Witness for the Prosecution

Director: Billy Wilder
Year Released: 1957
Rating: 2.0

A 'trick ending' can't save you from loathing the rest of this movie, which is hammy and stiff. Tyrone Power is a golly-gee ex-soldier who befriends a lonely rich woman with a penchant for hats and is suspected of the murder when she is found bludgeoned to death. He enlists the help of ailing barrister Charles Laughton (outstanding, as always) to defend him, and so Laughton does, against the wishes of a full-time nurse, played by his real-life wife (the scenes between the two are supposed to be the comic relief of the picture, but considering the silliness of the rest of the movie it's mostly unnecessary and interrupts the film's flow). There's a scene in the beginning that shows how Tyrone Power meets soon-to-be wife Marlene Dietrich that is both clumsy and somewhat puzzling (it's mostly about how wonderful Dietrich's legs look). More should have been developed in the relationship between Power and the murdered woman - too much is said and not shown. As to why director Billy Wilder directed it in the first place deserves a good explanation.