The Star Witness (1931) Script

The story of Gramp's campaign for the battle of the wilderness.

Say, I know my history when you get into battles.

Me neither.

My Grandpa fought at the battle of the wilderness.

He says ..

Say, that's history. Well, he did.

That old, old fogy.

Don't you call me Grandpa an old fogy.

Just call him that again. Just try it. I dare you.

No, Donny. I didn't mean anything.

What do I care anyhow?

He fought at Bunker Hill, if you say so.

Not Bunker Hill. Bull Run.

All those civil war battles.

Sure, Donny. Well, so long. I'll see you tomorrow.

So long, Shorty.

Chocolate cake!

What an eye.

Gee Mom, that's good. Donny, stop that.

Oh Ma, can't I lick the spoon?

No. Run upstairs and get washed. Your father will be here any minute.

I'm starved. Can I, Mom? No.

Oh Ma, please.

I'm a growing boy and you don't know how hungry I get.

Alright .. there.

Thank you, Mom.

Hey, don't I get any?

Sure Ned, but you're littler than I am so you don't get so much.

How much? This much.

Gee, ain't that little.

Here is your father now. Run upstairs and get washed. Quick, both of you.


Oh Mummy. Oh, sweetie.

Go up and get washed this minute. Quick. Quick.

Is Sue home yet? Not yet, dear.

Well, she left the office long before I did.

Jim's over in his car. She'll be along.

Sue can take care of herself.

She's doing alright now. Sitting out there with Jim Martin's arm around her.

You go right out and tell her to come in here.

Tell her supper's on the table, Jackie.

We're ready to sit down right now.

I'm so hungry I could eat the legs off the table.

What you got, Ma?

Pork and beans! That's the girl.

Jackie, go get your sister and bring her in.

Will I?

Hey, you two big names at the same big moment.

Can you tear yourselves apart long enough to eat?

You've lost something.

What? Your lips.

Better put them back on.

Hello, Donny .. well, Ned.

Hello Pop. That's better.

Hi folks. Hello, Sue. I thought you'd got lost.

No, Dad. We came home by Victory Drive.

Can I have some beans please?

I should think Jim Martin would be ashamed to drive that old can of his ..

In behind those sixteen cylinder babies up on the drive.

Now, Jackie.

That old can as you call it, is a darn sight more car than you'll ever drive.

If you don't quit wasting your time around pool rooms.

That's right. Start. Gee, you're always hammering at me.

Is it my fault I can't find work?

I haven't seen you busting your legs trying.

My dear, I'm sure Jackie tries every day to find a job.

He should have stayed in high school.

Would I be making more money there?

No, but you'd learn something beside how to make cushion shots into a pocket.

Pass the beans, please.

I might be learning to be a bookkeeper.

Now that's too much.

Not only does this young loafer eat the bread of idleness ..

He goes out of his way to belittle the one that provides it.

Now dear, I'm sure Jackie didn't mean it.

Oh, didn't he?

I'll have you know that your father is Chief Accountant, W.P. Randolph and Co.

And that's not a bookkeeper. We all know that, father.

Don't mind.

Pass the potatoes, please.

I figure the cost on every bit of work done by the company.

Without me, they couldn't tell whether they were making money or losing it.

Some more beans, please.

They couldn't tell what prices are asked on anything.

I've got the right to go into any department. Any time.

And ask any employee what he means by the figures he turns in.

Why, I've got authority from old Mr W.P. himself.

To go in there and question anybody, see. Anybody.

It's an important job, Jackie.

Yeah. I got a man to help me.

A man?

You mean that pimply-faced kid that sits on the stool and watches the time clock?


Why, you impudent young cub. You ..

Leave the room at once. Leave it!

[ Pipe music ]

My gosh. Merciful heaven.

Never mind, Ma.

Now we are in for a pleasant evening.

It's Gramps. Gramps, hurray!

Drunk again. Now, father.

Private Summerill salutes the family of Leeds.

Come on, Grandpa. We've got big beans and spare ribs.

And chocolate cake.

And chocolate cake!

I'll warm a plate for you, father.

Oh don't mind that, Abi.

Good gracious, I'm eating vittles off a cold plate there at the soldiers' home.

I think it's going to rain.

Been having a little trouble with my legs.

Whenever it's going to rain my leg always bothers me.

Well, what did you come for?

I come to see my daughter.

Can't a fellow .. visit his own flesh and blood?

But I mean, how did you get away?

Got a forty-eight.

Forty-eight what?

A forty-eight-hour furlough.

Good grief.

You mean, we got to put you up until Wednesday?

Well, you have to put me up or chuck me out on the street.

What a break. Now I got to sleep two nights with this human foghorn.

Listen. You do me no favors pulling off the covers in the middle of the night.

Ah, nuts. Jackie!

Now ain't that terrible?

Can you see the game with Donny in the middle of it?

That's just what I come for, Donny.

I'll be sitting behind that wire netting.

Watching that outfield of yours tearing across the plate.


Then you'd better quit drinking right now.

I'm not going to have this family disgraced again.

Like the last time when you blacked poor Mr Ashton's eye.

More beans, please.

Now there you go again, Abi.

You know that my leg's been bothering me and I just take them bitters.

