The uptight and dumb small time thief Nick Robey and his partner and only friend Al Molin steal $10,000.00 from a man, but the heist goes wrong. Al Molin is killed by a policeman and Nick ... See full summary »
Kathy leaves the newspaper business to marry homicide detective Bill but is frustrated by his lack of ambition and the banality of life in the suburbs. Her drive to advance Bill's career soon takes her down a dangerous path.
Mae Doyle comes back to her hometown a cynical woman. Her brother Joe fears that his love, fish cannery worker Peggy, may wind up like Mae. Mae marries Jerry and has a baby; she is happy but restless, drawn to Jerry's friend Earl.
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
When Cheryl first runs up the stairs of the building under construction there are a couple of current-day cars, and about a dozen spectators. A few minutes later on the top as she looks down, there are well over a hundred spectators, street flares, and several vintage 1930s era vehicles, which clearly indicate this is stock footage from a much earlier production. 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.
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