Key to the City (1950)

Genres - Comedy, Romance  |   Sub-Genres - Romantic Comedy  |   Release Date - Feb 2, 1950 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Key to the City is a run-of-the-mill "opposites attract" romantic comedy, enlivened and made worth watching thanks to its star leads. Perhaps because Clark Gable and Loretta Young had an actual history offscreen (with Gable secretly fathering a child with Young), there's a palpable chemistry between the two that is simply delicious. Oh, they're helped by some decent lines from screenwriter Robert Riley Crutcher, some of which have actual wit and others of which at least give the impression of actual wit. But it's what they do with the lines -- and just as importantly, what they do between the lines -- that really counts here. Certainly, Crutcher hasn't helped them out by providing them with characters of real depth to play, or by placing them in situations that are particularly imaginative. But Gable and Young accept the circumstances and make the most of them, helped along no doubt by George Sidney's slick direction. The stars get able support from the always dependable Frank Morgan, the luscious Marilyn Maxwell, and the staunch Lewis Stone, among others. Key to the City is predictable, sometimes to a fault, but the cast works very hard to make that "predictable" feel more like "comfortably familiar."