A little overdose kinda limbers it up.

He ought to have called it a strike.

It was right over the plate. Not any higher than that.

And then there's another thing. He called me a billy-goat.

You came home with one eye closed and a policeman hanging on each arm.

That's what you did.

Oh, policemen.

I just walked home with them boys.

I'd been wrestling with them, friendly like.

I'd have put them both on their backs, if it hadn't been for my legs.

It looked like friendly wrestling. Why, you ought to be ashamed at your age.


Why doggone it, I'm just as strong as a bull.

And just as quick and nasty as a little kitten.

But dang you, George. If you get my dander up, I'll put you on your back.

Now father, all ready. Ah, you can lead me to it.

You got baked beans?

Boiled potatoes.

Spare ribs.

Spinach. I don't care for spinach.

Corn bread.

Just give me that.

I'll have a helping of everything but spinach.

Spinach is good for you. It's got iron in it.

It makes you strong.

I'm strong enough.

Well, father.

How have you been?

Oh just fine, Abi.

Just fine.

But I tell you. It does a fellow good.

To get back to his own folks.

To sit down with someone that cares whether he lives or dies.

Of course I ain't complaining.

Everything is mighty nice here at the home.

But after all.

Blood is thicker than government pea-soup.

Well, we're glad to see you .. too, dad.

It's just a little unexpected. That's all.

Some butter, Grandfather? How about some pickles?

Some more beans, Gramps?

No, I'm just getting along Jim Dandy.

I tell you, Abi.

They ain't got a cook like you there at the soldiers' home.

Now, father. Ha-ha.

Say, you got any more of that ..?

Oh, I'm sure .. Blackberry jam?

That's it. That's it. Blackberry jam?

I'll get some from the cellar, Grandpa.

Get me some, too.

[ Gunshots! ]

What's that?

Some car backfiring.

[ Gunshots! ]

[ Gunshots! ]

It ain't no backfiring. It's two cars shooting at each other.

[ Gunshots! ]

Sounds like the Battle of Chickamauga.


Look, they're running. The man in the yellow raincoat.

They've shot him. They've shot him.

And here they come.

Straight into our house. Stop them, stop them.

The door is locked.

It ain't locked. Donny must have left it open.

Jackie, come over here.

Not upstairs, you sap. We want to get out of here.

I ain't taking anything from you two fellows.

Hey, that's my Gramps!

Come here.

Listen, you saps. You ain't seen nothing, see?

You ain't hard nothing, see?

One move out of you.

And I'll smear your guts on your own wallpaper.

Now, how do you get out the back way? Quick!

Through the kitchen.

Where did they go? Through the back way. Out the kitchen.

What's the trouble here?

We may assume then, that these are the actual facts of the case.

A man known as Greener Kaufman.

Was on his way into this office. In the company of one of my trusted officers.

Jim Preston.

A man known to us all.

Who never swerved a hair's breadth from the full performance of his duty.

A man we all loved. Right, Chief.

There will never be another Jim Preston.

Kaufman then, was on his way here.

We were waiting to hear his story.

If he told all he knew, we could break the gangs in this city forever.

We could send to prison, if not to the electric chair ..

That whole cabinet of thieves and murderers ..

Who have tried to seize the reins of government out of the hands of citizens.

Do you know Mr Leeds, no gangsters have gone to the electric chair in this city?

Is that so?

Well. Lots of them should have been from what I read in the papers.

Now we think we know the man who did the shooting in front of your house.

We think we can send him to the chair.

Well .. well now, that's fine.

I hope you can, Mr Whitlock.

We think it was a man named Maxey Campo.

Leader of one of the smaller gangs, it is true.

But a rapidly growing power in the underworld.

If we can send one man of Campo's importance to the chair.

It would tell every gangster in this city that there is law.

And every one of them will be answerable to the law.

We're with you, Mr Whitlock.

I thought you would be.

These then, are the facts in the case.

Our man Preston had been tailing Greener Kaufman, a rival gangster.

Known to have a grievance against Maxey Campo.

Suddenly, out of a clear sky.

The telephone rang. It was Jim Preston.

He said that Greener had decided to come true and tell all he knew.

I couldn't believe it. Jim insisted it was true.

He also said that a Campo gangster had seen him and Kaufman together.

I knew in a flash it was a matter of life and death.

Well .. I told Jim to grab a car and start Kaufman right in.

Then I hustled Police cars out from every direction.

To try and pick Jim up before any of the Campo men could catch him.

Well, what happened?

Campo was as much taken by surprise as we were.

No time to send his hired gunmen.

It was a matter of minutes, seconds.

Greener Kaufman must never reach this office.

Campo ran for a car himself.

Followed by his personal bodyguard.

Dragging a machine gun.

Al Alan .. and Pinky Short.

We have witnesses who saw him get in the car.

These witnesses even described Campo's clothing.

A dark suit .. a gray hat.

That much we know. Beyond that, we can prove nothing.

You see, the crash occurred so suddenly.

Eyewitnesses could give us no clear idea of what followed.

A man in a yellow raincoat seemed to be the leader.

Now Campo could have slipped that coat on while he was in the car.

Whether he did or not, of course we don't know.

