The Star Witness (1931)

TV-G  |   |  Drama  |  22 August 1931 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 415 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 5 critic

Members of a family witness two murders, but the gang uses threats, violence and kidnapping to try to keep the members from testifying.



(original story), (dialogue), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Frances Starr ...
Ma Leeds
Pa Leeds
Sue Leeds
Ralph Ince ...
'Maxey' Campo
Edward J. Nugent ...
Jackie Leeds
Ned Leeds
Big Jack
George Ernest ...
Donny Leeds
Russell Hopton ...
Deputy Thorpe
Charles 'Chic' Sale ...
Private Summerill


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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









Release Date:

22 August 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Principal Testemunha  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


'Chic' Sale is only 10 months older than his "daughter," Frances Starr in this movie. See more »


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


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


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

Good triumphs over bad again!
6 August 2001 | by (Muskogee OK) – See all my reviews

This movie directed by William Wellman is nothing elaborate or scenic, but a real good feel good picture. The typical good versus bad with pride and patriotism mixed in. Law abiding citizens are terrorized by gangsters. One family endures mobster threats, violence and kidnapping after members of the family witness a couple of murders. Walter Huston is the devoted crime fighting district attorney. But the scene stealers are young Dickie Moore and Charles 'Chic' Sale, the lovable grandpa that walks away from the old soldiers home to become the story's hero.

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