The Keys of the Kingdom - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Keys of the Kingdom Reviews

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½ April 8, 2016
Overly long, and lacking enough conflict to leave any real impact. Gregory Peck holds his own in this early role and makes his idealistic priest a likable, if not a little dull, character. The film is also notable for appearances by a young Roddy McDowall, and Vincent Price minus his famous moustache. 2 1/2 stars
December 26, 2015
Good stuff. Enter Gregory Peck in his 2nd theatrical outing starring along side as greats as Vincent Price, I guess Price wasn't a huge actor at the time and this was still early to his career, because once again this was a minor role. Anyway, this is an extremely original film and especially creative given the time. As far as I can tell, this film is not based on any historical facts or events. The events unfolding take place about a decade prior to the film's release date.

An up and coming priest in the making has to make a decision between his Catholical career or the love his life. That love was cut short by a decision she made, his decision is made and he gets ordained. The priest is then asked by a bishop to set up a mission in China. The film sounds simple enough but ends up being anything but simple. Peck then continues to age throughout the film as his career and life folds out through his trial and tribulations that he goes through crafting his vision. The film is done beautiful but ends up being slow at times, no film really needs a remake, but this wouldn't be a bad idea for one.
May 24, 2015
Heathens are not always low just like Christians are not always high.

Father Chisholm is a reluctant priest who often has self doubt while his best friend is top of his class with a bright future. His friend is given a huge church to be groomed and thrive in and eventually become famous while Father Chisholm is sent to China to try and convert as many Chinese people as possible to his religion. He is poor and doesn't have much to work with, so he works with kindness and medicine. His efforts provide him with new found friends and happiness, even if he isn't rich and famous like his best friend.

"Conversion is accomplished by faith not kidnapping."

John Stahl, director of Leave Her to Heaven, Imitation of Life, Magnificent Obsession, The Walls of Jericho, Memory Lane, and Suspicious Wives, delivers The Keys to the Kingdom. The storyline for this picture is very interesting and delivered in a unique way. The script and settings were good and the acting was great. The cast includes Gregory Peck, Vincent Price, Thomas Mitchell, Roddy McDowall, Edmund Gwenn, Cedric Hardwicke, and James Gleason.

"At the sight of blood I faint like a woman."

I came across this on Netflix and felt I had to watch this classic film. I was excited to see Peck in this movie; and while this isn't his best film, it definitely displayed his great presence and unique ability to display virtue. I strongly recommend seeing this picture. It may not be worth adding to your DVD collection, but it is worth a viewing.

"You never know when it is going to rain."

Grade: B
November 21, 2014
This film made it clear Peck would be a star. Yes it does not age perfectly, but I challenge you not to shed a tear and feel inspired.
Super Reviewer
November 15, 2013
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.
½ October 5, 2013
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. this was one of my mom's fave movies and one reason why i was named after mr peck.
November 11, 2012
I thought it was one of the best and most touching movies I've ever seen. Gregory Peck was outstanding. I fell in love with him, as always!!
Super Reviewer
½ June 29, 2011
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.
December 11, 2010
At 78 I have seen this movie many times and join the millions of viewers that have enjoyed it. Why no critics' rating of this classic? Com' on man!
½ October 19, 2010
Gregory Peck plays Father Francis Chisholm from Scotland, yet he still seems to have a perfect American accent... Father Chisholm is asked to go to China as a missionary there - yes, the very scum of the religious world. And he initially finds an uneasy feeling when he arrives. However, the Father, it seems, believes in people finding Christianity rather than using various methods to get them to convert. In turn he earns the respect, yet at a cost to his own personal pride and profession ambitions. Peck is good in the role and his accent can be forgiven due to the time this film was made and the lack of readily available actors. The film features some wonderful sets. A good film, but it hardly changes my overall disdain for missionaries!
Super Reviewer
½ October 18, 2010
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.
½ July 19, 2010
Good missionary-priest story takes place in China....I like Gregory Peck in these roles, he's perfect!
July 14, 2010
Keys of the Kingdom is an amazing film. Gregory Peck gave an amazing performances. The screenplay was amazing and well written. John M. Stahl did a great job directing this movie. I loved this movie because of the characters. Keys of the Kingdom is a must see.
June 6, 2010
A wonderful movie showing the life of a true priest on the mission field. Examines themes of true and false conversion, humility of the heart in contrast to solely behavioral humility, blind cultural pride, cooperation and fellowship between missionary "competitors," and much more. I know there must be a mediocre to bad Gregory Peck movie out there somewhere, but I've never seen one. Great acting and a great story.
June 6, 2010
Great acting and great plot.
Super Reviewer
½ March 30, 2010
Nice story of a man of great faith and his journey in the face of much opposition on the path that he feels is the right one even as others try and fight him. Gregory Peck, whose innate dignity was one of his strongest assets, is perfect in the lead and he is surrounded by a wonderful cast, the kind that was only available during the studio system days.
½ January 25, 2010
Wonderful production, superb art direction, very good cinematography and score. Top notch. The cast is excellent, especially Gregory Peck. Fine supporting cast too. Interesting story, very professionally done. It's a bit too long, but otherwisr it's a fine classic.
½ January 25, 2010
Wonderful production, superb art direction, very good cinematography and score. Top notch. The cast is excellent, especially Gregory Peck. Fine supporting cast too. Interesting story, very professionally done. It's a bit too long, but otherwise it's a fine classic.
½ June 26, 2009
This is one of the finest religious themed movies I have ever seen. The story is wonderful written by a wonderfully acclaimed British author who wrote so may excellent British stories. I don't know how much is fact but it is one hell of a story, designed to make you want to shun hell and seek heaven! It is one of Peck's earliest and until Mockingbird perhaps his best!
This should be 5 stars, not 4½! It deserves every star!
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