The Keys of the Kingdom. 1944. USA. Directed by John M. Stahl. Screenplay by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Nunnally Johnson, based on the novel by A. J. Cronin. With Vincent Price, Gregory Peck, Thomas Mitchell. DCP. 137 min.
We meet Father Francis Chisholm as an elderly priest whose more traditional sermons no longer pack in the parishioners on Sunday. The new Monsignor is about to ask Chisholm to retire—until his discovers the old man’s journals. As a young priest, Chisholm was sent to establish a church in China, in a non-Christian neighborhood, where he persevered in the face of opposition, loneliness, and hardship. Chisholm’s struggle stands in stark contrast to the fate of his friend Angus Mealey, whose parish is blossoming back home.