Key Witness (1960)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Crime  |  6 October 1960 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 247 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 2 critic

An average Los Angeles citizen witnesses a gang murder when he stops to use a telephone. Aware that he is the only witness against them, the gang members seek out his identity and terrorize... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Fred Morrow
Ann Morrow
William 'Cowboy' Tomkins
Joby Baker ...
Susan Harrison ...
Johnny Nash ...
Det. Rafael Torno
Bruce Gordon ...
Arthur Robbins
Terry Burnham ...
Gloria Morrow
Dennis Holmes ...
Phil Morrow
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hilda Haynes ...
Apple's Mother (unconfirmed)


An average Los Angeles citizen witnesses a gang murder when he stops to use a telephone. Aware that he is the only witness against them, the gang members seek out his identity and terrorize him and his family to keep him from testifying against them. Only by psychologically playing one gang member against the others is the man able to bring the police to his rescue. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SEE A MURDER, AND...things that happen only to other people suddenly start happening to you! (original poster) See more »


Drama | Mystery | Crime


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

6 October 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Wölfe von Los Angeles  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film is often considered to be the first neo-noir. See more »


Muggles: Hello temptress.
Ruby: Temptress? You read that in a comic book.
See more »


Ruby Duby Doo
Written by Charles Wolcott
Performed by Charles Wolcott conducting the MGM Studio Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

Good acting trumps script defects in harrowing suspenser.
14 January 2006 | by See all my reviews

While it's true that the plot is frequently hampered by preposterous turns, this emerges as a genuinely harrowing thriller, largely owing to Jeffrey Hunter's conviction in the title role, as well as comely Patricia Crowley's interpretation as his panicked suburban wife.

It is to director Karlson's credit that he can take the improbable and still draw one in, such as the scene where Mr. Hunter's young son is shot by one of the thug's on the school playground--and one goes quite limp with horror.

And for all those doubting the veracity of witness retribution--try reading the daily newspapers.

However, Cinemasope is inappropriate for such an intimate story, and the cinematographer here is usually incapable of effectively composing for such a wide frame.

Look for Ted Knight in a bit as Dennis Hopper's defense attorney.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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