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Showing posts from January, 2022

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Witness for the Prosecution is a classic courtroom drama based on the play by Agatha Christie and, arguably, the best screen adaptation of any of her works. Charles Laughton plays renowned British barrister Sir Wilfrid Robarts. Robarts is returning home from hospital, having recently suffered a heart attack. As a result, he has been assigned a strict nurse, Miss Plimsoll (Elsa Lanchester), and an even stricter diet outlawing alcohol, cigars and almost any excitement. Unfortunately, that includes taking on any major criminal cases. From now on he must limit his workload and restrict himself to divorce proceedings and minor civil cases. When a solicitor colleague, Mr Mayhew (Henry Daniell), comes to see him with a new client, Sir Wilfrid must of course refuse the case. But, seeing the chance to secretly nab a cigar from Mayhew while his nurse isn't looking, he agrees to see him and his client on the pretext of providing some informal advice.  Mayhew's client is Leonard Vole (Tyr

Rotten to the Core (1965)

This crime comedy begins with three small time criminals - Lenny the Dip (Kenneth Griffith), Scapa Flood (James Beckett) and Jelly Knight (Dudley Sutton) - about to be released from Wormwood Scrubs prison. Their gang's mastermind is Randolph Berkeley-Greene, nicknamed "The Duke" (Anton Rodgers). But he is still on the outside, having provided himself with a cast iron alibi for their last job. On their release from prison, his three accomplices go looking for him so they can claim their share of the proceeds from the robbery. But the Duke's girlfriend Sara (Charlotte Rampling) has some bad news. She tells them that he has died after a long illness, and the money they are owed has all been spent on medical bills. She takes them to the local cemetery and shows them his burial plot. Appropriately enough for a professional crook, his tombstone is inscribed with the words "He took things as he found them". Without their gang's mastermind, Lenny, Jelly and Scar