6.4/10
474
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)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Safe in Hell (1931)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After accidentally killing the man who raped her and forced her into prostitution, a New Orleans woman flees to a Caribbean island. While she awaits her fiancé, the vicious local police chief sets his sights on her.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Dorothy Mackaill, Donald Cook, Ralf Harolde
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In the depths of the Depression, two teenage boys strike out on their own in order to help their struggling parents and find life on the road tougher than expected.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Frankie Darro, Rochelle Hudson, Edwin Phillips
Certificate: Passed Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Ruth Raymond works on the switchboard and her boyfriend is John Blake. It has taken 14 years, but a detective named Murray has found her and confirmed that she is Ruth Carson. As a child, ... See full summary »

Director: Harry Beaumont
Stars: Charles Ruggles, Una Merkel, Mary Carlisle
Comedy | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An oafish soldier receives a shirt but disregards the letter inside sent by a lovelorn secretary, prompting his bumbling friend to impersonate him in order to win her heart.

Director: Jules Dassin
Stars: Marsha Hunt, John Carroll, Hume Cronyn
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Events take an unhappy turn for two Bill and Jack, two locomotive engineers, after Bill is attracted to his best friend's wife.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Grant Withers, Mary Astor, Regis Toomey
Two Seconds (1932)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A condemned murderer, in the process of being executed, relives the events that led to his being sentenced to die in the electric chair.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Vivienne Osborne, Guy Kibbee
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hatchet man is ordered to kill his close friend for the sake of Tong.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, Dudley Digges
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The disappearance of people and corpses leads a reporter to a wax museum and a sinister sculptor.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Fay Wray, Glenda Farrell
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Dick Heldar, a London artist, is gradually losing his sight. He struggles to complete his masterpiece, the portrait of Bessie Broke, a cockney girl, before his eyesight fails him.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Ronald Colman, Walter Huston, Muriel Angelus
The Scapegoat (1959)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An English schoolteacher meets his lookalike, a French count; and unwillingly swaps identities with him.

Director: Robert Hamer
Stars: Alec Guinness, Bette Davis, Nicole Maurey
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Simon Templar, the Saint, travels to San Francisco to solve crime mysteries within the police department.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: George Sanders, Wendy Barrie, Jonathan Hale
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A dim-witted slumlord tries to reform a gang of urban boys (and impress an attractive young woman) by transforming their rough neighborhood into a more decent place.

Directors: Zion Myers, Jules White
Stars: Buster Keaton, Anita Page, Cliff Edwards
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
... District Attorney Whitlock
... Ma Leeds
... Pa Leeds
... Sue Leeds
... 'Maxey' Campo
... Jackie Leeds
... Ned Leeds
... Big Jack
... Donny Leeds
... Deputy Thorpe
... Pvt. Summerill
Edit

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 | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

22 August 1931 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Star Witness  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

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 the families of the children who were shot during 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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Charles "Chic" Sales is terrific as the title character in this Oscar-nominated story about civic duty versus personal safety.
6 October 1998 | by See all my reviews

Charles "Chic" Sales is absolutely terrific as the sole member of the Leeds family willing to testify against a gangster they saw murder a policeman and an informant. He fought at Bull Run in the Civil War and his patriotism runs high, even after his son-in-law is beaten and one of his grandson's is kidnapped by the gang, intimidating all the other members. Fear of his grandson's death is no excuse, he says. He wouldn't want his grandson living in a country run by gangsters anyway. The conflict between civic duty and personal safety is driven home sharply in this Oscar-nominated story. Walter Huston is also a standout as the hard driving district attorney threatening the family with perjury if they don't back up their identification of the killer in court. The rest of the cast, including the sleazy killer, Ralph Ince, are all excellent, and the film is snappily directed by William A. Wellman. There's also good suspense, as Sales disappears just as the trial is about to begin.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 21 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial