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 »
During the Korean War, Matt saves the life of his buddy, Vince, who promises that someday he'll repay Matt by cutting him in on a million dollars. Eight years later Matt is in the midst of ... See full summary »
On leave in a shore side town, Johnny becomes interested in a young dark haired woman. They meet and he learns that she plays a mermaid in the local carnival. After strange occurrences, ... See full summary »
An American gunslinger kills a Mexican man in California immediately after the Mexican-American war. The killer is arrested and put on trial for murder with the Hispanic population waiting to learn of American justice.
The year is 1990. An alien species makes contact with Earth through radio transmission, notifying of an imminent visit. Alien ship crash lands on Mars, and a rescue team is sent out from ... See full summary »
The naive cowboy Tod Lohman accidentally kills the son of the powerful land baron Hunter Boyd. Tod runs for his life, pursued by the dead man's vengeful brothers. Tod shelters on the ranch ... See full summary »
Marion Forbes is the secretary, the lover and the creator of the financial fortunes of Harry Chapman, but Chapman falls in love with Francis and decides to marry her. The revenge of Marion ... See full summary »
Circuit-riding Texas lawyer Timothy Higgins defends a former girlfriend against a murder charge stemming from an extortionist's threat to reveal her shady past. Through adroit courtroom ... See full summary »
Vienna, 1956. After Soviet tanks crush the Hungarian uprising, soldier-of-fortune Mike Reynolds is hired to help a threatened Hungarian scientist (Prof. Jansci) escape from Budapest. He and... See full summary »
Jeffrey Hunter stars as an American expatriate and petty thief living in Hong Kong. He breaks into a mansion one night and discovers an elderly, rich, and insane Chinese woman who talks to ... See full summary »
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
By the late 1950s film noir was dead but the juvenile delinquent thriller, originally inspired by the novels of Hal Ellson from ten years earlier ("Duke," "The Golden Spike," etc), was thriving on the B-movie circuit. But MGM and producer Pandro Berman, perhaps hoping to repeat their 1955 success with "Blackboard Jungle," tried to blow "Key Witness" up into an A-movie, widescreen Cinemascope, "Rebel Without a Cause" alumni (Hopper, Corey Allen), and all. Though the plot relies on sometimes ridiculous turns (in one maddening scene, a deputy runs into a courtroom interrupting testimony) and the characters are mostly cartoons (Muggles certainly lives up to the first syllable in his name), director Phil Karlson's decision to shoot on the streets of Los Angeles keeps everything moderately realistic. The opening scene, set in a hilly slum neighborhood just north of City Hall in the Chinatown area (though it looks like old Bunker Hill and is referred to as "East L.A." in the film), immediately puts the viewer into the middle of the action and the period. If this film had been shot on a soundstage, as "Blackboard Jungle" was, it would have fallen apart within the first ten minutes, but once again L.A. saves the day. If you love the atmosphere of on-location films from this era, you'll enjoy the sensation of sitting through "Key Witness."
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