Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Witness for the Prosecution Photos
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as Leonard Vole
as Christine Helm Vole
as Sir Wilfrid Robarts
as Miss Plimsoll
as Mrs. French
as Insp. Hearne
as Miss McHugh
as Miss Johnson
as Miss O'Brien
as Shorts Salesman
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Critic Reviews for Witness for the Prosecution
Witness For The Prosecution has the pace and patience of live theater, but not the look. Wilder doesn't get overly flashy with camera moves and angles, but he does shift positioning subtly and effectively.
Marlene Dietrich tries not to give anything away as usual while Agatha Christie's whodunit plot whirs tidily about her expressionless beauty.
His theatrical mise-en-scene -- his proscenium framing -- serves the material well, as does Charles Laughton's bombastic portrayal of the defense attorney.
...the film's origins as an Agatha Christie novel and play, combine to give the movie a heavy -- almost stolid -- theatrical flavour.
Audience Reviews for Witness for the Prosecution
The reason so many plays have been turned into movies is simple: the work has been pre-tested and approved in front of live audiences, tweaked and re-tweaked. And it's easy to see the payoff for that preliminary process here where each character and their work is full and complete. Billy Wilder directs and co-wrote, adapted from the play. Charles Laughton, Elsa Lancaster, Dietrich, Power, the whole cast does a first rate job in this wonder of entertaining misdirection. Superb.
The star here is definitely Charles Laughton, who steals the show and makes each one of his lines sound memorable in this delightfully witty and clever plot by Agatha Christie adapted by Billy Wilder into a near perfect piece of thought-provoking entertainment.
Witness for the Prosecution is a wonderfully-directed, by-the-numbers courtroom drama based on an Agatha Christie play. The story doesn't tread too much new ground but Charles Laughtron keeps the show going magnificently and more than makes up for it. Between this and Night of the Hunter he's my new favorite underrated actor. The chemistry between him and his real-life wife Elsa Lanchester as his buzzkill nurse is gold and Jesus, was Marlene Dietrich great! And as far as the musical number, can anyone say Blazing Saddles? The feeling that something isn't quite right tips you off to an impending twist but it winds up being more like a pretzel factory.
Witness for the Prosecution Quotes
|Miss Plimsoll:||Sir Wilfrid. You've forgotten your brandy. (nurse Plimsoll knew her patient Wilfrid had alcohol in his thermos.)|
|Miss Plimsoll:||Sir Wilfrid. You've forgotten your brandy. [nurse Plimsoll knew her patient Wilfrid had alcohol in his thermos]|