Star Witness

  • 1931
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Crime

A film that takes all the romanticism out of gangsterdom, something unusual but badly needed during this period of cinematic history. After a vicious mob battle during which the Leeds family has witnessed enough of the action to put the kingpin of one of the gangs behind bars for good, the family is terrorized endlessly. The gangsters' tactics include a...read more

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A film that takes all the romanticism out of gangsterdom, something unusual but badly needed during this period of cinematic history. After a vicious mob battle during which the Leeds family has witnessed enough of the action to put the kingpin of one of the gangs behind bars for good, the

family is terrorized endlessly. The gangsters' tactics include a severe beating of the father and the kidnaping of one of the sons, all to insure that no one from the family will testify. But the aging Sale, a crochety old war veteran, doesn't allow the hoods to scare him in the least; he rescues

his grandson, then appears before the court with evidence sending the mob boss to the chair. Sale adds humor, sentiment, and charm to his role of the grandfather of a family he sees innocently victimized. Wellman's direction meshes Sale's performance with the movement of the story, making for a

powerful denouncement of gangsterdom. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Story, losing to THE CHAMP.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A film that takes all the romanticism out of gangsterdom, something unusual but badly needed during this period of cinematic history. After a vicious mob battle during which the Leeds family has witnessed enough of the action to put the kingpin of one of t… (more)

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