Synopsis by Hal Erickson
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.
China, civil-war, congregation, priest, Scottish [nationality], starvation, humility