Oscar Vault Monday – Witness for the Prosecution, 1957 (dir. Billy Wilder)
Like Stanley Donen’s Charade, Witness For The Prosecution is often misremembered as an Alfred Hitchcock films. While the subject matter on paper sounds like a Hitchcock film, the resulting film is most definitely a Billy Wilder film. Since the film came at the end of the Film Noir era I thought it would be a perfect way to end Noirvember. Witness For the Prosecution is not a full-on noir like Wilder’s Sunset Blvd., Double Indemnity or Ace in the Hole, but it definitely borrows from those films. It’s got a wonderful twist ending that I, for once, will not spoil. After the film ends there’s a disclaimer that runs during the credits. A voice-over announces:
“The management of this theatre suggests that for the greater entertainment of your friends who have not yet seen the picture, you will not divulge, to anyone, the secret of the ending ofWitness for the Prosecution.”
So I’ll follow the producer’s wishes. Currently, this film is available on instant Netflix, so you can watch it right away if you want!. Witness For The Prosecution was nominated for five Academy Award, though it didn’t win any: Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Supporting Actress Elsa Lanchester, Best Actor Charles Laughton, Best Director and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture were Sayonara, Peyton Place, 12 Angry Men and winner The Bridge on the River Kwai.