We saw the man in the yellow raincoat, didn't we, Ma.

Well doggone it, he stood right there on the running board.

He knocked off the two fellas that were running down the road like jackrabbits.

Jumping for cover.

Oh, I seen him alright. I've got a good eye.

And then he came into the house?

He came close enough so you'd recognize him if you saw him again, didn't he.

Close enough? Why, doggone it.

I was just ready to grab him, when he tripped me.

And when I was trying to right myself, he popped me on the head with something.

Felt like a sledgehammer.

But I got a good look at him before he popped me.

Feel that bump.

If my leg hadn't been hurting me I reckon I'd have killed him.

You'd know that man again if you saw him, wouldn't you.

I think so. I would.

I'd know him anyplace. Couldn't fool me.

Some more beans, please.

The little fellow is sleeping.

He's just wild about beans.

There ain't the shadow of a doubt, Mr Whitlock.

That's the man that fired the shots and ran through our house.

Yep, that's him alright.

That's the man.

Are these all the witnesses? Yes, sir.

And you were positive that was the man you saw?

Yes, sir.

Alright, Mr Leeds. That's all, all of you.

I'll call you all in.

Come along.

Can't be too soon for me.

Listen .. every man in this room.

I'm going to try and hang this on Maxey Campo.

You know what that means, don't you?

It means his pals will try to get me. They'll try and get every one of you.

I needn't tell you that, so stick with me.

You said it.

Boys, you all knew Jim Preston.

That smile of his.

It seems now, he's just out of the room somewhere.

But you and I, we saw him carried to his grave this morning.

And we saw Mary Preston. Those kids hanging on to her skirts.

I can't say any more.

Send out all the men you've got. Pick Campo up.

I think he'll come peaceably.

But if he doesn't, drag him in.

Drag him in.

"District Attorney Whitlock."

"Is to divulge the nature of the evidence."

"By which he expects to convict Campo of the murder of Preston and Clark."

Orville, if them two girls in the common room don't punch out soon.

Better call up and see if they're working overtime.

Okay. Goodnight. Night.

Pardon me. Could you tell me where I could find Mr Leeds?

Why, I'm Mr Leeds. Now, isn't that lucky.

I got here just in time.

I'm from the District Attorney's office, Mr Leeds.

He's got a complaint ready to sign.

But I'm not complaining about anything.

You are ready to testify against Campo aren't you?

Of course. Ain't the slightest doubt it was Maxey Campo did the shooting.

I thought so. Well, you see you've got to sign an affidavit to that effect.

A complaint. Oh, yes.

Step in the car, Mr Leeds.

I'll have you downtown and back home again in no time at all.

Maybe I'd better ..

Oh, we'll get there before you can call the number.

Alright, mister .. mister ..? Horan.

Step in, Mr Leeds.

Donny. Come right in and get washed.

Your father is late for supper now.

Oh, Ma. Right now.

Now you run along. Your Ma wants you.

Did you win? Huh, Donny?

No, they licked us.


But they didn't beat us so bad, kid.

What was the score?

We got eight runs.

Oh boy, that's swell.

How many did the other team get?

Only eighteen.

Gee, that ain't many.

So we broke the door in with the woman screaming bloody murder all the time.

And there she was in the bathtub without a stitch on.

Without a stitch. Gee, Mr Horan.

We had to do it, Mr Leeds.

Yes, you never know what you're up against in this business, Mr Leeds.

I bet that's right, Mr Horan.

I tell you the general public don't realize what it owes to you fellows.

I'm certainly glad to hear you say that, Mr Leeds.

If there were more people like you, our job would be easier.

Oh boy, that's swell.





Donny. Stop that.

Oh Mom, ain't we never going to eat?

That's what I say, Ma. Let's start.

Well, your father never likes that.

He'll be along soon. Go and call your sister in, Jackie.


This ain't the Criminal Court building. Why no. Didn't I tell you?

Mr Whitlock is down here on another case.

He's got our papers with him. Come on, Mr Leeds.

You will make it fast as you can, won't you Mr Horan?

It's past my suppertime now. It will be fast alright.

What's this? Where's Mr Whitlock?

Get over there. This is him, Jack.

Give him a chair.

Is your name "Leeds"?

Well, where is Mr Whitlock?

A smoke, Mr Leeds?

You know, we brought you down here for a little talk.

Just a friendly talk.


Now you claim it was Maxey Campo that shot those 2 men in front of your house.

It was Campo alright. But are you sure?

It's a serious business sending a man to the chair.

It was getting dark. You might have been mistaken.

As a matter of fact, you were mistaken.

Campo was over at his summer place at Tarris Hill.

You know, Mr Leeds.

Campo ain't a bad fellow at all.

There's politicians in this town trying to hang something on him. That's all.

And we know you ain't the man to let them get away with it.

Now, are you sure it was Campo you saw?

I don't understand all this.

But it was Campo alright.

I might have been mistaken in the street.

But when he came right into the house and stood as close to me as you are now.

I couldn't help seeing him.

Then, when they showed me his picture in the office.

It was the same man alright.

You could forget it if you wanted to, couldn't you?

I've got to do my duty, sir.

Tell you what, Mr Leeds.

How would you like to take your family and go on a vacation?

