Witness for the Prosecution

waiting for the verdict

Title: Witness for the Prosecution
Year: 1957
Director: Billy Wilder
Writers: Larry Marcus, Billy Wilder & Harry Kurnitz, based on the play by Agatha Christie
Starring: Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester
Music: Matty Malneck
Distinctions: Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Laughton), Best Supporting Actress (Lanchester), Best Editing and Best Sound Recording; currently #129 on IMDb’s Top 250
Length: 116 minutes
Synopsis: a man’s wife testifies against him at his murder trial
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), yesterday
Subjective Rating: 8/10 (Great).
Objective Rating: 8/10 (points off for cinematography and music) c. 3.3/4 (Very good).

Very entertaining, especially Laughton’s performance.  I think snarky wit is the foundation of the English legal process.  I never would have seen the ending coming even if I’d had reason to expect a twist – but I didn’t have reason, because it still would have been a good movie without the twist.


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