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Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 6 February 1958 (USA)
Trailer
3:09 | Trailer
A veteran British barrister must defend his client in a murder trial that has surprise after surprise.

Director:

Billy Wilder

Writers:

Agatha Christie (in Agatha Christie's international stage success), Billy Wilder (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,278 ( 110)
Top Rated Movies #68 | Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tyrone Power ... Leonard Vole
Marlene Dietrich ... Christine
Charles Laughton ... Sir Wilfrid Roberts
Elsa Lanchester ... Miss Plimsoll
John Williams ... Brogan-Moore
Henry Daniell ... Mayhew
Ian Wolfe ... Carter
Torin Thatcher ... Mr. Myers
Norma Varden ... Mrs. Emily Jane French
Una O'Connor ... Janet MacKenzie
Francis Compton ... Judge
Philip Tonge ... Inspector Hearne
Ruta Lee ... Diana
Learn more

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Storyline

Ailing barrister Sir Wilfrid Robarts is thrust back into the courtroom in what becomes one of the most unusual and eventful murder case of the lawyer's career when he finds himself defending Leonard Vole, a man being tried for the murder of a wealthy woman. With Robarts choosing to represent him, the two find themselves up against Leonard's cold-hearted wife, Christine - who, in a surprising turn of events, chooses to appear in court against her husband. Written by Kyle Perez

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Once in 50 years suspense like this! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Unsure if he could convincingly play a man with a heart condition, Charles Laughton staged a heart attack in the pool one day at home. His wife, Elsa Lanchester, and a houseguest panicked and pulled him from the water, at which point he explained his trick. Lanchester's reaction has not been recorded. See more »

Goofs

As Sir Wilfred is cross-examining the Chief Inspector, his monocle chain is over his right collar tab, but after a shot from behind the chain is running under the tab so that when he raises the monocle it lifts the tab up to his chin. See more »

Quotes

Sir Wilfrid: I could probably think better if you gave me one of those cigars.
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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 »

Connections

Referenced in Law & Order: Patient Zero (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

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)
See more »

User Reviews

 
One of the best courtroom movies of all time
16 April 2018 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

Witness for the Prosecution is one of the most entertaining courtroom stories of all time, written by the crime mistress herself, Agatha Christie. Charles Laughton completely owns the courtroom, starring as a famously brilliant barrister who's supposed to be taking a break for his health-but he gets drawn in by a truly compelling murder trial. Tyrone Power, in his last movie, has been accused of murdering a wealthy older woman. While all the evidence racks up against him, Charles doesn't give up hope and tries to win the case, all the while trying to crack the very hard nut Marlene Dietrich. Marlene is Tyrone's wife, and it's impossible to tell what she's really thinking or feeling.

I love this story, and I love both versions of the film, from 1957 and 1982. It's incredibly suspenseful and interesting-and also quite impossible to talk about without giving spoilers. If you've never seen Witness for the Prosecution, add this one to your list of classics to rent. The acting is fantastic, and the timing makes it a very entertaining old movie to watch. There are no boring bits in this drama; and I guarantee you'll still sit on the edge of your seat the second time you watch it.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

6 February 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Witness for the Prosecution See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,693
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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