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Life Magazine
Jan 13, 1958

Something Old, Something New

Witness for the Prosecution, a movie adaptation of Agatha Christie's play, opens with two of its principal actors playing in long-familiar styles. Marlene Dietrich, sill confidently showing off her fabled legs, plays a nightclub singer with assured and understated ease. Tyrone Power, as a happy-go-lucky eggbeater inventor to whom she is married, displays the affable Irish charm he has bestowed on many movie roles.

But as the film moves forward, under Billy Wilder's skillful direction, insouciance deserts these players. Their faces screw up in agony. They come apart at the seams. They emote with a vigor that seems foreign to them. This happens partly because the role of counsel for the defense is played by Charles Laughton. He is one of the most accomplished emoters around today, and actors in a play with him have to bestir themselves in self-defense. But mainly Marlene and Tyrone emote because they are having a fine time telling a first-rate tale of murder and suspense.

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