Fiction into Film: Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie

Event date: 
Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 1:00pm
Event address: 
Upstate Films
6415 Montgomery Street / Rt.9
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

Presented by Oblong Books in partnership with Upstate Films in Rhinebeck

Witness for the ProsecutionBased on a short story and play by Agatha Christie, Billy Wilder’s WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION stars Charles Laughton as a British lawyer who gets caught up in a couple’s tangled affairs when he defends the husband for murder.

Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Charles Laughton) is an aging barrister recovering from a heart attack. Against the advice of his doctors, he decides to take on a case and defend the affable Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power), who is being tried for the murder of a wealthy woman. But Vole’s alibi unfortunately depends on the testimony of his wife, Christine (Marlene Dietrich), who discovers a legal loophole and decides to appear in court against him. To Sir Wilfrid’s surprise, this is only the first in a series of revelations and reversals. It’s parry and punch in the courtroom from the get go, and the air crackles with electricity as the story winds forward. Imbued with Wilder’s playfully cynical sense of humor, the film is balanced by well-marked characters, shifts of mood, changes of pace, and energetic performances. According to Billy Wilder himself, Agatha Christie said WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION was the best film adaptation ever done of her work.

Film Tickets: $10 Adults / $8 Seniors and Students / $6 Upstate Members and kids under 16. 
Available online in advance or day-of at the box office (cash and check only).

(USA / 1957 / Directed by Billy Wilder)
“Approved”* / 1 hr 56 mins.
*The film was originally rated under the Hays Code, when films were “Approved “or “Disapproved” based on whether they were deemed moral or immoral. 


The Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062094445
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - August 7th, 2012