Saturday, December 11, 2010

TOP 300 MOVIES OF ALL TIME: #271 WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1957)

Billy Wilder's adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie story. Brilliant script, great cast and superb direction.

Tyrone Power was the quintissential Hollywood leading man. His charm is at its height as he is accused of murder. Charles Laughton, whose career was revived with this performance as his defense provides what may be one of his greatest performances. 

Elsa Lanchester is fine as always and there is a fine supporting cast all around. The star of this show among the many, however is Marlene Dietrich. This was not the first time she was seeking to revive her film career, but just as with Laughton this role provides her with one of her very best and is worthy of resurrecting her career.

Ultimately, Billy Wilder brings a great story, resurrected stars and creates high drama with a deft hand. Tragically, this would be Tyrone Power's last film. He would die the following year at the age of 44. 

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