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The Fatal Witness (1945)

Approved | | Mystery | 15 September 1945 (USA)
The young John Bedford fights with his wealthy old aunt Lady Elizabeth Ferguson. She is sure John stole her emerald brooch. The next morning Lady Elizabeth is found murdered. Scotland Yard ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Richard Fraser ...
Inspector William 'Bill' Trent
George Leigh ...
John Bedford
Barbara Everest ...
Lady Elizabeth Ferguson / Vera Cavanaugh
Barry Bernard ...
Frederick Worlock ...
Sir Humphrey Mong
Virginia Farmer ...
Martha, the maid
Colin Campbell ...
Sir Malcolm Hewitt
Jepson, the butler
Peggy Jackson ...
Gracie Hallet
Elaine Lange ...
Tillie - pub waitress
Gus, pubkeeper
Boyd Irwin ...
Randall - the Tailor


The young John Bedford fights with his wealthy old aunt Lady Elizabeth Ferguson. She is sure John stole her emerald brooch. The next morning Lady Elizabeth is found murdered. Scotland Yard inspector William 'Bill' Trent is on the case and he thinks her nephew was behind it. However, it turns out John was in jail all night because of public drunkenness. Written by Robert

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Release Date:

15 September 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Testemunha Fatal  »

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1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Fun but Should Have Been Better
4 December 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Fatal Witness, The (1945)

** (out of 4)

If it's from Republic then you know it's going to be cheap and quick. The film tells the story of a young man (George Leigh) who fights with his wealthy aunt before storming out of the house. The next morning she's found murdered so Inspector Trent (Richard Fraser) is on the case and knows her nephew was behind it but it turns out he was in jail all night. This "B" flick runs just under an hour and you can't help but wish that a better director had been assigned to the film because there are actually some fairly good moments here that are wasted. Director Selander doesn't show any signs here of wanting to make anything than something under budget and the reason I say that is because there's really not a single scene where there's any energy nor does anything appear to have been done with any style. The actually story is a pretty good one and especially for Republic standards. The mystery behind who did the killing is kept a secret for the most part, although we get more and more clues before finally getting the big secret told to us with about twenty-minutes to go. From this point on there are a few neat twists and turns that are actually pretty fun but sadly all of this is wasted because of the pacing and overall lack of atmosphere. The pacing is so poor that this 58-minute movie actually felt twice as long and that's not a good thing when you're watching something like this. There's never any real drama or tension, which is a real shame and especially during the downright crazy ending, which carries over into horror territory. The additional twist at the end was a nice one even if it's nearly impossible to believe. Both Leigh and Fraser turn in fine performances and we even get Evelyn Ankers in an important part. Fans of her Universal films will enjoy seeing her here as she has that same charm she always has. THE FATAL WITNESS is pure "B" madness but it's fairly good but you can't help but think it should have been much better with some stronger direction.

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