6.2/10
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19 user 2 critic

Key Witness (1960)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 6 October 1960 (USA)
In Los Angeles, a brave witness to murder agrees to testify in court against the street gang leader who's desperate to silence him.

Director:

Phil Karlson

Writers:

Alfred Brenner (screenplay), Sidney Michaels (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jeffrey Hunter ... Fred Morrow
Pat Crowley ... Ann Morrow
Dennis Hopper ... William 'Cowboy' Tomkins
Joby Baker ... Muggles
Susan Harrison ... Ruby
Johnny Nash ... Apple
Corey Allen ... Magician
Frank Silvera ... Det. Rafael Torno
Bruce Gordon ... Arthur Robbins
Terry Burnham Terry Burnham ... Gloria Morrow
Dennis Holmes ... Phil Morrow
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hilda Haynes 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:

Marked for Death-Because He Knew Too Much! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

Det. Rafael Torno: They made "the circle", hunh?
Fred Morrow: Yeah, they made a circle.
Det. Rafael Torno: No, made "the circle" they call it.
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Soundtracks

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

It isn't that bad.
25 October 2006 | by jefbeccoSee all my reviews

I think that people miss the historical aspect of this movie. It was 1960 and Hollywood was just figuring out how to make a "real" and gritty crime drama. Yes the film is bizarre - Father Knows Best meets The Wild Ones or The Blackboard Jungle. The average scriptwriter probably wasn't real familiar with the daily life of street criminals and the language would have gone right over their head.

But the movie shows the by 1960 crime was becoming more of a concern for the average middle class American family. People were starting to learn that their safe, secure little worlds, weren't and that the crime of the "lower class" neighborhoods was moving into their daily life.By 1970 middle class America would be much sadder and wiser, but this film shows that crime was a concern in during the good old days of President Ike.

Basically it's an interesting look at the time.It's one of the few older movies I've come across in which there is a reference to a character, even a villain, using Cocaine. Yes the thugs are too clean and they don't look like they smell. As a cop I can tell you the one thing that movies don't convey is the smell of that world. How can they?The only movie that I can think of that came the closest was "Training Day".

Don't compare this movie to modern productions, it isn't fair. Overacting and melodramatic scripts were normal and expected. Just watch shows like Star Trek,Route 66, The Big Valley and The Fugitive. Those shows were over the top by our standards, but not back then.It isn't that bad.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 October 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Wölfe von Los Angeles See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$857,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Avon Productions (II) See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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