The Witness for the Prosecution

The Witness for the Prosecution

DVD - 2017
Average Rating:
7
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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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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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