Scenic California?

The sunshine .. the flowers.

Avocados .. you know.

No, no. I couldn't do that.

They need me at the office.

Why Mr W.P. would never consent to that.

You see, I got quite an ..

Important job. They wouldn't know where they were at.

Then what do you say to a thousand dollars?

And to stay right here in the city.

Look. A grand. Here it is in twenties.

I .. couldn't take that kind of money .. mister.

Mister ..?

Tell you what I'll do. I'll make if five thousand.

Five thousand.

And you guarantee to handle the rest of your family.

No .. no, I couldn't do it.

I've got to do my duty, sir.

And it's .. getting late.

My supper is ready .. I'll be going.

What are you going to do?

Please, please let me go home.

Sure, we'll let you go home.

After you learn your lesson.

We've got a little piece we want you to speak.

You may be some time learning it.

Especially, the gestures .. eh, boys?

What words?

Well, it goes like this.

I ain't seen nothing. I don't know nothing.

No, no ..

Let me go!

Please no. Please.

Mr Jack ..


Help, help!

Oh Mr Jack.

Pa not here?

Why, he left the office before I did.

Oh, father.

Hey, what you doing there, Abi?

Oh Mummy.

What's the matter, Abi?

What? What's the matter? Pa.

I'm afraid. What? What?

He left the office long ago.

He should be home.

He'll be along soon, Ma.

Probably met some friends from the lodge.

Sue .. call Mr Whitlock's office.

I'm worried.

Ma .. you suppose anything has happened?

No, no darling. Everything will be alright.

Everything will be .. alright.

Sure it will. Sure it will.

Why, nothing to get excited about.

I can play pipe. Got to know how to handle a pipe.

You can't kick a pipe around like a bass drum.

You're crying, Mumsy.

Let's sit down.

He'll be here any minute.



He'll be here any minute. I'm sure of it.

Mr Whitlock is coming right over.

Mr Whitlock? He said to lock the doors.

And let no-one in.

Merciful Lord.

Darling, don't.

Please, God.

Don't let anything happen.

Please, God .. he's so good.

So good.

I'll do anything you ask.

Please, God.

I told you to guard the family, Thorpe.

I know, Chief. I've had men watching the house back and front since the shooting.

What else could I do? Ask the man to give up his job?

Throw the whole family in jail as they'd looked out the window at the wrong time?

Well, you could have given Leeds an escort.

Another for the girl? Another to go to school with the boy?

Another to go round the corner with the old man for chewing tobacco?


The more we protect these people.

The more certain Campo would be that they were all witnesses against him.

But we left them alone. Maybe he figured we were just taking a shot in the dark.

If we call out the militia he'd know for certain they'd all rapped against him.

Chief, believe me. I feel this worse than you do.

But I thought that we could get by until after the indictment was returned.

Then I planned on putting them all in a detention house until after the trial.

But I didn't think that Campo or his men would work so fast.

Say, the mob would wipe the whole family out without a second's hesitation ..

If they thought it would stop me from indicting Campo.

So that's what you've let us in for, is it?

You didn't tell us that up in your office .. oh no.

Up there it was "Mr Leeds" this and "Mr Leeds" that.

"Have a cigar, Mr Leeds" and "won't you take this chair, Mrs Leeds".

Until you hooked us. And now what?

And boy, I'm sorry. We did what we could.

We can't take all the witnesses in every criminal case and lock them up, can we.

That don't bring my father home. Don't worry.

We'll bring your father home alright.

I hope so.

They won't harm him. Why should they? What good would it do them?

They'll only try to frighten him and send him back to handle the rest of you.

And when we get him back remember this. It's war. We can't quit, any of us.

This is the fight of every decent man.

We're not only fighting Campo, we're fighting the whole rotten gang system.

They rallied to save him, to save their own hides for the future.

I'll protect you if I have to camp the whole Police Department on the doorstep.

I'll send Maxey Campo to the chair or die trying.

Maybe it won't be you that will do the dying.




Don't go to sleep first.

Don't leave me alone.

Please, Donny.

Alright, Ned. I won't.

Go to sleep, kid.

"Crisis expected tomorrow when District Attorney Whitlock .."

"Asks Grand Jury to indict Maxey Campo for first degree murder."

I wonder what we've done to deserve this.

Nothing, Pa.

I guess it's just life.


Well .. all set for another big day with these fan magazines.

Believe me, if I read much more about these babies out in Hollywood.

I'll be putting my hair up in curl papers myself.

You don't have to read magazines, Jackie.

Seems to me your Dad had some pretty good books in that old case in there.

Say, this jail sentence is tough enough without making it any worse.

I tell you one thing. I'm getting fed up on it.

It isn't the best break in the world, I admit.

But .. you've got to grin and bear it.

What did we do? Why should we be penned up in here like a lot of crooks in jail?

You've a chance to do the city a service worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If it could be paid for in money.

Yeah? Well, what do we get out of it?

A bullet in the back and a piece in the paper?

Did you ever hear of the word "duty"?

Yeah. And I heard of another .. "baloney".

You young whippersnapper, you.

You call yourself American, don't you? This is your country, ain't it?

What about it?

A lot of skunks are running it. It ain't your country, it's theirs.

