Witness to Murder (1954)

9 Stars (Out of 10 Stars)

A very underrated movie by Director Howard Hawks…also available on Netflix.  This movie is entertaining from beginning to end. Barbara Stanwyck is a little older here, but this movie was a precursor to many other great films featuring working class women who are wrongly accused.

LEADING ACTORS IN GREAT ROLES
Barbara Stanwyck is great as she tries to maintain her story, keep the facts straight, all while trying to keep her own sanity as clues don’t add up to murder.

The killer in this movie, played by George Sanders is a nice guy, with a soothing voice, and a mild demeanor…people also say that Ted Bundy was also quite charming and could be very persuasive.  George Sanders does a great job executing his strategy and playing “mr. nice guy” to the police and detectives.

THE KILLER’S STRATEGY
I think this movie worked for me so well because the Killer was smart, influential in some ways, and realized that there was on only ONE witness to the murder, so all he had to do is to ruin her credibility.  He does even more than that and she nearly goes insane as she cannot remember what is fact and what is fiction.

The killer nearly outsmarted everyone until one clue turns the tide of suspicion to him.

SUMMARY
A nice ending to this movie as they go up and up and up an unfinished skyscraper and a fistfight leads to a dramatic escape.

I rated this movie a 9 stars, just missed a 10 for a few scenes that are a little unrealistic, but all and all, this is a great film.  One of the forgotten classics.  As this writing you can view this film on Netflix…watch it and you won’t be disappointed.  I liked this movie better than Double Indemnity (8 Stars) and Sorry Wrong Number (8 stars)–a minor classic.

Todd Morgan
About Todd Morgan
Todd is one of nation's top classic movie experts, with a passion and determination to help the younger generation discover some of the truly greatest movies ever made. Todd reviews 2-3 movies every week and also prepares classic movie trivia, lists, writes books, and develops games all on Classic Movies. Contact him at classicmovieguy.com@gmail.com.

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