The Keys of the Kingdom (1944) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Keys of the Kingdom1944

The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Keys of the Kingdom Photos

Movie Info

Based on the novel by A.J. Cronin, The Keys of the Kingdom was the first big-budget effort of movie-newcomer Gregory Peck. This is the 137-minute chronicle of a Scottish priest (Peck), who is assigned a mission in China. Never very focused in his life or work, the priest finds plenty to keep his mind occupied in his new post; when he isn't coping with the starvation and poverty plaguing his flock, he must contend with China's bloody civil war. Nonetheless, he perseveres, and finds it difficult as an elderly man to retire. He returns to Scotland, where he finds a new purpose in life; that of ministering to youngsters who, like him, have trouble determining their place in the world. Keys of the Kingdom was one of the last 20th-Century-Fox films produced by Joseph L. Mankiewicz before his career-shift to directing; Rose Stradner, Mankiewicz' then-wife, has an important role in the film.

Watch it now


Gregory Peck
as Father Francis Chisholm
Vincent Price
as Rev. Angus Mealy
Thomas Mitchell
as Dr. Willie Tullock
Rosa Stradner
as Mother Maria Veronica
Roddy McDowall
as Younger Francis Chisholm
Rose Stradner
as Mother Maria Veronica
Edmund Gwenn
as Rev. Hamish MacNabb
Cedric Hardwicke
as Monsignor Sleeth
Peggy Ann Garner
as Nora, as a Child
James Gleason
as Dr. Wilbur Fiske
Anne Revere
as Agnes Fiske
Ruth Nelson
as Lisbeth Chisholm
Edith Barrett
as Aunt Polly
Philip Ahn
as Mr. Pao
Sara Allgood
as Sister Martha
Arthur Shields
as Father Tarrant
Richard Loo
as Lt. Shon
Ruth Ford
as Sister Clotilde
Kevin O'Shea
as Father Craig
H.T. Tsiang
as Hosannah Wong
Si-Lan Chen
as Philomena Wang
Dennis Hoey
as Alex Chisholm
Abner Biberman
as Bandit Captain
Joseph Kim
as Chinese Servant
Richard Wang
as Chinese Servant
James B. Leong
as Taoist Priest
Moy Ming
as Chinese Physician
Frank Eng
as Father Chou
Oie Chan
as Grandmother
Clarence Lung
as She Wing Soo Hoo, Orderly
Ruth Clifford
as Sister Mercy Mary
Ethel Griffies
as Mrs. Glennie
Lumsden Hare
as Daniel Glennie
Terry Kilburn
as Malcolm Glennie
W. Beal Wong
as Chinese Captain
Eugene Louie
as Joshua, Chinese Orphan
View All

Critic Reviews for The Keys of the Kingdom

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (1)

Peck's star-making turn… earned him a Best Actor nod and established his screen persona as a ruggedly decent, dignified underdog.

August 9, 2006 | Rating: B | Full Review…

With the help of an Oscar nomination, Gregory Peck becamea major star after appearing in Fox's religious bio-epic, in which he plays the heroic Scottish priest, Father Francis Chisholm.

December 13, 2010 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

... a beautiful and uplifting story with uniformly strong performances from its brilliant cast.

July 10, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Keys of the Kingdom

Peck is wonderful as a priest in the midst of difficult places and times. The "China" story and the "youngsters" story both serve to bring out new elements in Peck's character.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Young Scottish priest Peck goes overseas to convert the people of China to Catholicism ... disagreeing with Church authority types about the so-called heathen status of those "inscrutables": he thinks of them as human beings! This bit of Hollywood liberal radicalism from the 40's got Peck his first Oscar for his portrayal of quiet dignified humility in the face of a world that doesn't care. Gwenn, Mitchell and Price do typically well in the supporting roles. A nice afternoon show.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


This movie has a good story, but it is too long, and we don't get to see Vincent Price enough, which is one of the reasons I wanted to see the movie. It could have been better if the story was shorter and a little more exciting.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Keys of the Kingdom Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features