An officer who was protecting you was shot down in front of your house.

And you ain't allowing to go into court and be a witness against the murderer ..

Then it ain't your country.

It's a country for murderers. You're yellow if you live and let them run it.

Oh, you and your old fogy ideas. Fogy?

Supposing this fellow Maxey Compo took an idea to grab your sister.

Suppose he came in and hit your mother. Would you let him get away with it?

Not if you've got one danged drop of my blood in your veins, you wouldn't.

You white-livered puppy! Ha!

You make me sick to my stomach.

Ain't got a drop of them bitters left.

Hello, Jackie.

Hi, Mr Thorpe. Hiya, Jim.

What's the news from the big world outside?

Is the civil war over yet?

We're still fighting it in here. Is it that bad, Jack?

I brought you folk some magazines.

Thanks for your lovely gift, Jimmy. It was just what I needed.

Why you kicking if there's nothing to do but read magazines?

Next time bring me some knitting needles or a mouth organ.

That old guy is driving me daffy with that pipe of his.

I'll remember. Hello, Miss Leeds.

Good morning. Let's get started. Goodbye, Jackie.

Goodbye. Goodbye.

Oh dear, I am so frightened.

Did you see anything, Ma? Are they coming? Where is Mr Thorpe?

There, there. It's only Sue going to the store.

It's the Police car.

Did they go away and leave us all alone? Where is Mr Thorpe?

Now, it's alright. Mr Thorpe is downstairs.

The other men are here, too. Now, everything is alright.

I wish Sue didn't have to go.

Well the store has been awful nice, Pa. Bringing your salary and hers too.

She said Mr Young needs her for the annual statement.

I reckon they need me, too.

Of course, Pa. Then you'll be going back soon.

Ma, can I go to school? No, you can't.

But Ma, today it the big return game with Danny O'Meara.

And I got the best. No Donny. It wouldn't be safe.

Oh, let him go, Mumsy.

I asked Mr Thorpe and he said I could.

He said he'd send a Policeman with me. No, Donny.

I'm nervous enough about Sue. There is some sense to that.

I don't want you gone, too. Oh please, Ma.

There is no use whining. You can't go.

Here. Take Pa's tray down.

Gee, I never can do nothing.

Do you want to play chess, Donny? Do you Donny?

Oh, alright.

[ Broken plates ]

Donny, why can't you be more careful?

Anything new, Thorpe?

Nothing here, Chief. How's it shaping?

I'll indict tomorrow for 1st degree murder.

If they make a move to stop me, I'll ask the Governor to call out the militia.

I'll throw a guard around the Criminal Court building and panel a special jury.

And I'll watch Maxey Campo die in the chair in 90 days from next Tuesday.

Bring in the witnesses. I want to check their testimony.

Well, Jackie's here. The old gentleman is in the other room.

Leeds isn't likely to go anywhere. His wife is upstairs with him.

The two boys have been under foot here all day.

The girl's at work under guard. She didn't see the shooting, anyway.


Not the actual shooting. Remember?

She was in the cellar and came up just as Maxey went through.

She identified him though. Yes. She's useful for corroboration.

But the others saw him in the street and then the house, both.

Jackie, get your Granddaddy.

Oh, alright.

Hey, Gramps, Gramps.


President Hoover wants to speak to you. Hoover?

Hey, let me tell you about Hoover.

I know, I know. Tell it to Mr Whitlock. He wants to talk to you.

You naughty boy.

Ned, what are you making such a mess for?

Donny sent me up here to find an old wrist strap.

He said it was in here so I got to ..

Find it.

Remember, you put everything back in that drawer before you leave the room.

Donny .. Donny!

Oh, where is that boy?

We need a résumé of position. Time .. all the details.

Now go upstairs and get the same from Mr Leeds.

Right, Chief.

I can't find Donny.


Donny, where are you?

Donny's gone.

Why he was here just a few minutes ago. Remember, Jackie?

He had on his baseball suit. Baseball suit?

I'll look outside right away, Chief.

Have you seen Donny?

Oh Donny? Sure, he's here.

Oh, come to think of it.

He sent the little boy upstairs to get something and he went into the woodshed.

Donny, Donny.

He probably climbed out the window.

Oh, he's gone. We must find him.

Donny .. Donny .. Donny!

But I've got to go. I've got to find Donny.

Please Ma, I'll go. Neither one of you will go.

Now all of you, go inside.

Look around, see if you can find him.

Mumsy, where is Donny?

He'll be back soon, darling.

The boy's disappeared. We think he went to play with the school baseball team.

Get headquarters on the phone.

Order the Emergency Squad out.

I'll find out where the ball game is. Where is the ball game, Mrs Leeds?

The ball game .. why ..

It's at 21st and Hardy. I'll run down. You stay right here.

Whitlock talking. Yes. 21st and Hardy.

Do it immediate.

That's right.

Get there in nothing, flat. It's the Leeds boy, Donny.

The witness in the Campo case. That's right.

Pick him up and take him straight to headquarters.

Don't cry, Mumsy.

Donny's alright.

He can lick any kid on the block.

Everything will be alright, Mrs Leeds. The Police will be there in two minutes.

I found these down at the end of the alley.

