Witness for the Prosecution | Chicago Reader

Witness for the Prosecution

Billy Wilder's 1957 adaptation of Agatha Christie's famous stage thriller. The artificial plotting is all Christie's, but the film eventually becomes Wilder's—thanks to a trick ending that dovetails nicely with a characteristic revelation of compassion behind cruelty. His theatrical mise-en-scene—his proscenium framing—serves the material well, as does Charles Laughton's bombastic portrayal of the defense attorney. With Tyrone Power (nicely feckless), Marlene Dietrich, and Elsa Lanchester. 114 min.

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