Witness to Murder - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Witness to Murder Reviews

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½ June 26, 2017
Tuesday, October 30, 2012

(1954) Witness to Murder

The first few minutes in has Cheryl Draper(Barbara Stanwyck) looking through her window physically witnessing Nazi sympathizer author Albert Richter(George Sanders) choking an unknown lady to death and of course she calls the police. And I guess, there was a time that when police were called, they would go and see the assiliant making the phone call first before checking out the penthouse where the murder had taken place which gave Albert enough time to hide the body. And by the time the police finally shows up at the penthouse where the murder happend with Detective Mathews(Gary Merrill) being in charge they don't find a single thing, which also includes a pair of errings.
And although, viewers know this guy is going to get caught, it's just a matter of when and how. As soon as Albert discovers which lady who saw him, he turns the tables on her by manipulating the system by convincing them that she's disillusional and should be at the loony asylum and to say anymore would be pointless. This can also be the bases for many Hitchcock movies since it has similar themes to Rear Window and was also released months before Rear Window's release as well as Vertigo.

The movie is slightly outdated because of cell phones and recorders and so forth but anyone familiar with the 'master of suspense' director Alfred Hitchcock should know that this film may have been the basis of two of his films, most notably his masterpiece "Rear Window" and "Vertigo" because they're also some vertigo scenes on here but not as intense.

3 out of 4 stars
Super Reviewer
½ June 26, 2017
This could have been a great one as George Sanders delivers an excellent performance as the bad guy. He's spotted committing a murder and he then fiendishly goes about casting the witness to the crime as mentally unhinged.

Problem is that Barbara Stanwyck is too strong a figure to make us believe she'd be mentally manipulated. Add to that Gary Merrill's implausible character of a disbelieving cop/love interest and this thing just doesn't work.

The music score is awful, but the film noir cinematography is superb.
½ June 24, 2017
TCM showed it the same night as Rear Window so I was interested but, save some nifty camera work, it very simply doesn't match up to Hitchcock's film very well.
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
½ November 29, 2016
A poor man's Hitchcock film, which lacks tension and coherence, and with many instances of questionable character motivations. On the other hand, it is nice to see a 47-year-old Barbara Stanwyck in the leading role, and there are some nice scenes in the mental hospital. It's got so many problems, though, that you're happy it's only 83 minutes long. You can certainly do better.
½ August 5, 2015
I'm not used to being accused of murder.

A woman thinks she witnesses a murder and immediately calls the police. The police and a detective come immediately to her and listen to her story. Her story has so many holes the concept of a murder having actually taken place seems unlikely. The detective tries to meet with her regularly to hear her thoughts and make sure she is okay, but her persistence in pursuing the case may lead to her needing mental help.

"It could be worse tomorrow."
"That's what I am afraid of."

Roy Rowland, director of Meet me in Las Vegas, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, Man Called Gringo, and The Moonlighter, delivers Witness to Murder. The storyline for this picture is worthwhile and a little like Rear Window. The acting was very good and the cast includes Barbara Stanwyck, George Sanders, Gary Merrill, and Juanita Moore.

"I have nothing to fear from you. You're insane."

I came across this on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and decided to DVR it. This was a good movie and was well paced. Stanwyck delivers a solid lead performance. While this is entertaining, it isn't a classic or as good as several Hitchcock films released in this era of a similar feel.

"All fixations are pretense."

Grade: C+/B-
December 20, 2012
Kind of a simlar plot to Rear Window odd considering they were both released in the same year. Stanwyck does a great job playing a woman holding on to knowing that she is not going mad and did see murder.
Super Reviewer
December 15, 2012
"Witness to Murder" is another one of those Barbara Stanwyck vehicles from the 50s that isn't inspired, well-made or worth anyone's time. Stanwyck does her usual overacting and is consistently shown up by George Sanders, who is cool and relaxed in his villainous role. The film feels hastily thrown together and incomplete, which stems from an unoriginal screenplay, dull direction and haphazard editing, and it just isn't good in any aspect.
½ November 4, 2012
Released the same year as Hitchcock's "Rear Window", this story of Barbara Stanwyck witnessing neighbor, George Sanders, commit murder bears many similarities to the Hickcock film, but is nowhere in the same league. It's by no means a bad film, but it's simply not the classic that "Read Window" is. There are good performances by Stanwyck and Sanders and the film also features terrific photography by the great John Alton. Worth watching, but it's no "Rear Window".
½ August 25, 2012
Not sure how Barbara Stanwyck and George Sanders got roped into this one. Ok story and some pretty good dialogue, but not much heart and a few things near the end that just don't make sense: a pointless speeding-around-some-curves scene, a disappearing policewoman, and a nonsensical climb up a construction site. Also, the score is oppressively bad--alerting us SO LOUDLY of every little thrilling thing.
December 17, 2011
Starring great character actors; Barbara Stanwyck and George Sanders, shot by Roy Rowland (Our Vines Have Tender Grapes), I actually expected slightly more of this.
Stanwyck plays an artist, Cheryl Draper, who, through her window, witness her neighbor, Albert Richter, killing a young woman. She calls the police, but they find nothing suspicious in his house that could testify that there has been a crime committed. So the result is that the police believes Cheryl is mad, and they won't take her seriously even after when she claims that Mr. Richter is persecuting her.
Stanwyck is doing her usual "hysterically afraid woman, being persecuted by criminal, and the police don't believe her"-routine. She does it great. And I absolutely love seeing George Sanders playing a vicious Nazi, just as convincing as ever!

But to put it short, this ain't nothing that we haven't seen before. I have to agree with critic, Dan Callahan, that it gives an impression that it was shot during a single weekend, or something like that. They certainly could have put some more effort into it!
The plot reminds a lot of HItchcock's Rear Window, but keep in mind that this movie, actually came first!

So DO watch The Mad Miss Manton or Rear Window, rather than this, and you won't be disappointed.
I think Witness To Murder, today, is mainly for Stanwyck-fans.
½ December 4, 2011
PRIMA FACIE PROVE (screenplay+direction=zero)?
rating = 1 1/2 AND
John Alton AND George Sanders AND Barbara Stanwyck IN (full cast and crew).
June 28, 2011
Sorry, Barbara...this one sucked.
May 29, 2011
Classic film noir. While it does include stereotypical moments of 'the damsel in distress', the cunning schemes of the assumed murderer make the movie interesting.
Super Reviewer
September 15, 2010
A timeless plot that somehow reminded me of Hitchcock's Rear Window. Strangely when checking the dates for the films, they were both released in the same year (I wonder if one influenced the other and if so in which order).

Very much in the style of a Hitchcock film, conspiracy, fear, cover ups..it has it all.
½ April 13, 2010
Suspenseful little film with a strong Stanwyck.
½ January 21, 2010
Fast paced little murder thriller enhanced very much by Barbara Stanwyck?s presence and a solid supporting cast. Fast pacing helps, the score is a little much at times. Good photography and screenplay.
January 21, 2010
Fast paced little murder thriller enhanced very much by Barbara Stanwyck?s presence and a solid supporting cast. Fast pacing helps, the score is a little much at times. Good photography and screenplay.
January 2, 2009
Klassinen noir-tyylin leffa, jossa yllättävää tekijä on, että vaikeuksissa olevaa päähenkilöä esittää usein femme fatalena synkistelevä Barbara Stanwyck.
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