Witness For The Prosecution


A veteran British barrister must defend his client in a murder trial that has surprise after surprise.

ACTORS :  Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton


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Britain, 1953. Upon his return to work following a heart attack, barrister takes on a murder case,. The case is defending American war vet Leonard Vole, a poor, out of work, struggling inventor who’s accused of murdering his middle-aged lonely and wealthy acquaintance, Emily French. The evidence is circumstantial but points to Leonard as the murderer, butr the csse has constant revelations.

What a movie!

A film I have not seen for years but will always remember with fondness. A classic thriller with all the right ingredients – Power and Dietrich are spectacular, and, by early standards (and recent ones!), the twist is excellent.

Charles Laughton however, provides us with a glib chuckle as the aging defense attorney ruled by his overlord maid. A distraction that only adds to an excellent plot line.

I can’t imagine another film of the genre and the era, that so wickedly entangles the essential thriller with a ‘crime of passion’ (oops, spot the plot killer…) gem. A classic.

A film for true movie lovers. Take it from me!

A Hitchcockian Billy Wilder
At the end of the day the films you give top marks are those films that become constant companions. You can see them again at the drop of a hat, you show them to people who have never see them and it’s always a triumph. “Witness For The Prosecution” is one of those wonders. Suspend your disbelief for a couple of hours and enjoy this banquet of a romp. Charles Laughton showed here what he was made of better, more clearly and more loudly than in any other film and all of his films, at least the moments with him in it, are unforgettable – Captain Blight or Henry VIII, Quasimodo or that malefic Senator from South Carolina. Here the severity of his lawyer by vocation takes your senses away with his masterful judicial way to see logic and it’s such an incredible fun to watch him do it. Tyrone Power is a toy in his hands but not Marlene Dietrich who stands her ground, not merely as a character but as a presence on the screen. Billy Wilder visits early Hitchcock territory with wit and fun. Elsa Lanchester’s nurse is the cherry on top of this delightful film.

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