Release date1960 WriterAlfred Brenner (screenplay), Sidney Michaels (screenplay), Frank Kane (based on the novel by) GenresDrama, Mystery, Crime Fiction Art directorsGeorge Davis, Malcolm Brown CastJeffrey Hunter (Fred Morrow), Pat Crowley (Ann Morrow), Dennis Hopper (William "Cowby" Tomkins), Joby Baker (Muggles) Similar moviesFour Weddings and a Funeral, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, The Gauntlet, High Crimes, North Country, Margaret
TaglineMarked for Death-Because He Knew Too Much!
Key witness film trailer 1960
Key Witness is a black and white 1960 crime film directed by Phil Karlson and starring Jeffrey Hunter, Pat Crowley and Dennis Hopper.
Fred Morrow, an average Los Angeles citizen, witnesses a gang murder when he stops in a cafe to use a telephone. Aware that he is the only witness against them, the gang members, led by young "Cowboy" Tomkins, seek out his identity and terrorize him and his family to keep him from testifying against them.
A police detective, Torno, fears he will lose his only witness, but Fred stands up to the gang, despite wife Ann's hysteria. Cowboy gives the Morrows until midnight to change their minds, he and gang members Ruby, Muggles and Apple throwing a rock through the family's window and slashing their car's tires.
Cowboy leads the cops on a car chase, but is caught. In court, though, Fred changes his testimony after learning Ann has been attacked by Ruby and their child held at gunpoint by Muggles. He later provokes Apple, who is black, into siding against Cowboy, who reveals his racist attitudes toward his accomplice. Torno takes the entire gang into custody, Apple agreeing to testify.
Jeffrey Hunter as Fred Morrow
Pat Crowley as Ann Morrow
Dennis Hopper as Cowboy Tomkins
Joby Baker as Muggles
Johnny Nash as Apple
Susan Harrison as Ruby
Frank Silvera as Det. Torno
According to MGM records, the film earned $360,000 in the US and Canada and $450,000 in other countries, resulting in a loss of $496,000.