The Key (1934)

IMDB Ranking 6.0

Another movie about "The Troubles", directed by Michael Curtiz, set in Dublin in 1920, starring William Powell as Captain Bill Tennant. Martial law has been declared and there is a curfew in place. The British troops pull up in a truck and send the Irish to their homes. Peadar Conlan (Donald Crisp), the Commandant of the Tenth Brigade is wanted for sedition.

On a raid Capt. Andy Kerr (Colin Clive) kills a friend on his who was on the Irish side. he feels guilty, but he also thought it was his duty. His wife, Norah, tries to tell him how wrong it was - it's all politics. She wants to get away from the Rebellion.

Captain Tennant, who is something of a rake, arrives in Ireland and reports for duty. His commander tells him how the Sinn Fein is causing trouble. When Captain Tennant goes to visit his old girlfriend, he finds she is married to the Irish Captain Kerr, who is working in intelligence for the British. Kerr doesn't know his wife was once involved with Tennant.

Tennant meets Norah and they discuss their old love, but Norah tells him she is over him and is happy. Tennant then goes to a pub where the barmaid gives him some sass including the line: "An Englishman is the only person in the world who doesn't mind looking like an Englishman." An Irish man sits down with Tennant and they start talking about the Troubles.

Tennant's commander puts him to the task of getting Conlan. He leads some troops in searching some houses, but they are quickly shot at and take to cover. Some of his men are killed and they return fire.

We soon to see that Norah and Tennant still love each other, but her husband doesn't suspect. When Captain Kerr relieves captain Tennant, Bill and Norah are left alone and as the scence fades out they are holding each other.

Captain Kerr now leads a house search for Conlan. Shooting breaks out and Kerr shoots and then captures Conlan. When Kerr gets home he finds his wife and Bill still there. Bill leaves and Norah tells Kerr the truth. kerr rushes out of the house. Conlan is sentenced to hang.

Siin Fein men then pick up a drunken Kerr. Norah then tells Bill that she loves Kerr, and he was just a romantic dream. A Siin Fein man comes to the commander and tells him they have Kerr. He says that they can have Kerr back if they don't hang Conlan.

Tennant goes to the Siin Fein and tries to negotiate for Kerr. Tennant breaks in to the General's desk and forges a release of prisoner form for Conlan. He goes to the prison and gets Conlan out. Just as the Siin Fein are about to shoot Kerr that get the news of Conlan's release and let Kerr go.

The General finds out that Tennant is responsible, and he is put under arrest. Tennant tells Kerr that his wife just thought she was in love with him, and then realized that she wasn't.

A good movie with a Casablanca kind of ending. Interesting look at the British and the Troubles.