A golden key can open any door
What's the meaning of the phrase 'A golden key can open any door'?
'A golden key opens any door' is the opinion that sufficient money, or the promise of it, will allow the possessor of it to do anything they wish.
What's the origin of the phrase 'A golden key can open any door'?
This notion must be as old as money itself. The first person who is known to have written it down is the English playwright John Lyly, in Euphues and his England, 1580:
Who is so ignorant that knoweth not, gold be a key for euery locke, chieflye with his Ladye.
The proverb was the basis of the 1969 British film comedy The Magic Christian, in which characters played by Peter Sellars and Ringo Starr use large amounts of money to bribe people to humiliate themselves by doing things completely out of character.
See also: the List of Proverbs.