6.3/10
265
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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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)

Gross USA:

$360,000, 31 December 1960

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$810,000, 31 December 1960
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Avon Productions (II) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

William 'Cowboy' Tomkins: What do I get, green stamps?
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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

Good acting trumps script defects in harrowing suspenser.
14 January 2006 | by BrentCarletonSee 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.


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