Comfortable and Furious

Witness For the Prosecution

Witness for the Prosecution is a Billy Wilder classic based on the novel by Agatha Christie. There are many great courtroom drama movies, like 12 Angry Men, with plot surprises, turns and twists, but there is no other movie like this one for a shocking and unexpected conclusion. This film is one of the very best.

Sir Wilford Robarts (Charles Laughton) is a top-tier barrister in England, who was just released from the hospital after a heart attack. He is instructed by his physicians and his doting nurse (Elsa Lanchester) that he must take it easy, with strict instructions to take on no stressful cases while he is to be in convalescence.  

As you might imagine, the minute he got back to the office, to the dismay of his wet nurse, he was met with an intriguing murder case, one that he could not resist. An out of work aspiring inventor, Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power) had befriended a lonely but wealthy spinster, who was found murdered in her home. 

The circumstantial case against Vole becomes devastating as it is revealed that not only did he visit Ms. French on the night of the murder, but she had also had recently updated her Will, leaving the bulk of her estate to the accused. It seemed that a conviction would be imminent, but Sir Wilford Robarts, even in his failing health, was a courtroom ninja, and sensed that something was not quite right in this case. 

For the next hour or so, the viewers are treated to some of the best courtroom drama ever projected. Even in his illness, the courtroom was Sir Robarts bailiwick, as he easily overcame obstacles and setbacks in his quest for justice for his client. There are surprises, reveals and plot twists that will not be revealed here. If you think you have things figured out, trust me, if you have not seen this movie, you are in for a movie-lovers treat. Charles Laughton, Tyrone Power and Marlene Dietrich deliver a performance for the ages, as the clock ticks down to the shocking and devastating conclusion. 

Witness for the Prosecution is available for streaming at Tubi (free with ads) and is a classic courtroom drama that is not to be missed.

10.0/10.0 with the Goatesians Rating of Excellence for Courtroom Drama

Memorable Quotes:

  • “The question is, Frau Helm, were you lying then, are you lying now, or are you not in fact a chronic and habitual LIAR! -Sir Wilfrid
  • ” Damn you. Damn you. Damn you! Damn you! -Christine Vole
  • “Touching, isn’t it…The way he counts on his wife.” -Brogan-Moore
  • “Yes, like a drowning man clutching at a razor blade -Sir Wilfrid
  • “Doctors! They’ve deprived me of everything: alcohol, tobacco, female companionship! -Sir Wilfrid
  • “Chipper, isn’t he? An hour ago, he had one foot on the gallows and the other on a banana peel. You ought to be very proud, Wilfrid. Aren’t you? Brogan-Moore
  • “Not yet. We’ve disposed of the gallows, but there’s still that banana peel somewhere, under somebody’s foot. -Sir Wilfrid



, ,




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *