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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Witness for the Prosecution

***** Witness for the Prosectution. Drama.

Directed by: Billy Wilder.
Starring: Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester.

We got this one from Netflix. I'd been wanting to see it ever since reading Witness in Death.

If you haven't seen it, and haven't read Witness in Death, here's what it's about: Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power) is accused of killing a wealthy widow, and he applies to Sir Wilfrid (Charles Laughton), the best barrister in England, to defend him. But Sir Wilfrid's health is failing, and he initially refuses, until actually meeting Leonard convinces him to take the case.

Leonard's wife Christine (Marlene Dietrich) is his alibi, but she's not very believable when she talks to Sir Wilfrid, and indeed she ends up as a witness for the prosecution.

Even though I knew the plot, including the twists and turns, from reading Witness in Death, the movie itself was more than just the sum of its parts. The drama of whodunit and how and why was interspersed with humor, much of it coming from interactions between Sir Wilfrid and his nurse (Elsa Lanchester, who I remembered from Mary Poppins and That Darn Cat). In fact, it added an extra dimension watching the movie and thinking of Eve & Roarke watching it being performed by Richard Draco & Areena Mansfield.

If you don't know what's going to happen, though, the twists are wonderful--my husband and sons loved it as much as I did.

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