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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Fred Morrow
...
Ann Morrow
...
William 'Cowboy' Tomkins
Joby Baker ...
Muggles
Susan Harrison ...
Ruby
Johnny Nash ...
Apple
...
Magician
...
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)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The wheel of fate carried these punks to a wild doom...(original poster) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Mystery | Crime

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 October 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Wölfe von Los Angeles  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

Magician: Who's on top?
Ruby: Until Cowboy gets back, I'm driving the car.
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Soundtracks

Leatherjacket Cowboy
Written by Charles Wolcott
Performed by Charles Wolcott conducting the MGM Studio Orchestra
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User Reviews

 
Riveting noir by Phil Karlson
17 June 2003 | by (Boulder, Colorado) – See all my reviews

Key Witness verges on the point of hysteria, and lacks credibility throughout, but it's still a riveting drama, directed by Phil Karlson in typically tough fashion.

Most of the performances are over-the-top, but as the witness to a gang stabbing, Jeffrey Hunter gives a standout performance. Without overacting, he brings plenty of energy and intensively to his role, playing an Everyman driven to the breaking point by the mob terrorizing him and his family. Next to Brainstorm (1965), this is his best work.

Although the film may infuriate you with its pat ending, you shouldn't be bored for an instant.


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

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