Cheryl Draper (Barbara Stanwyck) sees a murder through her bedroom window, but no one will believe her. She is stalked by the suave killer ('George Sanders'), who first takes steps to convince police she is crazy, but she has ally in a sympathetic policeman (Gary Merrill). Written by
After Cheryl leaves the police station, believing that nobody believes her story, she's speeding around curves on a mountain road that's absolutely bone dry. In the shots where the police car is pulling her over, the roads are wet with rain, as they are in the following scenes where the police offers arrive at the apartment building to question the residents. See more »
In this effective, pre-feminist potboiler, the Barbara Stanwyck character is considered an unreliable witness because she's a middle-aged, single, career woman.
In addition to its solid performances, tight storytelling and John Alton's superior cinematography, what makes "Witness to Murder" particularly powerful today is the movie's pre-feminist view of its leading character's dilemma. "But I saw the murder, I SAW the murder," the Stanwyck character insists. Yet no one believes her because 1) she's a woman; 2) she's unmarried; 3) she's menopausal. Nobody even blinks an eye when she's dumped in a mental hospital, which gets viewers really riled because they share her point of view. The audience sees the murder along with Stanwyck and can feel her humiliation, anger and frustration. That's why the movie works.
28 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?