Senior Advocate Rebecca John showed her another article titled 'Humans during day, snakes at night', which Sandal confirmed as written by her. The court has fixed July 17 for examination of another witness introduced by Akbar in his defence. Akbar, who had resigned as minister on October 17 last year following the allegations levelled during the campaign, had told the court that "Ramani's tweets used language that was deeply offensive, maligning, in bad faith, and a web of fabrication spun out of the lies". Akbar filed a private criminal defamation complaint against Ramani after his name cropped up on social media as the MeToo campaign raged on in India.
Ramani accused Akbar of sexual misconduct around 20 years ago when he was a journalist. Barbara Stanwyck was a little past her prime, but she still put out the passion and energy that made her famous. George Sanders really looked tired, but displayed that old world charm that makes little old ladies melt. Gary Merrill is such a likable guy, you tend to forget that he can't act. There was not one car chase, not one explosion, and no one fired a pistol, never mind a Mach Boy I miss these movies.
There should be a sub-genre in thrilling writing about the stories where somebody stumbles, accidentally, into witnessing a major crime but the perpetrator keeps countering each move with one of his or her own. Then he realizes who has been tipping the cops off about him. But that is about ten minutes before the end of the film. Barbara Stanwyck happens to see a woman being strangled in an apartment near her's by George Sanders. He is soon analyzing Stanwyck for them as a neurotic spinster who hallucinates.
And he is quite convincing. The difference between Sanders and Paul Stewart in their comparative film parts is that Stewart killed his victim in an argument over business Sanders was in a sexual rage. Moreover, whatever one thinks of Stewart's glib and careful killer, he is not getting deeper and deeper into crime out of any political or intellectual views. Put another way: if Bobby Driscoll had not witnessed what happened, but was sound asleep and Stewart was sure of it , Stewart would have hidden the dead body somewhere, and he and Ruth Roman would have packed up and moved to another city.
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Roman's loyalty to him would have reassured that there wouldn't have been any problems on that end. But with Sanders he approaches the situation from a "spiritual" side that Stewart would have found incomprehensible. We learn and it is a point that Merrill finds odd and troubling that this suave, courteous, and intellectual man is a defender of Nietzche's "superman" theories as twisted by the Nazis and apologist for the policies of the Nazis in several books.
His treatment of his initial victim, and his subtle and continuous persecution of Stanwyck are of a piece he does not believe such inferior types should threaten him. Towards the end he even intends to make her death appear to be a suicide. Stewart felt Driscoll was a viable threat to his freedom and security, but he never has a speech suggesting the boy was a biological inferior. Still it is a worthy picture, the only one where Stanwyck and Sanders appeared in together. So I give it a "7" on the scale, recommending it as an interesting version of the hunted turned hunter genre of thriller.
I found this movie to be pretty much predictable, and in every way average, despite the star presence of Barbara Stanwyck. She plays a young woman who witnesses a murder not really giving any spoilers here, given the title which interestingly happens in the middle of the credit sequence. Predictably, the chauvinist cops try to convince her that she dreamed it, as Sanders gets rid of the body in time to elude their not so thorough search.
It gets more interesting as Sanders' character, who turns out to be an ex-Nazi philosopher, starts to send himself letters which are supposed to be from Stanwyck, who he is trying to get locked up in an asylum. The most interesting scene occurs when she confronts him about the letters, and he admits he was the murderer. Great scene by Sanders, but Stanwyck wasn't given much to do here, struggling through her solo scenes where she has to act out her fear and then her resolve to call her cop boyfriend, or the scenes with her and a bunch of b-actors in the asylum.
John Alton's photography, though not particularly original for the genre, was excellent. I do not believe this film should be classified as a film noir, it was basically a suspense film without noir undertones. I just saw this today, also thanks to TCM. It was well-paced and very believable and kept my interest throughout.
Stanwyck, Merrill and Sanders were all superb, as were the minor roles well-played.
Barbara is one of my very favorite actresses, always bringing professionalism and passion to the roles she played. You just imagined her with a backbone of steel, a perfect feminist heroine, most especially in her later roles. There is not a wasted moment in this film, and I particularly liked the first scene with the windy backdrop, adding an air of foreboding to what was unfolding. Barbara Stanwyck witnesses a murder and the culprit, played by the usually sinister George Sanders, is trying to drive her insane after this event.
Gary Merrill is the detective who tries to sort this all out while he is falling for Cheryl Barbara. The flaw here is in the writing. Sanders, as Mr. Richter, should have immediately been under much more suspicion as he was a former Nazi who came into this country legally. Who can believe that one? In addition, he is an author whose books justify the deaths of certain people. Sounds horribly familiar to me. Stanwyck gives her usually good performance as a tormented woman who is driven mad by Richter.
The roof scene finale is exciting but comes too late following big errors in the movie writing. In this effective, pre-feminist potboiler, the Barbara Stanwyck character is considered an unreliable witness because she's a middle-aged, single, career woman.
In addition to its solid performances, tight storytelling and John Alton's superior cinematography, what makes "Witness to Murder" particularly powerful today is the movie's pre-feminist view of its leading character's dilemma. Yet no one believes her because 1 she's a woman; 2 she's unmarried; 3 she's menopausal. Nobody even blinks an eye when she's dumped in a mental hospital, which gets viewers really riled because they share her point of view.
The audience sees the murder along with Stanwyck and can feel her humiliation, anger and frustration. That's why the movie works. This is a great example of "film noir," as every scene has some sort of shadow pattern on the wall, the floor, the faces.
