Monday, June 18, 2012

Courtroom Drama #6 - Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

So I put this one off for a long time, but that really turned out to be a mistake - This was probably the most light-hearted movie I'm going to see on this list. It looks very sensational on the poster, but don't be fooled - It's really a sort of mystery dramedy British thing. It's a Billy Wilder-directed Agatha Christie movie, and it's fun. It's about the mystery - a murder, obviously - and about the escapades of the...District Attorney, maybe? I don't know what his job is, but he's a lawyer. He just had a heart attack, and he's this mean British guy, which means that he's definitely not the DA, because they don't have those in Britain (I assume), but that doesn't really matter. He's important, and he's defending the accused murderer. He's also Charles Laughton - Just so you're picturing this right.

The man he's defending may have murdered his (the murderer's) rich elderly lady friend, and the murderer's wife, despite telling Charles Laughton that she wants to help her husband, ends up testifying as a witness for the prosecution (Hey! That's the title of the movie!). She's Marlene Dietrich, who was also in Judgement at Nuremberg.

I actually didn't expect the ending, which was fun, but I should have - It is Agatha Christie, after all. It was a fun but rather blandish mystery before that; It's a lot like The Usual Suspects in that respect, actually. I was glad we didn't have to sit through a real romance, because those are getting very tedious, especially in this genre. The Courtroom Drama apparently does not lend itself to a love story, but they keep shoving them in there anyway. It's really, really getting on my nerves. This one was  really about an older man though, so they didn't really do anything like that.

Fun fact: Apparently Alfred Hitchcock used to get all kinds of compliments about this movie, which is odd to me - It's doesn't seem like his style at all, really. Maybe it's because Marlene's a blonde. 

I liked the humor that they had throughout this movie, and I liked the lawyer character a lot, because he was very fun to watch, and he had a lot of great scenes in the beginning. I also enjoyed the ending. The middle bit was iffy to me, but the movie makes up for it. Good show Christie, good show.