6.4/10
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21 user 5 critic

The Star Witness (1931)

TV-G | | Drama | 22 August 1931 (USA)
Members of a family witness two murders, but the gang uses threats, violence and kidnapping to try to keep the members from testifying.

Director:

Writers:

(original story), (dialogue)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Frances Starr ...
Ma Leeds
...
Pa Leeds
...
Sue Leeds
...
'Maxey' Campo
Edward J. Nugent ...
Jackie Leeds
...
Ned Leeds
...
Big Jack
George Ernest ...
Donny Leeds
Russell Hopton ...
Deputy Thorpe
Charles 'Chic' Sale ...
Private Summerill
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Storyline

The Leeds family is thrown right in the middle of a war between the cops and gangland when they are the only witnesses to two murders committed by gang kingpin Maxey Campos. Initially positive in their identification of the murderer, their attitudes change when young Donny Leeds is kidnapped by Campos' boys. No amount of threatening with perjury by D.A. Whitlock can get them to tell the truth - except for cantankerous old Grandpa, civil war veteran, who berates his family for failing to do their civic duty, whatever the cost. Though having his doubts as to the credibility of his star witness, Whitlock is nevertheless taken aback when he learns Grandpa has disappeared just before he is to testify. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gang | murder | witness | veteran | duty | See All (29) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-G
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 August 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Principal Testemunha  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Variety reported that the film was rushed into release because of a gang shooting in Harlem in which several children were shot and the police could not get witnesses to talk. The Motion Picture Herald also reported that Warner Bros. gave the proceeds of the first two performances at The Winter Garden to families of 5 children who were shot by gang warfare in Little Italy. See more »

Goofs

Two men are shot in the back while running away, but they clutch their chests as they fall down. See more »

Connections

Version of The Man Who Dared (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(ca. 1755) (uncredited)
Traditional music of English origin
Played often on a fife by Charles 'Chic' Sale
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Desperate hours.....
25 June 2008 | by See all my reviews

...Our the grandpa's hour.

More than the gangsters ,it's a detailed depiction of an American family circa 1930:the father,proud of his job who worries about his son who's given up high school,the mum everyone would like to have ,the daughter who forgets dinner time in her squeeze's arms,and the twins who are absolutely lovable ("Don't go to sleep first ,please!").

And there's the grandfather ,playing the Yankee doodle on his flute .Have you noticed that this tune plays the same role as Doris Day's "Que Sera Sera" in Hitchcock's "The man who knew too much" (1956)?And there's this grandpa who is finally the most courageous person of the family .So old he does not even tell you his age ,but proud of his country and resisting to the gangster's hateful blackmail.

A good film by Wellman.


6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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