...I am a huge classic movie buff. The films from the 40's and 50's are just so interesting and entertaining. They make you think. After all, there were no computer generated backgrounds, or explosions and while sexy there was no actual sex taking place. Yep, I like 'em. So when I saw TCM advertise 31 days of Oscars my little ears perked up and I got my DVR all ready at the get go to record some of my all time favourites and some I had missed.
Of course my list of the best would not be complete or even begin if it were not for "North by Northwest," Hitchcock at his finest in my opinion. But...
last night I watched "Witness for the Prosecution," starring Marlene Dietrich and Tyrone Power. Holy heck where have I been? I've never seen this movie nor heard of it so after watching I had to do a little "Wiki" research on it. I'm telling you, if you like suspense Hitchcockian style you would love this movie!
It is a courtroom based drama about a man accused of murder. Marlene plays the man's wife and he is played by Tyrone. Of course he is innocent so he brings the best barrister out of semi-retirement to defend him. As a side note the barrister and his nurse (real life spouses) are hilarious. Trust me. After several plot twists and turns it is decided that the prosecution will call the Mrs. to the stand. Although there are rules against a spouse giving testimony for their spouse it is perfectly legal for the prosecution to use said spouse to testify against the other. Have I lost you yet? Marlene gives an engaging performance, so much so that I feel she should have won the Oscar. But...
the ending. The ending. It's hard to write about the ending. It is such a twist and so completely unexpected...completely. In fact at the time of it's release in 1957 theatre owners were asking patrons to sign a waiver stating that they would not divulge the ending to any of their family or friends. The actors themselves were not shown the last ten pages of the script until the day of filming so there would be no leaks about the ending. It is thought that this secrecy is the reason why Dietrich did not win the academy...it would have given too much away.
Loved it, saved it, and will probably watch it again. By the way, as Hitchockian as this film is it was originally written by Agatha Christie and brought to the screen by Billy Wilder. Which is why the humour seemed odd to me. Seen any good old movies lately?