They were trampled in the mud.

It's a cap.

Well, it looks like there was a sort-of a struggle.

Oh my Donny.

This is Donny's alright.

That's the old glove he cut the thumb out of.

So them fast rounders would stick better.


Run and answer it. Wait. Where is the nearest telephone?

Why, it's the Ice and Coal stand at the corner.

Run, Williams. Trace that call. This number is ..

Cambridge 9876.

If that's them, stall. Stall, understand?

It might mean your brother's life.


I can't hear you very well.

There, is that any better?

This is Cambridge 9876.

I say, is this the Leeds home?

Yes. This is the Leeds home.

Hello, Central?

Central, trace that call on Cambridge 9876.

This is Williams of the District Attorney's office talking.

Yes .. yes.

Cambridge 9876.

I know, I know, but who's this talking?

Jack, you see they're stalling. Tracing the call. - What?

It's why they took so long to answer. They're getting another wire.

That dirty .. say, listen here.

Stop stalling and get this straight.

The boy is here, see.

And if any one of his family identifies Campo at the hearing tomorrow.

That's the last you'll ever see of him.

What's that? What's that?

Hello .. hello!

What is it, Jackie?

What is it?

They got him, eh?

Do I have to go to bed, Mumsy?

No, darling.

I just want you with me.

They didn't get in on that wire.

I never heard no clicks.

We might let the kid out the back way to my place.


Ma ..

He's coming to.

We'd better take a chance here.

Too late, Chief. It was somewhere on the Adams Exchange.

They hung up before we could get the number.

Where is the Adams Exchange? Around 8th and Danton.

Well, that's where they had the father. Near the Ideal Paperbox Plant.

That's Campo's territory alright.

Get to the Telephone Building. Get a map of the Adam's Exchange district.

I'll call the Commissioner and tell him to meet you at Stanton Street station.

I'll throw every policeman I can in the area, and go through it house by house.

I'll find that kid if I have to move heaven and earth.

No. No I tell you. I've gone through enough. I won't do it.

You identified Campo's picture in my office.

I won't testify. Do you think I want Donny killed?

Please remember we have your sworn statement.

It won't do you any good.

I must say Mrs Leeds, we'll send you to jail if you don't.

Then send me.

We were ready to let your husband off on account of his condition.

But if you go back on your sworn statement.

Why are you standing there and treating us like criminals? What have we done?

Why don't you find Donny?

Mrs Leeds, 300 officers are searching a territory half a mile square.

Going from door to door.

I'll tear every house in the district stone by stone if I have to, to get him.

Now, once more .. won't you tell the truth as you have sworn?

You can't trap me, Mr Whitlock.

Truth. I see you writing everything down.


I won't say a word. Not a word.

No matter how you try to drag it out of me.

I won't I tell you. I won't.

Be still, Mrs Leeds. Jackie.

Do I look crazy?

I might hesitate to arrest your mother, but you tell the truth or in you go.

Well, you can pick me out a cell with a nice southern exposure right now.

The girl can't connect the man on the street with him that came in the house.

She couldn't prove a thing.

I know. There is only the old fella left.

Yes. And he's not exactly what you'd call a good witness.

What's that? What's that? I heard that and I don't like it a danged bit.

I may be a little bit old, but let me tell you right here.

I ain't never going to get too old to tell the truth.

I see that fella shoot them two men in the street.

I see them run in this house. I'm the one he lamped on the head.

I swore he was the same man you showed me the picture of in your office.

And by golly he was.

I'll say it and I'll keep on saying it until the cows come home.

Father, think of Donny.

It ain't true, tell them it ain't true.

I am thinking of Donny and I'm thinking of something you folks all forget.

I'm thinking of what it means to be an American.

Yeah, well what do we get out of that?

What do we get out of it?

What do we get? Well, jumping cornstalks!

Did our forefathers ask that when they were in their bare feet at Valley Forge?

Did we ask that when we were on the battlefields of Bull Run?

I'll tell you what I've got. I got a musket ball in this here leg.

But I kept my self-respect.

And we kept the country together for a lot of young scamps like you.

Standing around sucking cigarettes saying "what do we get out of it?".

Sometimes when I look at you .. I wish we hadn't.

But we did. We put the old flag up there for you.

And you can keep her up there or you can haul her down.

Because you be scared of a lot of back- stabbing, yellow-bellied foreigners.

Now, what are you going to do about it?

You whining whelp.


Do you mean to say for any reason, and I don't care how you reason that.

For any reason, you go through with your testimony.

With Donny's .. with Donny's life in danger?

We all live our lives are in danger.

When gangsters can shoot folks down in the street and nothing is done about it.

But don't you love Donny? That's it.

That's just it. Of course I love Donny.

But I don't want him to grow up in a country run by a foreign murderers.

We'll throw you out. We'll disown you.

We've got to put a stop to this here business, and I will tell the truth.

Just as Donny would want me to.

We've got to make this country fit for boys like him to grow up in.

And who will believe you? You were drinking that night. You know you were.

You were drunk. Drunk!


I didn't hardly expect that from you, Susie.

I don't care. I don't care.

It's Donny's life. Don't you understand?

Were you drinking that night, Summerill?

