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The Witness Chair (1936)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 24 April 1936 (USA)
A woman watches as falsemurder trial evidence surrounds the man she loves.


(as George Nicholls Jr.)


(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Stanley Whittaker
Frances Sage ...
Constance 'Connie' Trent
Lieutenant Poole
Grace Franklin
Benny Ryan (as William Benedict)
Prosecuting Attorney Martin
Defense Attorney Conrick
Mr. Henshaw


A woman watches as falsemurder trial evidence surrounds the man she loves.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


'WOMAN IN CASE' CONFESSES SLAYING! (original trade ad-all caps) See more »


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

24 April 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den låsta dörren  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Victor System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Last film for Ann Harding under her contract with RKO. She would not make another Hollywood film until 1942. See more »


Tramp! Tramp! Tramp! (The Boys Are Marching)
Music and Lyrics by George Frederick Root (1864)
Sung a cappella by William 'Billy' Benedict with modified lyrics
See more »

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User Reviews

Decent B Picture
1 February 2013 | by 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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