notmypresident: (Marlene Blonde Venus)
It's been a quiet weekend. The weather turned cooler, the type of temps that makes you want to curl up under a warm blanket and watch some old Hollywood classics. So that's exactly what I did.


Witness For The Prosecution isn't a film that I would cite as one of the 10 Best Ever Made, but it's certainly one of my personal favorites. It's a rather stilted presentation of the play by Agatha Christie, and there's very little style or panache brought to the proceedings by director Billy Wilder. Perhaps he felt that the cracking screenplay needed no embellishments? The twist ending certainly still holds up even today, when twist endings have become the norm. Or perhaps Wilder felt that his superlative cast was more than up to delivering a first-rate viewing experience? That much is definitely true. Aside from the miscast Tyrone Power, everyone else in the movie does an incredible job of bringing the courtroom drama to life. Even Dietrich — who often simply relies on her presence to carry a part — outdoes herself here.

But it's Charles Laughton who makes me love the film, even after numerous repeat viewings. You can see the actor's greatness in every frame, and his onscreen love/hate relationship with Elsa Lanchester is both hilarious and (ultimately) touching. Every time I see the movie I think what a shame it was that Laughton didn't win the Oscar for his work here. At least the movie has been preserved and can be appreciated despite this oversight.

And, as always, here's Another Hot Guy.