Key to the City (film)

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Key to the City
Key to the City FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by George Sidney
Produced by Z. Wayne Griffin
Written by Albert Beich (story)
Robert Riley Crutcher
Starring Clark Gable
Loretta Young
Cinematography Harold Rosson
Edited by James E. Newcom
Release dates
  • February 2, 1950 (1950-02-02)
Running time
99-101 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,514,000[1]
Box office $2,973,000[1]

Key to the City is a 1950 romantic comedy film starring Clark Gable and Loretta Young as mayors who meet during a convention in San Francisco and, despite their contrasting personalities and views, fall in love. This was the second (and final) time that Gable and Young starred together, the first being in the film The Call of the Wild (1935). Key to the City featured the final performance by character actor Frank Morgan, who died before the film was released.


Steve Fisk is the mayor of a town called Puget City. At a convention in San Francisco, he mistakes Clarissa Standish, the mayor of Wenonah, Maine, for a "balloon dancer" he was expecting.

A former longshoreman, Steve feels that Clarissa might be too refined a woman for him, but he's definitely attracted. He needs to be careful, however, because a crooked city councilman would love to have any hint of scandal to use against Steve politically back home.

Steve proceeds to inadvertently get Clarissa arrested twice, first after a brawl in a Chinatown restaurant, then on their way to a costume party. A photographer clicks a picture of Clarissa making it appear she's at the police station for public drunkenness. She doesn't think it funny, but her uncle, Judge Standish, is privately delighted that the prim Clarissa seems to finally be loosening up.

The balloon dancer, Sheila, shows up, causing Clarissa to conclude incorrectly that Steve's going to see her. And she's irate when Steve disappears, unaware that he had to hurry home for a hastily called council vote. The truth is, Steve wants to marry Clarissa, and can't wait to present her with the key to his city.



According to MGM records the film earned $2,296,000 in the US and Canada and $677,000 elsewhere, resulting in a profit of $298,000.[1]


  1. ^ a b c The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .

Further reading[edit]

  • Monder, Eric (1994). George Sidney:a Bio-Bibliography. Greenwood Press. ISBN 9780313284571. 

External links[edit]