All shots are done with key light on the faces. The patterns suggest "jail," "locked up," "flight" as in a train track , "trapped," as in a cobweb , and others. There isn't one scene that doesn't have a shadow in it! Even the day time sequences. Great stuff. I was surprised to come upon this film "Witness to Murder" tonight on TV as I hadn't heard of it before - always nice to discover an old movie with excellent, familiar actors. I get the impression of it being a part of the transitional period for some actors from movies to early TV dramas, in live productions that carry such realism as this film does.
I tuned in late and missed the first few minutes of the movie where wily Albert Richter George Sanders is purported to have committed his evil deed; unfortunately Sanders has always been one of my favourite actors, one of the best ne'er-do-wells as in The Ghost and Mrs. His suave demeanour always fascinated me and he carries this over from film to film. By the way, in this movie his few lines in German weren't very convincing but his villainous role is very well set forth. It's obvious that Barbara Stanwyck as the frustrated witness, Cheryl, carries a huge emotional burden throughout, and does it well - a real pro!
This is a moderately predictable melodrama when crime inspection was more simple somehow. The music is very prevalent in most scenes and seems to override everything at times especially near the climax but that's to be expected. Good popcorn fare! Enjoy some reminiscing moments of 'film noire' in top form.
WITH NO ONE AS WITNESS by Elizabeth George | Kirkus Reviews
The story doesn't score high on originality or contain many twists but it is, nevertheless, very engaging because it's hard to resist the need to know how the plight of its main protagonist plays out. Some passages are also suspenseful and the climax is tense and exciting. One night, Cheryl Draper Barbara Stanwyck witnesses the murder of a young woman in an apartment on the opposite side of the street to her own. She clearly sees the killer strangling his victim to death and then promptly telephones the police to report what she's seen.
When Lieutenant Larry Mathews Gary Merrill visits the alleged murder scene, there is no dead body or any evidence of a crime having been committed and so he assumes that Cheryl must have imagined or dreamt the incident. On the following day, Cheryl sees Albert Richter George Sanders pushing a large trunk into a station wagon and recognises him as the strangler.
Through her own investigations, she discovers that there's a vacant apartment adjacent to Richter's in which he could have hidden the body when the police called and some marks on the floor seem to support this theory, as they indicate that something heavy had recently been dragged from one side of the room to the other. Despite the fact that nobody is convinced by what she says, Cheryl keeps repeating her accusations and whenever she offers some further evidence of Richter's guilt, he cleverly provides a plausible explanation.
The longer this goes on, the more convinced the police become that she's irrational and Richter exploits this situation by giving the police some letters which he claims she wrote that show that she's mentally ill and clearly intent on persecuting him. The police believe that the letters were written by Cheryl and soon after, have her committed to a mental hospital for observation.
The ways in which she navigates her way through this experience and eventually devises a plan to convince the police of Richter's guilt are both intriguing and entertaining to watch.
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George Sanders is tremendous as the villain of the piece and convincingly slimy as a seemingly sophisticated author who's actually a political fanatic and a callous murderer whose only motive is pure greed. Barbara Stanwyck is also excellent as the remarkably determined Cheryl who continues to persevere despite all the difficulties that she confronts. The way in which Stanwyck portrays Cheryl's mixture of fear and toughness is very well balanced and subtle and adds considerable interest to each new plot development. An unexpected feature of this movie is John Alton's amazing cinematography which does so much to enhance the mood of the piece.
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The expert way in which light and shadow are used and camera angles are exploited to emphasise certain moments are truly outstanding as well as being aesthetically pleasing. Barbara Stanwyck sees a murder through her window, the problem is no one will believe her. George Sanders plays an author with a twisted mind who taunts Stanwyck through out the film. A little predictable but never the less enjoyable to watch. Cheryl Barbara Stanwyck wakes up one night and looks across the street to an open window where she sees a man George Sanders kill a woman. Cheryl goes to the police but they don't believe her and after a while they start to think she's the one that is crazy.
She strikes up a relationship with the lead detective Gary Merrill but the only person who knows she's telling the truth is the killer himself. As many other reviewers have pointed out, there were times where I wanted to jump through the screen and just smack the detective and those helping on this case. It doesn't help that right from the start no one is taking the woman serious because if anyone had done the smallest amount of work then there were all sorts of signs that she was telling the truth. Another big problem is that the Sanders character can pretty much do whatever he wants, no matter how silly it is, and the police will never question it.
After a while you pretty much just have to throw your hands in the air. Another major problem I had was with the music score, which was just constantly on and being way too dramatic for its own good. With that said, the three leads really make the film worth watching and especially Sanders who is terrific as the villain.
He does a great job at playing this rather dark character and I loved the way the actor played it up to scare Stanwyck while playing it cool and collective whenever facing the police. Director Roy Rowland does a nice job with the ending, which contains some suspense but sadly the screenplay doesn't give him more to work with. Second-string effort from Chester Erskine Productions jumps right into the boiling pot: Barbara Stanwyck gets out of bed to shut the window and sees a man strangling a woman across the street in a different apartment house; she does the right thing and calls the police, who perform the most cursory investigation I have ever seen of course, if they checked the unoccupied flat just next door--with its front door unlocked!
It's always good to see Stanwyck cast as an ordinary working woman in the present day, with her smart suits and no-nonsense manner, but this thinly-plotted thriller is beneath her talents. As her nefarious neighbor and former Nazi!
The First Murder
The film is brief--and yet agonizingly prolonged. Intimacy with God comes by being cognizant of his presence and communing with him. Acts says that the disciples had an aura similar to that of Jesus, and we should strive to have this said of us today. Dennis and his wife, Theresa, have three children. Incredibly put together God bless you.