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LornaHansonForbes

A (SPOILER-HEAVY) question in re: the ending to WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION

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It seems like maybe this question has come up before but...

 

 

SPOILERS SPOILER SPOILERS IN RE: WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION

 

 

 

WHY IS IT that in the final scene, when Marlene has her big, BIG scene and reveals all- then is rejected and chucked into the boards by Ty Power, she says**:

 

"WET THEM CONVICT ME OF PERJURWY, WET THEM CONVICT ME OF CONSPIRWACY!"

(sees letter opener on table, picks it up)

"BETTER YET, WET THEM CONVICT ME OF..."

 

And for some WEIRD REASON I CANNOT FATHOM, Marlene CLEARLY SAYS THE WORD "MURDER," but the dialogue comes to an abrupt (and noticeable) halt (like 3 seconds of total, dead silence, like an error on the soundtrack) and it really, really seems like they cut the word out, the most important word btw, out of her diatribe.

 

WHY??!!!!

 

It's no violation of the production code in her saying the word; if there was some problem with the read (which I doubt) they could fix it with ADR, I don't see how it helps the story by cutting it- in fact it really undercuts what is the film's (arguably) most important scene.

 

Anyone got any ideas that the answer is?

 

ps- imdb doesn't seem to say anything about this in the trivia, goofs or alternate versions sections they have for the movie.

 

i did however find this nugget, which i HAVE to share:

 

Elsa Lanchester used to delight in broadcasting Marlene Dietrich's secrets. Although Dietrich was never secretive about her famous "tape lifts," Lanchester detailed their use to anyone who would listen (One of the most avid listeners was Charles Laughton, who urged a make-up man to steal one so he could try it). The lifts were stuck to the side of Dietrich's head where she wanted skin to be lifted. Then the long threads hanging from them were woven into hair at the back of her head, forcing the tabs to pull the skin very tight. A wig then covered the network of tabs and threads. Lanchester joked that Dietrich wouldn't dare to pull or twist her face for fear of loosening a lift. In the film, one can see how Dietrich rarely breaks the cold passiveness of her expression and moves her whole body rather than her head.

 

 

 

**PARAPHWASED FROM MEMOWY.

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Marlene Dietrich was the epitome of screen glamor.

 

But there is quite a difference between the Dietrich of her first film with Billy Wilder and, then, years later, this one.

 

Dietrich was perfect, though, for the role of Christine Helm.

 

Because she did not seem to be on her husband's side.

 

Until, of course, "the reveal" at the end.

 

No woman could have loved her husband more.

 

In answer to your question, I don't think Christine was capable of saying the word, "murder".

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In answer to your question, I don't think Christine was capable of saying the word, "murder".

 

I REALLY like your explanation!

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Marlene Dietrich was the epitome of screen glamor.

 

But there is quite a difference between the Dietrich of her first film with Billy Wilder and, then, years later, this one.

 

 

They kinda missed a GREAT chance to make a double-feature last night of A FOREIGN AFFAIR followed by WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION...in fact, one could almost view WITNESS as the continuation of Marlene's character's story from FOREIGN AFFAIR (and one of my beefs with FOREIGN AFFAIR is her character is given an inadequate send-off at the  close of that film.)

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It seems like maybe this question has come up before but...

 

 

SPOILERS SPOILER SPOILERS IN RE: WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION

 

 

 

WHY IS IT that in the final scene, when Marlene has her big, BIG scene and reveals all- then is rejected and chucked into the boards by Ty Power, she says**:

 

"WET THEM CONVICT ME OF PERJURWY, WET THEM CONVICT ME OF CONSPIRWACY!"

(sees letter opener on table, picks it up)

"BETTER YET, WET THEM CONVICT ME OF..."

 

And for some WEIRD REASON I CANNOT FATHOM, Marlene CLEARLY SAYS THE WORD "MURDER," but the dialogue comes to an abrupt (and noticeable) halt (like 3 seconds of total, dead silence, like an error on the soundtrack) and it really, really seems like they cut the word out, the most important word btw, out of her diatribe.

 

WHY??!!!!

 

It's no violation of the production code in her saying the word; if there was some problem with the read (which I doubt) they could fix it with ADR, I don't see how it helps the story by cutting it- in fact it really undercuts what is the film's (arguably) most important scene.

 

Anyone got any ideas that the answer is?

 

ps- imdb doesn't seem to say anything about this in the trivia, goofs or alternate versions sections they have for the movie.

 

i did however find this nugget, which i HAVE to share:

 

Elsa Lanchester used to delight in broadcasting Marlene Dietrich's secrets. Although Dietrich was never secretive about her famous "tape lifts," Lanchester detailed their use to anyone who would listen (One of the most avid listeners was Charles Laughton, who urged a make-up man to steal one so he could try it). The lifts were stuck to the side of Dietrich's head where she wanted skin to be lifted. Then the long threads hanging from them were woven into hair at the back of her head, forcing the tabs to pull the skin very tight. A wig then covered the network of tabs and threads. Lanchester joked that Dietrich wouldn't dare to pull or twist her face for fear of loosening a lift. In the film, one can see how Dietrich rarely breaks the cold passiveness of her expression and moves her whole body rather than her head.

 

 

 

**PARAPHWASED FROM MEMOWY.

Marlene couldn't pronounce the word "murder". The closest she could come is "motor".

