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Witness for the Prosecution (1957) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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 not help his case when it is learned that Mrs. French changed her will prior to her murder with Leonard being the primary beneficiary of a £80,000 estate. Leonard states that he knew nothing about the will. Christine is apparently the only alibi Leonard has to his whereabouts at the time of the murder. The usual methods Sir Wilfrid uses to test his clients' guilt or innocence leads to him believing that Leonard is indeed innocent. As the trial progresses, the prosecution calls a surprise witness, one that could place a nail in the coffin of Sir Wilfrid's planned line of defense. As Sir Wilfrid gets deeper and deeper into the case, something doesn't quite sit right with him, although he doesn't know what it is. The primary questions become how far Sir Wilfrid will go to obtain evidence to acquit Leonard, and if he will ever discover why he feels that there is something odd about the case.

    - Written by Huggo
  • When Leonard Vole is arrested for the sensational murder of a rich, middle-aged widow, the famous Sir Wilfrid Robarts agrees to appear on his behalf. Sir Wilfrid, recovering from a near-fatal heart attack, is *supposed* to be on a diet of bland, civil suits. But the lure of the criminal courts is too much for him, especially when the case is so difficult: Vole's only alibi witness is his wife, the calm and coldly calculating Christine Vole. Sir Wilfrid's task becomes even more impossible when Christine agrees to be a witness not for the defence but for the prosecution.

    - Written by A.L.Beneteau <albl@inforamp.net>
  • Esteemed criminal lawyer Sir Wilfrid Robarts has just returned to practice after suffering a heart attack and is supposed to be on a diet of bland civil suits. But the case of Leonard Vole, a charmer accused of murdering a rich middle-aged widow, proves irresistible --- particlularly when Sir Wilfrid meets the accused's wife, the remarkable Christine Vole. Christine will appear as a witness: not the defense, but for the prosecution.

    - Written by Anonymous
  • Leonard Vole is an unemployed inventor, his latest contraption being a new-fangled egg beater. He is married but through a chance encounter, became friendly with a rich widow, Emily French. When Vole is accused of her murder, his solicitor refers the case to a brilliant barrister, Sir Wilfrid Robarts to lead the defense. Robarts believes his client to be innocent but his alibi rests on the testimony of Vole's wife, Christine. As the jury would expect a wife to defend her husband, he decides not to call her as a witness. He is surprised however when she is called as a witness for the prosecution. As luck would have it, he comes into possession of letters that seriously discredits her testimony. There is, however, a far more devious plot being hatched, one that even the great Robarts cannot fathom.

    - Written by garykmcd
  • When the efficient but bitter and stubborn barrister Sir Wilfrid Robarts returns to his office in London recovering from a heart attack, he is invited to defend Leonard Stephen Vole, who is the prime suspect in a murder case. Leonard is a former soldier that fought in World War II and is married with his beloved German wife Christine Helm Vole. He is unemployed and accused of seducing and murdering the wealthy middle-aged single woman Emily French to inherit 80,000 pounds. His unique alibi would be the testimony of Christine, which would not be accepted by the court, since she is his wife. Along the trial, Christine is surprisingly called to testify in court by the prosecution, when secrets about their lives are disclosed.

    - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Leonard Vole is arrested on suspicion of murdering an elderly acquaintance. He employs an experienced but aging barrister as his defense attorney.

    - Written by Anonymous

Synopsis

A few years after War War II, in London, Leonard Vole ( ), is accused of murdering a rich widow...

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