Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Monday, August 25, 2008

WITNESS TO MURDER


WITNESS TO MURDER (1954). Director: Roy Rowland.

Cheryl Draper (Barbara Stanwyck) sees Albert Richter (George Sanders) murder an unknown woman from a window in her apartment. Unfortunately Lt. Mathews (Gary Merrill) -- one of the dumbest police officers in Los Angeles -- is unable to find any evidence of a crime. He thinks Cheryl sent threatening notes to Richter simply because they were typed on her typewriter -- duh! Eventually Cheryl winds up in the psychiatric ward while it takes forever for Mathews to find out if Richter was in any way associated with a young woman whose dead body turned up in Griffin Park. Although this movie becomes increasingly silly and unconvincing as it proceeds, it does hold the attention and both Stanwyck and especially Sanders give top-notch performances. Although the finale on a high-rise construction site stretches credulity -- couldn't Cheryl have gone somewhere else to elude Richter? -- it does make for an effective and exciting climax.

Verdict: Leave it to Babs and George. **1/2.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pretty good movie. Trivia - The threatening notes, written on Ms Draper's typewriter, have differing fonts in 2 different scenes.

William said...

Interesting. Like I said, the detective in this isn't too bright. Thanks for your comment.