Witness for the Prosecution
1957 American film directed by Billy Wilder
- Directed by Billy Wilder. Written by Larry Marcus, Billy Wilder, and Harry Kurnitz, based on a short story by Agatha Christie.
Unmatched ...in a half century of motion picture suspense!
Sir Wilfrid RobartsEdit
- I am constantly surprised that women's hats do not provoke more murders.
- My Lord, may I also remind my learned friend that his witness, by her own admission, has already violated so many oaths that I am surprised the Testament did not LEAP FROM HER HAND when she was sworn here today! I doubt if anything is to be gained by questioning you any further! That will be all, Frau Helm!
- [last lines; hands Sir Wilfrid his thermos bottle] Sir Wilfrid, you've forgotten your brandy!
- Leonard Vole: What are you looking for?
- Christine Vole: My accordion.
- Leonard Vole: [stepping on it] I think I've found it.
- Christine Vole: Step on it again. It's still breathing.
- Miss Plimsoll: Shall we roll up the window, Sir Wilfrid?
- Sir Wilfrid: Just roll up your mouth, you talk too much. If I'd known how much you talk I'd never have come out of my coma.
- Miss Plimsoll: I almost married a lawyer once. I was in attendance when he had his appendectomy, and we became engaged as soon as he could sit up... and then peritonitis set in and he went just like that!
- Sir Wilfrid: He certainly was a lucky lawyer.
- Sir Wilfrid: Give me a match.
- Leonard Vole: Sorry, I don't carry matches.
- Sir Wilfrid: [to Brogan-Moore] I thought you said I'd like him.
- Leonard Vole: But I do have a lighter.
- Sir Wilfird: You're quite right, I do like him.
- Leonard Vole: But this is England, where I thought you never arrest, let alone convict, people for crimes they have not committed.
- Sir Wilfrid: We try not to make a habit of it.
- Sir Wilfrid: Be prepared for hysterics and even a fainting spell. Better have smelling salts handy and a nip of brandy.
- Christine Vole: I do not think that will be necessary. I never faint because I am not sure that I will fall gracefully and I never use smelling salts because they puff up the eyes. I am Christine Vole.
- Sir Wilfrid: I'd better take that thermos of cocoa with me. It helps me wash down down the pills.
- Miss Plimsoll: Let me see. My learned patient is not above substituting brandy for cocoa. [opens thermos and smells] Sniff, sniff. It is cocoa. So sorry.
- Sir Wilfrid: If you were a woman, Miss Plimsoll, I would strike you.
- Janet Mackensie: Perhaps you can help me, your Lordship. Six months, I have applied for my hearing aid and I am still waiting for it.
- Judge: My dear madame. Considering the rubbish that is being talked nowadays, you are missing very little.
- [Sir Wilfrid is cross-examining Christine Helm.]
- Sir Wilfrid: Mrs Vole. Or Mrs Helm; which do you prefer to be called?
- Christine Helm: It does not matter.
- Sir Wilfrid: Does it not? In this country, we are inclined to take a rather more serious view of marriage. However, Frau Helm, it would appear that when you first met the prisoner in Hamburg, you lied to him about your marital status?
- Christine Helm: I wanted to get out of Germany, so—
- Sir Wilfrid: You lied, did you not? Just yes or no, please.
- Christine Helm: Yes.
- Sir Wilfrid: Thank you. And subsequently, in arranging the marriage, you lied to the authorities?
- Christine Helm: I, um, did not tell the truth to the authorities.
- Sir Wilfrid: You lied to them?
- Christine Helm: Yes.
- Sir Wilfrid: And in the ceremony of marriage itself, when you swore to love and to honor and to cherish your husband, that, too, was a lie?
- Christine Helm: Yes.
- Sir Wilfrid: And when the police questioned you about this wretched man who believed himself married and loved, you told them—
- Christine Helm: I told them what Leonard wanted me to say.
- Sir Wilfrid: You told them that he was at home with you at 25 minutes past 9, and now you say that that was a lie? [beginning to chuckle now]
- Christine Helm: Yes, a lie!
- Sir Wilfrid: And when you said that he had accidentally cut his wrist, again, you lied? [chuckling again]
- Christine Helm: Yes!
- Sir Wilfrid: [chuckling further] And now today you've told us a new story entirely! [serious now] The question is, Frau Helm, were you lying then, are you lying now, or are you not in fact a chronic and habitual LIAR?!
- Tyrone Power - Leonard Vole (final film role)
- Marlene Dietrich - Christine Vole/Helm
- Charles Laughton - Sir Wilfrid Robarts Q.C.
- Elsa Lanchester - Miss Plimsoll
- John Williams - Mr. Brogan-Moore
- Henry Daniell - Mayhew
- Ian Wolfe - Carter
- Torin Thatcher - Mr. Myers
- Norma Varden - Mrs Emily Jane French
- Una O'Connor - Janet McKenzie
- Francis Compton - the Judge
- Philip Tonge - Chief Inspector Hearne
- Ruta Lee - Diana