Saturday, November 17, 2012

THE KEY - World War II drama from Carol Reed

Working with Hollywood liberal Carl Foreman,  director Carol Reed moved into bigger budgeted dramas.  The Key is the first of these films.  A World War II drama about British navy tugboats rescuing damaged ships before the Nazi's ship them,  the central conflict in The Key revolves around the Sophia Loren character.

Loren plays the finance of one the deceased tugboat captains.  Before he died he passed the key to their apartment to another captain in order to take care of her if something happened to him.  The end result is that Loren has essentially become a prostitute for a series of men as each one is killed by the German navy.

I doubt when the original author Jan de Hartog wrote this story he pictured the tragic female character being played by Italian sex bomb Sophia Loren which sort of throws off most of the credibility of the character.  Having American actor William Holden playing a Canadian serving with the British just makes a bigger mess of things.  However the whole thing comes down to, who wouldn't pass up the chance to get some action out of Sophia Loren.

In the end, the chief problem with this film is Carl Foreman's script.  Carol Reed has put together the film with his usual skill and taste.  Even if the actors are miscast Reed gets very good performances out of them The film is disappointing and too long.

134 minutes.

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