When a wealthy widow is found murdered, her married suitor, Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power), is accused of the crime. Vole's only hope for acquittal is the testimony of his wife (Marlene Dietrich)...but his airtight alibi shatters when she reveals some shocking secrets of her own!
A fine drama - Charles Laughton + Marlene Dietrich are excellent
- Witness for the Prosecution review by RP
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You rated this film: 4
They don't make them this any more! Black-and-white courtroom drama set in 1952 with Charles Laughton (barrister), Marlene Dietrich (glamorous wife of the accused) and Tyrone Power (accused of murder). Whodunnit? There's a voiceover the end credits asking the audience not to tell, so I won't :)
Based on an Agatha Christie play from her own short story it's a fairly straightforward tale. But what sets it apart is the acting, particularly from Laughton and Dietrich. The role played by Tyrone power is fine - he comes across as a 'hammy' actor, but that is just right for the role.
I enjoyed it very much and there are some good comic touches too. There are however some bits that grate on me... It's a Hollywood drama (director Billy Wilder) so perhaps it's unsurprising there are courtroom errors, but the characterisation of Tyrone Power (an American) serving in the RAF but somehow managing to give his new German wife a British passport seemed all a bit odd. And as we all know, there are no 'Perry Mason moments' of last minute evidence in British courts...
That apart, it's a fine drama and fully deserves its IMDB score of 8.4. I'll give it 4/5 stars - highly recommended.