Having recently reviewed the classic James Stewart courtroom drama Anatomy of a Murder (1959) I thought I should probably take a look at the 1957 film Witness for the Prosecution. It stars Tyrone Power, Charles Laughton and Marlene Dietrich. Eureka Entertainment released it on blu-ray back in 2018. Was it a good release? Let’s find out, so without further ado here’s my Witness for the Prosecution blu-ray review.
- Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
- Genre: Crime, Drama
- Directed by Billy Wilder
- UK Rating U
- Discs: 1
- Released By Eureka Entertainment
- Blu-ray Released: 10 September 2018
Leonard Vole finds himself accused of murder of a wealthy older lady he befriended. While it looks unlikely he will be found not guilty he enlists the help of Sir Wilfrid Robarts Q.C (Charles Laughton) to conduct his defence.
Style / Direction
This black and white 1957 courtroom drama was directed by Billy Wilder whilst the cinematography was handled by Russell Harlan. There’s little doubt in my opinion at least that Wilder delivers a well constructed masterpiece of misdirection.
Music / Audio Effects
The music is provided by Matty Malneck.
Acting / Characters
Tyrone Power plays Leonard Vole the man accused of murder but it’s Charles Laughton as Sir Wilfrid Robarts Q.C that really at the heart of the film or should that be proceedings. He’s delivers a memorable and quite brilliant performance as Leonard Vole’s defence lawyer.
Meanwhile Marlene Dietrich produces another strange performance, as she does in so many of films. However it actually turns out to be a rather magnificent one as the story unfolds.
- Tyrone Power as Leonard Vole
- Marlene Dietrich as Christine Vole/Helm
- Charles Laughton as Sir Wilfrid Robarts Q.C
- Elsa Lanchester as Miss Plimsoll
- John Williams as Mr. Brogan-Moore
- Henry Daniell as Mr. Mayhew
- Ian Wolfe as H. A. Carter
- Torin Thatcher as Mr. Myers Q.C.
- Norma Varden as Mrs. Emily Jane French
Conclusion: Witness for the Prosecution (1957) Film Review
Witness for the Prosecution is fine court room drama with Charles Laughton as Sir Wilfrid Robarts Q.C really stealing the show. He’s the reason you stay invested in the case. Yes Tyrone Power plays the role of the accused well and Marlene Dietrich is rather odd which works brilliantly. However its Charles Laughton performance that leaves a lasting impression long after proceedings have drawn to a close.
I recommend everyone gives this brilliant Billy Wilder courtroom drama a look, it would be criminal not too!
If you enjoyed my Witness for the Prosecution Blu-ray Review so far you may want to check out the following films:
- The Blue Lamp (1950)
- Mystery Junction (1951)
- Footsteps in the Fog (1955)
- The Mirror Crack’d (1980)
- The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983)
Conclusion: Witness for the Prosecution Blu-ray Review
The film is shot in black and white and or the most part the picture quality is excellent. However there are a few drops in image quality every now and again. It nothing that spoils the film but this blu-ray version falls fractionally short of being called excellent.
I can’t fault the extras included as I found them to be interesting and informative. I’d recommend giving them a look if you enjoy the film.
- Audio Commentary by Kat Ellinger
- Monocles and Cigars: Simon Callow on Charles Laughton (16 mins)
- Neil Sinyard Interview (25 mins)
- Billy Wilder: Witness for the Prosecution (14 mins)
- Original Theatrical Trailer
On to my movie rating for Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
- Movie Rating: MUST SEE
- Blu-ray Picture: GOOD
- Extras: EXCELLENT
Amazon UK Links
Witness for the Prosecution (1957) is available now on blu-ray.
For those of you yet to see the film I’ll leave you with a little taster…
Clip not representative of the blu-ray version
That concludes my Witness for the Prosecution blu-ray review, I’m aiming to review more classic films soon. What’s next? Check back soon…
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Summary: Witness for the Prosecution (1957) Blu-ray Review
Movie title: Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Duration: 116 mins
Director(s): Billy Wilder
Actor(s): Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester, John Williams, Henry Daniell
Genre: Crime, Drama
- Movie Rating
- Blu-ray Picture Rating
A compelling and brilliant plot twisting courtroom drama
- Brilliant Courtroom Drama
- Fabulous Acting
- Good Blu-ray Release
- A Drop Image Quality On Odd Occasion