Synopsis by Hal Erickson
From its humble beginnings as a four-character short story, Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution matriculated into a long-running London and Broadway stage hit, as well as a masterful 1957 film version directed by Billy Wilder. The 1982 TV version of Witness was overseen by Briton Norman Rosemont, who made remakes of earlier films his life's work in the 1980s (Hunchback of Notre Dame, Little Lord Fauntleroy). Sir Ralph Richardson heads the cast as prominent barrister Sir Wilfred Robarts, who takes on the case of Leonard Vole (Beau Bridges), a likeable chap accused of murdering a rich old lady. Sir Wilfred is shocked to discover that Vole's German-born wife (Diana Rigg) is prepared to divorce her husband and appear as witness for the prosecution; it is the first of many surprises for the aging lawyer, the cleverest of which occur just minutes before the end of the story. Deborah Kerr costars as Sir Wilfred's remonstrative nurse--a character that appears in neither the original story nor the play, but was created for Elsa Lanchester in the 1957 film version (which starred Lanchester's husband Charles Laughtonas Sir Wilfred). For playing an eleventh-hour addition, Ms. Kerr was awarded with an Emmy. Another reliable British favorite, Wendy Hiller, appears briefly as a post-deaf witness. Adapted for television by John Gay, Witness for the Prosecution was originally a Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation.
court [law], courtroom, defense [military], doctor/nurse, English [nationality], false-accusation, investigation, killing, lady, lawyer, murder, prosecutor, trial [courtroom], wife, witness