27 user 6 critic

Witness for the Prosecution (1982)

Leonard Vole (Beau Bridges) is accused of murdering an elderly rich woman, and the only alibi to him depends on his wife Christine (Dame Diana Rigg).


Alan Gibson


John Gay (written for television by), Billy Wilder | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Ralph Richardson ... Sir Wilfred Robarts
Deborah Kerr ... Nurse Plimsoll
Beau Bridges ... Leonard Vole
Donald Pleasence ... Mr. Myers
Wendy Hiller ... Janet Mackenzie
Diana Rigg ... Christine Vole
David Langton ... Mayhew
Richard Vernon ... Brogan-Moore
Peter Sallis ... Carter
Michael Gough ... Judge
Frank Mills ... Chief Inspector Hearne
Michael Nightingale Michael Nightingale ... Clerk of the Court
Peter Copley ... Dr. Harrison
Patricia Leslie Patricia Leslie ... Mrs. French
John Kidd ... Court Usher


Efficient, but bitter and stubborn, barrister Sir Wilfred Robarts (Sir Ralph Richardson) returns to his office in London, having recovered from a heart attack. He is subsequently invited to defend Leonard Vole (Beau Bridges), who is the prime suspect in a murder case. Leonard is a former soldier that fought in World War II and is married to his beloved German wife Christine Vole (Dame Diana Rigg). He is unemployed and accused of seducing and murdering the wealthy middle-aged single woman, Emily French, to inherit eighty thousand pounds sterling. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A mysterious woman. A scandalous crime. A perfect secret. And a trail of fascinating clues - she holds the key.




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Did You Know?


Sir Ralph Richardson and Donald Pleasance appeared in the mini-series Jesus of Nazareth (1977). See more »


Version of The Witness for the Prosecution (2016) See more »

User Reviews

God Bless Sir Ralph Richardson
28 December 2002 | by borschSee all my reviews

This remake of the Laughton/Power/Dietrich film is quite enjoyable, owing to skillful casting, top production values, and, of course, Dame Christie's cracking good story. Sadly, the only liability is the performance of Sir Ralph Richardson (It's almost unspeakable to say this; I feel like Brutus plunging the knife into his Caesar). This was one of his last performances, and his immense skill simply cannot overcome his advanced age. (Granted, his character is supposed to be aged and ill, but Sir Ralph is unable to act intrigued and energized by his last case the way Laughton was in the original.) Still, his presence alone delivers barrels full of audience goodwill, and the piece is anchored by fine performances from Diana Rigg in the Dietrich role, Deborah Kerr in Elsa Lanchester's part (a fun bit of off-casting!) and by Beau Bridges, who stretches himself beyond his normal nice-guy blandness and convinces in the Ty Power role. A nice movie for a rainy afternoon or a boring holiday!

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Release Date:

4 December 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hallmark Hall of Fame: Witness for the Prosecution (#32.1) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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