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The Witness Chair (1936)

Approved  |   |  Drama  |  24 April 1936 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 65 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

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(as George Nicholls Jr.)
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Title: The Witness Chair (1936)

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Complete credited cast:
Ann Harding ...
Paula Young
James 'Jim' Trent
Stanley Whittaker
Frances Sage ...
Constance 'Connie' Trent
Moroni Olsen ...
Lieutenant Poole
Grace Franklin
Maxine Jennings ...
Tillie Jones
William 'Billy' Benedict ...
Benny Ryan (as William Benedict)
Paul Harvey ...
Prosecuting Attorney Martin
Murray Kinnell ...
Defense Attorney Conrick
Charles Arnt ...
Mr. Henshaw
Frank Jenks ...
Roy Levino


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Release Date:

24 April 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den låsta dörren  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the middle of shooting, Ann Harding stated she did not like the script and would not continue, despite having requested that the studio buy the rights to the story and having approved the script earlier. But she finished the movie after RKO threatened to sue her for the amount ($80,000) already spent on the production. See more »


Give Me My Boots and My Saddle
Composer unknown
Sung a cappella by William 'Billy' Benedict
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User Reviews

Decent B Picture
1 February 2013 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

The Witness Chair (1936)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Late one night Paula Young (Ann Harding) sneaks out of her boss' (Douglass Dumbrille) office, locking the door behind her and sneaking down the stairs so that no one sees her leave. The next morning his body is found in what appears to be a suicide but the police inspector (Moroni Olsen) thinks something isn't adding up and charges the man's partner (Walter Abel) with murder. THE WITNESS CHAIR has this "plot" shown in the first half and then the second half of the picture takes place as people take the witness stand and give their testimony on what they know. We are then shown flashbacks to the events leading up to what really happened. Fans of Turner Classic Movies like myself probably record countless "B" mysteries early in the morning and like most, this one here doesn't offer anything new to the genre but it's entertaining enough to make it worth viewing. I thought the format of the movie was actually quite good. The way the flashbacks happened from the witness stand was an effective way to tell a story but some of the testimony seems to happen to help keep the film moving and if you stop and think about it, some of the testimony shows action that the one testifying couldn't have possible known. The performances from the entire cast certainly help as well. Harding is good as the strong witness holding back some information and what she did the night she sneaks out of the building. Olsen was a lot of fun early on as he investigates the crime. Future Dead End Kid William Benedict gets a few funny moments and Margaret Hamilton is good in her small role. Again, nothing new is done with the picture and there are certain some dry moments, which isn't good in a 64-minute film. I won't spoil anything but the ending is also horrendously awful. Still, fans of the genre should still enjoy the film.

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