Well, you see .. Were you drinking?

Well, my leg had been bothering me, right smart.

And I took a little nip of bitters.

And .. it's kinda stopped the hurt.

Then I took another nip and it healed. Were you drunk?


No, sir.

I was never drunk in my whole life.

Well, he's the best witness we've got. I must build the whole case around him.

Put him on the stand first, and impeach the others by his testimony, huh?

It's the only chance.

But honestly Chief, I don't blame the family. They're in a hot spot.

Hot spot, eh? Hot spot, yeah?

So am I in a hot spot. So are we all.

Listen, all of you.

The case comes for preliminary hearing at two. You'll be brought to the stand.

I shall read to the court your separate statements in your presence.

What you do then, will be your lookout.

I warned you. All of them? Mr Leeds, too?

I said all of them. Put him in an ambulance.

Bring the little boy, too.

Place a special guard to watch old Summerill.

He's not exactly what I'd call a star witness, but he's the best we've got.

We can't afford to let him out of our sight, even for a second.

Get going. Right.

Take both sides of the street.

Go as far as Grand Boulevard.

Remember now, ring every bell.

Work fast.

Now boys, we've got to make a thorough search.

A hundred dollars reward to any one of you who can find the Leeds boy.

Lieutenant, the company will do everything in its power to help you.

Get going boys, and keep a sharp lookout.

Call Summerill to the stand first, then Jackie, and then the girl.

That should be enough to hold Campo for the Grand Jury.

I'll try and keep Leeds and his wife off the stand if I can.

The younger boy, he's too small too. And I'm afraid of Jackie.

Afraid? I'm afraid of all of them.

The doddering old fool that was drunk.

And the rest too weak-kneed to say that black is black.

But don't you think, Chief, we can postpone ..

Postpone. What for?

You think for a minute, no matter what we do, them rats will let the boy loose?

You think they'd let him go so he can go to the rogues gallery and pick them out?

Do you expect Lulus like that to keep any bargain they make?

Well, with a little time. Time, you say?

I say that every minute that we stall puts us that much deeper in the hole.

We've got one chance and only one, and that's to strike.

Campo is in the can.

Campo killed Preston and Campo has got to die.

But the boy? How do you think I feel about that?

We're doing all we can for the boy.

If he's where we think he is, we'll find him.

If human aid can save him we'll save him.

But it won't be by any bargain with a bunch like that.

Why, they'd cut his throat the minute we turned Campo loose.

And dump him in our door yard and laugh at us for being suckers.

Man, face facts. Mr Whitlock.

Mr Whitlock .. the old gentleman.

He's gone. Who, Grandpa?

Yes, sir. From the gents washroom. What happened?

Well .. he asked me to take him to the washroom so I took him.

And I shut the door after us.

And when I turned around there he was standing holding a .. spit ..

A cuspidor over his head.

I said, here, I said. What the ..

And before I could even duck ..

Everything went dark.

Why I thought a building had fell down on me.

And when I came to, I found myself lying in the corner.

With a cuspidor growing out of my ear.

And no old man.

That's fine. That makes your record one hundred percent rotten.

First the boy, now the old man. Yeah, but I thought - Shut up.

Yes, sir.

Our star witness.

Our fearless old lion of Bull Run ran out on us.

Searched the building?

All over, Mr Thorpe. And I can't find him any place.

Notify the Police. Drag the old fool back if they can find him.

We'll put Jackie Leeds on the stand first.

I'll make him come through if I have to use thumbscrews to do it.

What are you doing down in there?

Fixing a conduit. Huh?

Fixing a conduit.

How long you been down there? Oh, a couple of hours.

How in the devil did you go about getting down there?

Fell in.

Smart Alec.

I don't reckon anybody as dumb as he is will know ..

Can you tell me where the Adams Exchange is?

Sure. Lincoln Avenue near Curtis Boulevard.

From 4th Street to about 12th. Why, dad?

Oh, just getting to know my way around.

A stranger in the city, huh? No, I ain't!

I only got here about 75 years before you got down in there.

How old are you, dad? Ha? - How old are you?

Well, I've got the greatest body that's older than anybody.

I'm old enough to stay out of holes.

Didn't you identify his photograph in my office?

I was mistaken.

You saw the man in the yellow raincoat in the street.

Well, it was getting kind of late. Then he came in to your house.

He stood within a few feet of you.

Well, his back was turned. And the collar of his raincoat ..

Quit making excuses!

Think well now, before you answer.

Remember, I have your sworn statement in my hand.

Could you identify that man if you saw him now?

As he was dressed that night?

I can't say.

Come here, Campo.

Slip that on, will you.

Put that on, too.

Is that the man you saw that night?

Is that the man who killed who men in front of your eyes?

And then ran past you as close as he is now?

Is that the man?


Your Honor, I ask for an order remanding the witness on a charge of perjury.

I can do so.

Is that all for me, Mr Whitlock?

I haven't started with you, Campo.

Take your time, Mr Whitlock.

Take plenty of time.


Watch it, Pappy. The horses will cut you down if you try that often.

If they want to cut me down they'll have to go some.

Here boys. Look around.

How many flats upstairs? Twelve.

Know the people in them?

