The Key (1934 film)
|Directed by||Michael Curtiz|
|Produced by||Robert R. Presnell, Sr.|
|Written by||Laird Doyle
R. Gore Brown
Jocelyn Lee Hardy
|Music by||Allie Wrubel (composer)
Mort Dixon (composer)
|Edited by||Thomas Richards|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
The Key is a 1934 Pre-Code American film directed by Michael Curtiz. It was re-issued as High Peril (pre-release title Sue of Fury) in 1960. The story concerns a love triangle and is set during the Irish War of Independence. It characterises the Irish Republican Army as "little more than a gangster organization."
|This section requires expansion. (March 2012)|
Captain Bill Tennant (William Powell) is a British officer stationed in Dublin in 1920. Tennant gets involved with Norah, the wife of his best friend, British intelligence officer Captain 'Andy' Kerr. Kerr is captured by the IRA, to be released only on condition that an Irish prisoner, Peadar Conlan, is not hanged. Tennant forges an order for Conlan's release, saving the life of his lover's husband, but at the cost of a prison sentence.
- William Powell as Capt. Bill Tennant
- Edna Best as Norah Kerr
- Colin Clive as Capt. Andrew 'Andy' Kerr
- Hobart Cavanaugh as Homer, Tennant's Aide
- Halliwell Hobbes as General C.O. Furlong
- Donald Crisp as Peadar Conlan
- J.M. Kerrigan as O'Duffy
- Henry O'Neill as Dan
- Phil Regan as Young Irishman Killed by Andrew
- Arthur Treacher as Lt. Merriman, Furlong's Aide
- Maxine Doyle as Pauline O'Connor
- Arthur Aylesworth as Kirby
- Gertrude Short as Evie a Barmaid
- Anne Shirley as Flower Girl (as Dawn O'Day)
One of the writers of the film script was Captain J L 'Hoppy' Hardy, a decorated veteran of World War I who had made repeated escapes from German prisoner of war camps. His nickname derived from his wooden leg, having lost a limb in combat.
After the Great War Hardy served as a military intelligence officer attached to the Auxiliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary during the Irish War of Independence. He specialised in interrogating IRA prisoners and became a hated figure for them, frequently accused of brutality.
He brings his experiences to the film and the characters of Tennant and Kerr may have been inspired by his contemporary officers Douglas Duff who referred to himself as a 'soldier for hire' in his autobiography and W. L. King who served with Hardy as an intelligence officer and romanced and married a Dublin girl during his service in Ireland. [not in citation given] [not in citation given]
- "Title Key, The Sue Of Fury". Irish Film & TV Research Online - Trinity College Dublin. Retrieved 10-06-2012. Check date values in:
- Gillespie, Michael Patrick (2008). The Myth of an Irish Cinema: Approaching Irish-Themed Films. Syracuse University Press. p. 202. ISBN 978-0-8156-3193-4.
- Jeffery, Keith (1996). An Irish Empire?: Aspects of Ireland and the British Empire Studies in Imperialism. Manchester University Press ND,. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-7190-3873-0.
- Hopkinson, Michael (2002). The Irish War of Independence. Gill & Macmillan. p. 91.
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