Witness for the Prosecution (1957) - Rotten Tomatoes

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Witness for the Prosecution Photos

Movie Info

An unusual murder case tempts an ailing barrister back into action in this courtroom drama based on an Agatha Christie play.

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Tyrone Power
as Leonard Vole
Marlene Dietrich
as Christine Helm Vole
Charles Laughton
as Sir Wilfrid Robarts
Elsa Lanchester
as Miss Plimsoll
John Williams (II)
as Brogan-Moore
Ian Wolfe
as Carter
Norma Varden
as Mrs. French
Philip Tonge
as Insp. Hearne
Ruta Lee
as Diana
Molly Roden
as Miss McHugh
Ottola Nesmith
as Miss Johnson
Marjorie Eaton
as Miss O'Brien
J. Pat O'Malley
as Shorts Salesman
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News & Interviews for Witness for the Prosecution

Critic Reviews for Witness for the Prosecution

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (8)

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.

July 22, 2014 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

Marlene Dietrich tries not to give anything away as usual while Agatha Christie's whodunit plot whirs tidily about her expressionless beauty.

February 8, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

His theatrical mise-en-scene -- his proscenium framing -- serves the material well, as does Charles Laughton's bombastic portrayal of the defense attorney.

August 15, 2007 | Full Review…

[Marlene Dietrich] was never better than she is here.

January 30, 2007 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

...the film's origins as an Agatha Christie novel and play, combine to give the movie a heavy -- almost stolid -- theatrical flavour.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A courtroom meller played engagingly and building evenly to a surprising and arousing, albeit tricked-up, climax...

February 13, 2001 | Full Review…

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.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


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.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


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.

Michael Gildea
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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