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Billy Wilder cowrote and directed this brilliant 1957 mystery based on Agatha Christie's celebrated play about an aging London barrister (Charles Laughton) who's preparing to retire when he takes the defense in the most vexing murder case of his distinguished career. In his final completed film (he died of a heart attack less than a year later), Tyrone Power plays the prime suspect in the murder of a wealthy widow, and Marlene Dietrich plays the wife of the accused, whose testimony--and true identity--holds the key to solving the case. A classic of courtroom suspense, Witness for the Prosecution is one of those movies with enough double-crossing twists to keep the viewer guessing right up to the very end, when yet another surprise is deftly revealed. This being a Billy Wilder film, the dialogue is first-rate and the acting superb, with both Laughton and his offscreen wife Elsa Lanchester (playing the barrister's pesty nurse) winning Academy Awards for their performances. Although later films would concoct even more complicated courtroom scenarios, this remains one of the best films of its kind and a model for all those films that followed its lead. --Jeff Shannon
Recently watched it. Currently ranked #171 on IMDB's top 250. Clever movie. The courtroom scenes had some really funny lines too, even if they were overacting a bit. There always tends to be a lot of crazy shenanigans in the courtrooms of these old movies.
Apparently Marlene Dietrich had some famous legs:
Originally Posted by Wiki
In a flashback showing how Leonard and Christine first meet in a German nightclub, she is wearing her trademark trousers. A rowdy customer conveniently rips them down one side, revealing one of Dietrich's renowned legs and starting a brawl. According to IMDb, the scene required 145 extras, 38 stunt men and $90,000.
Originally Posted by IMDB
In order to show just one of Marlene Dietrich's famous legs, an entire scene was written that required 145 extras, 38 stunt men and $90,000.