 'Longshoreman Mayor'. Casting Loretta Young as his co-star certainly helped, as the pair had quite a history together!

Young had been a 'star' since childhood, sort of the Jodie Foster/Diane Lane of her day, and had often been attracted to her older leading men. Marrying co-star Grant Withers at 17 (it was soon annulled), she then became involved in a scandalous affair with Spencer Tracy during the filming of A MAN'S CASTLE, which ended badly when Tracy, a devout Catholic, refused to divorce his wife. At 22, she made CALL OF THE WILD with the 34-year-old Gable, and was soon pregnant with his child (after shooting ended, she took a long leave of absence for 'health' reasons, and gave birth to a girl, who she eventually adopted). Gable knew of his daughter, although the threat of scandal kept both stars silent (a child born out of wedlock would have destroyed both of their careers), creating a 'bond' between Young and Gable that surpassed any of his other co-stars. At 37 when KEY TO THE CITY was filmed, Young, by now an Oscar-winner and screen legend, was still radiantly beautiful, and the sexual chemistry between the stars was genuine. As a good-hearted but repressed New England mayor, she brought out his 'nobler' qualities, as he aroused her 'baser' desires.

One of the joys of KEY TO THE CITY is getting to see so many of MGM's legendary 'stock' company, late in their careers, but still giving 'first-rate' performances. Frank 'Wizard of Oz' Morgan, Lewis 'Judge Hardy' Stone, James 'Pop Corkle' Gleason, Raymond 'His Honor' Walburn, and Clara 'Auntie Em' Blandick all shine, as do 'future stars' Marilyn Maxwell (as a sexy dancer) and Raymond Burr, who is simply terrific as Gable's corrupt nemesis. Watch carefully, and you'll also spot veteran Western star Jack Elam, and future 'My Favorite Martian' leading lady, Pamela Britton, in small roles, early in their careers.

While some moments (Gable dressed as the 'Blue Boy', for example) are downright silly, and the climax, a 'no-holds-barred' fistfight between Gable and Burr (and Young and Maxwell), stretches credibility well past the breaking point, the film never loses it's sense of fun. This is the Gable of legend, looking good, "cracking wise", and unafraid to 'size up' a woman, or cut an opponent 'down to size'.

Definitely worth watching!


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