20 user 3 critic

Turn the Key Softly (1953)

After three women are released from prison, we follow them for their first day of freedom.


Jack Lee


John Brophy (novel), Maurice Cowan (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Credited cast:
Yvonne Mitchell ... Monica Marsden
Terence Morgan ... David
Joan Collins ... Stella Jarvis
Kathleen Harrison ... Granny Quilliam
Thora Hird ... Mrs. Rowan, landlady
Dorothy Alison ... Joan
Glyn Houston ... Bob
Geoffrey Keen ... Mr. Gregory
Russell Waters Russell Waters ... George Jenkins
Clive Morton ... Walters
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Massingham Richard Massingham ... Bystander


Three women are released from Holloway prison on the same morning into the bustle of post-war London with its trolleybuses and rationing. They meet for a meal in the West End in the evening after a day trying to pick up their lives, and with at least two of them needing to decide whether it is time to start afresh. Written by J-26

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


An Intimate Study in Passion and Suspense...!


Crime | Drama


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Did You Know?


The Coach & Horses pub, seen in the final scene, became famous later on as the bohemian meeting place for the personnel of the satirical magazine, 'Private Eye'; its infamously rude landlord, Norman Balon, appeared in the magazine. See more »


Near the start of the film, a Piccadilly train arrives at an underground station bearing the destination board Uxbridge. When it arrives at the next station the destination has inexplicably changed to Hounslow. See more »


Featured in The Secret History of Our Streets: Portland Road (2012) See more »


Plaisir d'amour
Written by Johann Martini
Arranged by Mischa Spoliansky
See more »

User Reviews

Empathetic look into first day of freedom from prison for 3 women
30 May 2017 | by thursdaysrecordsSee all my reviews

Everybody deserves another chance. Newly released from prison, three women face the challenges of reformed life on the "outside". Each have their own plans for moving on with life. The youngest (played by a stunningly beautiful Joan Collins in her first leading film role) is determined to marry a sincere young man with whom she had kept in correspondence. The second one appears to have been innocently convicted due to a shifty boyfriend who left her to take the wrap for the crime he had committed. The third is a sweet little old lady who routinely got convicted of shop lifting. - The film follows all three women through their first day of freedom. Young Joan Collins is excited when her fiancé suggests a very near wedding date. The innocent one finds employment, and the old lady goes back to her modest boarding house where her beloved little dog "Johnnie" was waiting for her return. - Of course there are complication, lots of drama, and a heart breaking ending. The grim realities of early 1950s life in London make for a believable backdrop to the individual character studies. Life was tough, and for single women even tougher. Adding a prison record only adds to the challenge. - I was very much entertained by this film. A simple story told with warmth and empathy. Be sure to have your Kleenex box handy, it's a mushy one!

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Release Date:

3 February 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Turn the Key Softly See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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