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Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 6 February 1958 (USA)
A veteran British barrister must defend his client in a murder trial that has surprise after surprise.



(in Agatha Christie's international stage success), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
4,076 ( 237)

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Top Rated Movies #66 | Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:


It's Britain, 1953. Upon his return to work following a heart attack, irrepressible barrister Sir Wilfrid Robarts, known as a barrister for the hopeless, takes on a murder case, much to the exasperation of his medical team, led by his overly regulated private nurse, Miss Plimsoll, who tries her hardest to ensure that he not return to his hard living ways - including excessive cigar smoking and drinking - while he takes his medication and gets his much needed rest. That case is defending American war veteran Leonard Vole, a poor, out of work, struggling inventor who is accused of murdering his fifty-six year old lonely and wealthy widowed acquaintance, Emily French. The initial evidence is circumstantial but points to Leonard as the murderer. Despite being happily married to East German former beer hall performer Christine Vole, he fostered that friendship with Mrs. French in the hopes that she would finance one of his many inventions to the tune of a few hundred pounds. It thus does ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Once in 50 years suspense like this! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

6 February 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Testigo de cargo  »


Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,000,000, 31 January 1960
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The producers were so concerned about the financial success of the film that during the credits, an announcer urges the audience not to reveal the film's ending to anyone. See more »


On the witness stand, Janet McKenzie refers to October 8 as being one week to the day before October 14 (the night of the murder). It's only six days earlier. See more »


Mrs. French: You know, maybe I'll take a glass of sherry, myself. I feel like Christmas, somehow. Ha-ha.
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Crazy Credits

Before the film begins, a message appears onscreen saying that to avoid ruining the effect of the surprise ending, patrons should not take their seats during the last few minutes of the movie. See more »


Referenced in The New Mike Hammer: Mistress for the Prosecution (1986) See more »


I May Never Go Home Anymore
Music by Ralph Arthur Roberts
Lyrics by Jack Brooks
Sung by Marlene Dietrich (uncredited)
Reprised a cappella by Tyrone Power (uncredited)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Hitchcockian Billy Wilder
30 December 2007 | by See all my reviews

At the end of the day the films you give top marks are those films that become constant companions. You can see them again at the drop of a hat, you show them to people who have never see them and it's always a triumph. "Witness For The Prosecution" is one of those wonders. Suspend your disbelief for a couple of hours and enjoy this banquet of a romp. Charles Laughton showed here what he was made of better, more clearly and more loudly than in any other film and all of his films, at least the moments with him in it, are unforgettable - Captain Blight or Henry VIII, Quasimodo or that malefic Senator from South Carolina. Here the severity of his lawyer by vocation takes your senses away with his masterful judicial way to see logic and it's such an incredible fun to watch him do it. Tyrone Power is a toy in his hands but not Marlene Dietrich who stands her ground, not merely as a character but as a presence on the screen. Billy Wilder visits early Hitchcock territory with wit and fun. Elsa Lanchester's nurse is the cherry on top of this delightful film.

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