No. I'm a stranger here. I've only been here a couple of weeks.

There's a speakeasy in the back Lieutenant.

We don't need no riot squad to find them. Get upstairs.

Did you see a boy who looked like he might be held against his will?

Sounds like a dime novel.

No. I didn't.


[ Buzzer ]

Cops! Turn off that music.

One squawk out of you and I'll break your neck.

Lay low, boys.

Don't leave any milk until Thursday.

Say, there's nothing in the manual about busting in people's doors.

Give me a hand, fellas.

She's out.

Nobody home here.

Is that the man that did the shooting?

I didn't see the shooting.

I was in the cellar when it happened. Oh yeah?

Was he the man who came in your house after the shooting ..

Carrying a revolver in his hand.

It looked like the man. What do you mean by that?

It is the man or it isn't.

If it looks like the man, it is the man.

Well, he's dressed like the man.

He's the same size.

At a quick glance, he looked like the same man.

Why a quick glance? Why didn't you take a good long look?

I did take a good look. Just now, Mr Whitlock.

But I didn't the night of the shooting.

Remember, I was still in the hallway when I saw him.

I came up out of the cellar with a glass of jam in my hand.

And there he was in the dining room.

Flourishing his revolver.

Naturally I stopped.

He turned his face to me for a moment. He turned his face for a moment.

Yes, sir.

And with that short look, would you say that's the same man?

He looks like the same man.

He is the same man .. will you say it?

He looks like the same man.

Alright Miss Leeds. That's all.


The street is crawling with the lice.

There goes another one, up Lincoln Avenue.

All we go to do is lay low.

Those mugs couldn't find their own nose if it was running.

Now you bring it over the end of your finger like this.

Then kind-of whip it when you let it go.

That's a change-up.

And kid, that's a nasty one.

Gee mister, that's a new one on me.

Say, what is this, a Sunday school meeting?

Alright Jack, alright. Lay off.

This ain't going to make it any easier.

Later on. Get me?

It's keeping him quiet, ain't it?

Alright, but keep him away from them windows. That's all.

Do I look screwy?

[ German language ]

[ German language ]

A French woman, huh.

When I was with Evansville in the Three-I league.

I used that side-arm almost all the time.

Gee mister, were you in the Three-I league?

You mean, you're a real ball player?


I've been throwing them highballs too much to be much good now.

What's your name, mister?

Just call me Mickey. We'll get along alright.

Alright .. Mickey.

But tell me some more about that ball drop.

Could you control it?

Hey Grandpa, you can't do that.

What are you doing away from home? I got a furlough.

Well, uniform or not.

You can't do any begging on my beat.

Come on now. Move on there, dad. Come on.

Don't be shoving me. Go on now. Go along with you.

You hold your hand like this.

And then you bring the ball up underneath like that.

And let it roll off your thumb.

And that's a Rays out-shoot.

Let me try.

You mean like this, Mickey?

You'll have to eat some barrels of flour so your hands are big enough to do that.

Ah, go on.


What's that?

I said I cramped it.

A tough one, ain't it. Ah no, it ain't tough.

You let it go underneath. Now you're getting it, kid.

Gramps! Gramps!

What did I tell you, you sap.

Oh! Oh look, up there!

Little louse.

Now see here, Grandpa.

I don't care whose Grandpa you are. You can't raise a ruckus here.

Up there in that window, you see?

Let me go.

Get him out of here.

Donny is up there!

What's the row?


That missing witness in the Campo case.

Just listen here.

Donny. Donny's up there in that window.

He threw out his baseball so I'd know where he was.

Look at his initials. Donny Leeds.

The boy who has been kidnapped.

Keep back.

You can't go up there, Gramps.

They've got that boy there, ain't they?

Where'd they get you? Bring a stretcher.

No stretcher. It's my leg. It's buckled under me. Give it a yank.

Pull it like you meant it.

There! Fit as a fiddle.

Let me up.

I needn't tell you the law, Mr Whitlock.

You have produced no evidence to warrant me holding this defendant.

Your Honor, may I ask your indulgence in a matter of huge importance in the case?

Granted. Your Honor, I object.

Objection overruled.




Alright, bring them right in.

Mrs Leeds, your boy is safe. Donny?

Thank the Lord. Where is he?

They're bringing him here as fast as they can.

It's a miracle.

I hope he gets here safe and sound.

What's he done, Mumsy? What's he done?

Is he coming home? 0h darling.

Your Honor. Some additional witnesses are on their way here to testify.



One more, Mr Summerill.

Order in the court.

Can you take the stand Mr Summerill or perhaps you'd rather wait?

Maybe you are tired?

Maybe you'd like a drink of water.


Yeah. That's him alright.

That's the fella did the shooting.

And you skunks ain't so tough as you think you are.

The trouble with us, we're too weak-kneed with them.

What would the founders of our country have done with scum like them?

What would Abraham Lincoln have done?

He'd of rose up and dragged them into the ocean.

It's time we was doing the same thing.

Because I tell you a danged, dirty foreigner ..

Can crowd an American just so far.

Just so far.

So you don't believe it, eh?

You will lamp me on the head, will you?

Now, where is that witness stand?

Make it snappy, Gramps. We've got beans for supper.