Set in 1920s London, a brutal and bloodthirsty murder has stained the plush carpets of a handsome London townhouse. The victim is the glamorous and rich Emily French. All the evidence points to Leonard Vole, a young chancer to whom the heiress left her vast fortune and who ruthlessly took her life. At least, this is the story that Emily's dedicated housekeeper Janet McIntyre stands by in court. Leonard however, is adamant that his partner, the enigmatic chorus girl Romaine, can prove his innocence. Tasked with representing Leonard is his solicitor John Mayhew and King's Counsel, Sir Charles Carter KC.
This is the first production of "Witness for the Prosecution" that based on Agatha Christie's original short (23 pages) story first published in the January 31, 1925 edition of Flynn's Weekly under the title 'Traitor Hands'. She republished it in 1933 under the present title as part of a collection called 'The Hound of Death and other stories'. Christie expanded the story for her 1953 play, changing some of the character names and introducing Sir Wilfrid Robarts as the defense counsel. It is the play, not the short story, that has been the basis for all subsequent television and film versions. See more »
In the close-up of the Evening Standard newspaper that Romaine reads, Janet the maid's surname is quite clearly printed as 'Mackenzie.' Though this is the surname Agatha Christie used in the original story, in the adaptation Janet is called 'McIntyre' both in the credits and by other characters. See more »
Tightly written and beautifully directed, a complex mystery, with enjoyable twists throughout. Artfully expanding on the original short story, but don't read it ahead of time! Ignore the negative comments and enjoy a very classy movie-length period mystery. Wonderful, distinctive and nuanced performances by the cast as well, especially Toby Jones and Andrea Riseborough, with Julian Jarrold's meticulous direction.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this