The mystery, “Witness for the Prosecution”, was produced in 1957 by Arthur Hornblow, Jr. and directed by Billy Wilder. The two lead male actors were Tyrone Power as Leonard Vole and Charles Laughton as Sir Wilfrid Robarts. The lead female actor was Marlene Dietrich as Christine Helm.
“Witness for the Prosecution” superbly demonstrated a realist view of the operating procedures in a courtroom. The actors within the courtroom were easy to identify, and the steps transitioned smoothly from the arrest to the reading of the verdict. The murder trial of Leonard Vole provided realistic insight into how laws on the books are used in courtroom proceedings. With the inferior elements noted, the superior element of the court system in “Witness for the Prosecution” was the use of the adversary system. Both sides of the adversary system were flawlessly protrayed when the prosecution and defense squared off in the courtroom.
The plot of “Witness for the Prosecution” takes the viewer on a rollercoaster ride as the mystery of Emily French’s, a wealthy widow, murder unfolds in the courtroom. Leonard Vole visits the office of Sir Wilfrid for legal advice because he suspects that he will be arrested and charged with Mrs. French’s murder. Consequently, Vole’s suspicion came to fruition when he was arrested minutes are voicing his concerns. Sir Wilfrid accepted Vole’s case after he consults with a fellow barrister (attorney). Christine Helm, Vole’s wife and a former actress, graces Sir Wilfrid’s office with her presence to corroborate Vole’s story confirming his alibi. During the trial, Christine is not called as a witness for the defense; however, she is called as a witness for the prosecution. The mysterious death of Emily French resulted in the murder trial of Leonard Vole in “A Witness for the Prosecution”. After a round of objections, Christine was found to not be the wife of Vole and provided testimony in favor of the prosecutor’s case. The defense for Vole was nonexistent until a stranger provided damaging evidence against the prosecution’s most damaging witness.
For the defendant to be found guilty of murder, the burden is placed on the prosecutor “to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt” (Neubauer & Fradella, 2014, p. 33). In other words, the prosecutor, Mr. Myer must present a strong case to satisfy the jury “that charges against the defendant are almost certainly true” (Neubauer & Fradella, 2014, p. 35). When the trial started, the evidence was strong enough for a guilty verdict. The prosecution had three witnesses to support the claim that Vole killed Emily French. The first witness, Inspector Hearne, provided the court with blood evidence on the sleeve of Vole’s jacket; however, during cross-examination, Sir Wilfrid disputed the evidence because Vole’s blood type was not excluded as the donor. The second witness was Janet McKenize, Mrs. French’s hard of hearing housekeeper, who stated she heard Vole and Mrs. French...