The Witness for the Prosecution

The Witness for the Prosecution

DVD - 2017
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In 1920s London, 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

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c
carolu6555
Jan 26, 2018

greatly enjoyed this Agatha Christie mystery movie !

j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2017

Excellent adaptation of the story/play with interesting characters and secrets that wrung out all the “whodunit” elements in a murder case. The twists came at you fast and furious just as the film’s location changed from the grimly 1920s London that was constantly shrouded in pollution from coal burning to clear blue sky of Le Touquet, across from Dover on the French coast. The fallacies in the justice system from incompetent or biased legal professionals was unusual for an Agatha Christie work. Love those old songs. Listen to” Let Me Call You Sweetheart · Andrea Riseborough” in “Videos.”

7.1/10 IMDb
100% Rotten Tomatoes

Note -- per wiki:
Witness for the Prosecution received an Edgar Award by the MWA (Mystery Writers of America) for Best Play in 1955.

w
wiredonjava
Nov 21, 2017

Agatha can weave one heck of a stark mystery. Better than Murder on the Orient Express, IMO.

g
Gorji
Oct 23, 2017

A crime has been committed, but we do not need Hercule poirot or Miss Marple to identify the culprit! Her name is Sara Phelps, the same screen play writer who ruined "And Then There were None" the year before.
This version may have been based on the short story rather the the play, as suggested by another reviewer, but the short story is nowhere near as dark and as depressing as this screen play. Agatha Christie is the third most read writer in the world, after God (for Bible) and Shakespeare. This is due to the wonderful plots, and just as importantly, the fine structure of the books and especially the plays. to "expand" them is to damage the structure.
To enjoy this wonderful play, stick to the witty Billy Wilder movie with a once in a generation performance by Charles Laughton.

c
COURIER3
Sep 29, 2017

What a fantastic story. Toby Jones had a terrific role. I could have never guessed the ending.
Too much poor lighting. Bonus features interesting.

m
MartineVK
Aug 18, 2017

Tastefully done with great production values and an enviable cast, but somehow, not terribly gripping. Different from the Billy Wilder film in terms of plot. If you're a Toby Jones completest then this is for you. Otherwise, not so much.

s
SandraLH
Aug 06, 2017

Engrossing murder mystery with a few surprises. Toby Jones was excellent in his role.

jclterrib Aug 01, 2017

Kept me interested from start to finish. I am a big fan of Toby Jones and wasn't disappointed.

n
nellybells
Jun 04, 2017

I loved this movie. It is based on the original 1924 Agatha Christie short story. The original movie from 1958 is based on the play Christie wrote in the late 50s with Charles Laughton, Tyrone Power and Marlene D. The first Witness movie took place almost entirely in the courtroom and the barrister's office. It has some very funny bits. This version, the remake, has no funny bits.
I usually don't like remakes but I was eager to see this one because of Toby Jones and Andrea Riseborough (see Shadow Dancer for Riseborough).
This later version holds true to the original story and takes place in the 1920s, just a few years after WW1. It is a murder mystery but has twists and turns. The period setting is important--millions of men died on the front, and some million more came home to England and there were no jobs, no opportunities and great bitterness. On the other hand, the affluent were living the life of Gatsby.
Here is what I loved: the acting, the set design and lighting, London not glittering and shimmering but dark, dirty and grim cast in a dingy yellow light. I was pulled into a wounded world and I couldn't take my eyes away. I know I will see this movie again.
P.S. See Agatha with Vanessa Redgrave and Dustin Hoffman - same period, also a mystery and Redgrave plays Christie who has disappeared.

w
winston16
May 29, 2017

Oh my-- not what I expected, but that's not a bad thing either. Very dark, atmospheric and haunting. An original take on this classic story (very different from the Billy Wilder movie years ago) that will stay with you. The same production team did last year's adaptation And Then There Were None and I would recommend that unsettling movie as well.

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j
jimg2000
Dec 29, 2017

I like young men. I like their company. I like their skin. I like their muscles... their musk... their gleam, their vigour, their heft... and their spring. I like to look.
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He is guilty of lying. He is guilty of leading a double life. He is guilty of enjoying presents and gifts. He is guilty of lacking good judgment.
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You men. You fxcking men!
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What you'll do to win, how far you'll go. You have a ruthless streak in you, John. What you'll do to win, how far you'll go.
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We are what happens when you butcher the young, when you cheat us, you lie to us, you expect us to be grateful just for being alive. when you cheat us, you lie to us, you expect us to be grateful just for being alive.
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And I've tried to forgive you... and I've tried to love you and I can't. Because you came home... and he didn't. I will always look after you... cook for you, clean your house. I'll stand by your side. I will be proud when you do well, but love you? I can't.

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