Key Witness (1947)

65-67 mins | Drama | 9 October 1947

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Destiny ... More Less

The working title of this film was Destiny . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
6 Sep 1947.
---
Harrison's Reports
13 Sep 47
pp. 146-47.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 47
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
9 Aug 1947.
---
Variety
6 Aug 47
p. 12.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
MUSIC
SOUND
Sd eng
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Destiny
Release Date:
9 October 1947
Production Date:
7 April--17 April 1947
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
9 October 1947
Copyright Number:
LP1239
Duration(in mins):
65-67
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When his wife Martha leaves town to visit her sister, Milton Higby, a henpecked draftsman with a flair for inventing gadgets, accompanies friend Larry Summers to the racetrack. There Milton, a novice at horseracing, mistakenly places twenty dollars on the daily double but wins a small fortune. To celebrate, Milton throws a party for Larry and his two girl friends, Marge Andrews and Sally Guthrie, at Sally's apartment. Intoxicated, Milton falls asleep. After Larry and Marge leave, Sally's estranged husband Jim comes to the apartment and after a heated quarrel, shoots her. Upon awakening, Milton finds Sally's dead body, and fearing that he will be blamed for the crime, runs away and becomes a tramp. While traveling one day with Smiley, a fellow tramp, Milton finds a disfigured body along the railroad tracks and assumes the identity of the dead man, Arthur Ballin, who is then buried as Milton. Some time later, Milton is struck down by an automobile, and the papers he is carrying identify him as the estranged son of millionaire John Ballin. Believing Milton to be his long-lost son, Ballin persuades him to return home and finances him in the business of manufacturing gadgets. Months later, Marge, having just married Larry, buys one of the gadgets and takes it home to Larry, who recognizes it as one of Milton's inventions. Believing that the Ballin company has stolen his late friend's idea, Larry launches an investigation which eventually forces Milton to disclose his true identity. As Milton prepares to face charges for murdering Sally, the police manage to obtain a confession from Jim. Although Ballin and Martha forgive ... +


When his wife Martha leaves town to visit her sister, Milton Higby, a henpecked draftsman with a flair for inventing gadgets, accompanies friend Larry Summers to the racetrack. There Milton, a novice at horseracing, mistakenly places twenty dollars on the daily double but wins a small fortune. To celebrate, Milton throws a party for Larry and his two girl friends, Marge Andrews and Sally Guthrie, at Sally's apartment. Intoxicated, Milton falls asleep. After Larry and Marge leave, Sally's estranged husband Jim comes to the apartment and after a heated quarrel, shoots her. Upon awakening, Milton finds Sally's dead body, and fearing that he will be blamed for the crime, runs away and becomes a tramp. While traveling one day with Smiley, a fellow tramp, Milton finds a disfigured body along the railroad tracks and assumes the identity of the dead man, Arthur Ballin, who is then buried as Milton. Some time later, Milton is struck down by an automobile, and the papers he is carrying identify him as the estranged son of millionaire John Ballin. Believing Milton to be his long-lost son, Ballin persuades him to return home and finances him in the business of manufacturing gadgets. Months later, Marge, having just married Larry, buys one of the gadgets and takes it home to Larry, who recognizes it as one of Milton's inventions. Believing that the Ballin company has stolen his late friend's idea, Larry launches an investigation which eventually forces Milton to disclose his true identity. As Milton prepares to face charges for murdering Sally, the police manage to obtain a confession from Jim. Although Ballin and Martha forgive Milton, Milton is accused of murdering Arnold. After Milton is convicted, Smiley comes forward to corroborate Milton's story of finding Arthur's body on the railroad tracks. Finally absolved, Milton reunites with Martha, firmly convinced that no one can escape trouble by running away from it. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.