Witness for the Prosecution
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Nail-biter courtroom drama.
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Top Customer Reviews
The picture and sound quality are flawless.
A movie from Billy Wilder. It's a courtroom drama. It's well cast and the acting is great. They're believable. The way it's filmed reminds me of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. It's Intelligent, entertaining, dramatic with a twist of funny, twists, and suprises.
Definately deserves a spot in your movie collection. Worth the money and time you'll spend on it.
I envy anyone watching it for the first time! You'll be left satisfied.
Err ... not likely.
So, try as he might to be a good patient, Sir Wilfrid needs only little encouragement to accept the case of handsome drifter and small-time inventor Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power), accused of murdering his rich benefactress Emily French (Norma Varden). Of course, the very circumstances that most disturb the famous barrister's colleagues Mayhew and Brogan-Moore (Henry Daniell and John Williams) - Mrs. French's infatuation with Vole, his visit to her on the night of the murder, the lack of an alternative suspect and his inheritance under her new will - just make the matter more interesting in Sir Wilfrid's eyes. Most problematic, however, is Vole's alibi, which depends entirely on the testimony of his German wife Christine (Marlene Dietrich), an actress he had met when stationed with the RAF in WWII-ravaged Hamburg. Troubling, insofar, isn't only that Christine is her husband's sole alibi witness and that - Sir Wilfrid explains - a devoted wife's testimony doesn't carry much weight anyway.Read more ›
This movie's trailer touts the 'shocking' ending and, I have to say, I did find it so surprising that I immediately rewound the tape to watch and enjoy it again. Power is slick, handsome, and appears too old to always be called 'young man' by his lawyer, but is otherwise very good. Laughton is the real star of the show and gives an outstanding performance full of wit and passion. His scenes with Elsa Lanchester are very funny. Dietrich is mysterious until the very end, the epitome of an icy, cool, and calculating female. This is a very British story, with most of the action set in a courtroom. The dialogue is spirited and the pace is quick.
I had expected the movie to be dated and a bit dull, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.
It's true that Tyrone Powers is pretty hard to watch, but that's not all his fault -- he's given some terrible lines to work with, and after the past decade of seeing stony-faced defendents on Court TV, it seems crazy when Powers starts emoting all over the courtroom. As for Dietrich, her performance varies wildly. At times such as the flashback scene to Germany, she's very naturalistic -- interesting, even fascinating to watch. At other times, you can almost hear Wilder yelling through a megaphone, "Now let's see some ACTING", and Dietrich, like the British soldiers in the trenches of Ypres, goes bravely over the top.
Overall, however, "Witness for the Prosecution" is great. Itt belongs to the set of films that I will always stop and watch while flipping through the cable channels late at night.
The dialogue his character has and the way he delivers it against the acting of his long-time wife, Elsa Lanchester, is just delightful. An excellent story and well worth watching for it's an early Hollywood example of a twist in the ending. One cannot be too surprised by the ending, though, considering the story was written by Agatha Christie.
Most recent customer reviews
What an excellent old classic. I loved it and my 20 year old niece ha now watched it three times.Published 1 month ago by Caper
I've had a VHS version of this superb Agatha Christie masterpiece since October 1987, and was pleasantly surprised when I viewed it recently that it was still in good condition,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eric Williamson
This is one of my favourite movies. I purchased it for a friend on your sale. ThanksPublished 6 months ago by 888888
From 1957 , and in Glorious Black & White , this film is not to be missed. It has so much going for it ; from a story by Agatha Christie , starring a list including Charles... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Big Bill
The film is wonderful with some fabulous performances, especially from Charles Laughton and Marlene Dietrich.
The dvd arrived on time and in good condition. Read more