The Star Witness (1931)

TV-G   |    |  Drama


The Star Witness (1931) Poster

Members of a family witness two murders, but the gang uses threats, violence and kidnapping to try to keep the members from testifying.

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6.4/10
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  • The Star Witness (1931)
  • Walter Huston and Charles 'Chic' Sale in The Star Witness (1931)
  • Walter Huston and Charles 'Chic' Sale in The Star Witness (1931)
  • Sally Blane and Walter Huston in The Star Witness (1931)
  • Sally Blane in The Star Witness (1931)
  • Walter Huston, Dickie Moore, and Charles 'Chic' Sale in The Star Witness (1931)

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6 October 1998 | Art-22
7
| Charles "Chic" Sales is terrific as the title character in this Oscar-nominated story about civic duty versus personal safety.
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.

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