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My 64 yo significant other had not seen this film before so about 30 minutes into it he decided he was bore with it and asked me how it ended, so I just told him , even though I didn't feel right about spoiling it for him. He then proceeded to watch the rest of the movie and at the end he said "that was better than I thought it would be." I told him that I regretted spoiling for him. He can be such an impatient dunderhead sometimes.

 

BTW, he didn't even know who Marlene Dietrich was! But he knew Charles Laughton.

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I never quite got the allure(so-called) of Marlene Dietrich.  Looks like an ostrich.

 

I MUCH prefer MADELINE KAHN'S "send-up" of her in BLAZING SADDLES.

 

 

Sepiatone

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They kinda missed a GREAT chance to make a double-feature last night of A FOREIGN AFFAIR followed by WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION...in fact, one could almost view WITNESS as the continuation of Marlene's character's story from FOREIGN AFFAIR (and one of my beefs with FOREIGN AFFAIR is her character is given an inadequate send-off at the  close of that film.)

Yes, "A Foreign Affair" and "Witness for the Prosecution" would have been a fabulous double bill.

 

But, at the end of "A Foreign Affair", Marlene Dietrich does get the opportunity to show those fabulous legs.

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...oh, and for the wecord, I WUV Marwene as well, I just cannot wesist kidding her a wittle on the speech thingy.

She learned English from Kay Fwancis.
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To answer the original question, it was a dramatic device to have the stabbing itself finish the line.  Obviously, though, it was a late decision and since the line was filmed with the word "murder", they merely wiped it off the soundtrack.

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To answer the original question, it was a dramatic device to have the stabbing itself finish the line. Obviously, though, it was a late decision and since the line was filmed with the word "murder", they merely wiped it off the soundtrack.

You THE man, Ray.

thanks.

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She learned English from Kay Fwancis.

 

YOU WANNA HEAR SOMETHING WEIRD?

 

I TOTALLY JUST DO NOT hear the "Kay Fwancis" thing- to me, she sounds TOTALLY NORMAL, and I've seen a pretty fair amount of her movies (IN NAME ONLY, ONE WAY PASSAGE, the thing where she plays the Dr. and Bogie is a criminal, THE HOUSE ON 92ND STREET(?), MANDALAY, MY BILL and a few others.)

 

But I have to admit "Wavishing Kay Fwancis" had a comic ZING! to it that I just have to admire.

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ps- Charles Laughton's birthday is coming up July 1st.

 

The RADIO CLASSICS CHANNEL on SIRIUS SATELLITE was running a tribute to him today.

 

Here he is on SUSPENSE!:

 

(THERE MAY BE AN AD FIRST, SORRY)

 

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Charles Laughton is a great actor. Really liked him in "Witness". :)

 

i was thinking, it really is kind of shocking that LAUGHTON was only nominated THREE TIMES for the Academy Award, winning deservedly for THE PRIVATE LIFE OF HENRY VIII and earning well-deserved nods for MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY and WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION.

 

But that's all.

 

I know he wasn't "HOLLYWOOD" and he could've cared less AND a lot of his films were British and/or "under the radar"- but really- just off the top of my head, his work in  ST. MARTIN'S LANE, THE SUSPECT, THE BIG CLOCK (for supporting), HOBSON'S CHOICE, and HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (although, again, sort of a supporting role) each and every one was without a doubt one of the five best performances given by an actor in those years.

 

(and it's worth noting, he should've earned nominations for REMBRANDT, ISLAND OF LOST SOULS and RUGGLES OF RED-GAP but was nominated for other films made in those years. )

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Laughton is an actor I can't take my eyes away from whenever he's on the screen. Not because he's especially good looking (she says, tongue in cheek), but his screen presence is that strong for me. I don't remember him ever being hammy (although I haven't seen everything he's done, lol).

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Laughton is an actor I can't take my eyes away from whenever he's on the screen. Not because he's especially good looking (she says, tongue in cheek), but his screen presence is that strong for me. I don't remember him ever being hammy (although I haven't seen everything he's done, lol).

 

And I would say that Laughton is an actor that I cannot take my EARS off of. I'm hard-pressed to think of a Lovelier or more melodious voice.

 

If you've never seen him being hammy, then I'm thinking you have never seen ISLAND OF LOST SOULS; but it is delicious, succulently glazed and well-salted ham. The very best kind of ham there could be.

 

Every now and then, a print of it will show up on YouTube and it's worth watching.

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Laughton is an actor I can't take my eyes away from whenever he's on the screen. Not because he's especially good looking (she says, tongue in cheek), but his screen presence is that strong for me. I don't remember him ever being hammy (although I haven't seen everything he's done, lol).

IMHO, Laughton and Olivier were the two greatest British film actors.

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I liked that Laughton seemed to be very comfortable in his skin in a time when most other film actors would either spend tons of money to change that look, or resign themselves to comic relief character roles just to get the work.

 

One might joke that due to his size, that Laughton had plenty of PRESENCE.  But then again at half Laughton's size and far less of his girth CLAUDE RAINS also had an equal amount of presence!

 

 

Sepiatone

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YOU WANNA HEAR SOMETHING WEIRD?

 

I TOTALLY JUST DO NOT hear the "Kay Fwancis" thing- to me, she sounds TOTALLY NORMAL, and I've seen a pretty fair amount of her movies (IN NAME ONLY, ONE WAY PASSAGE, the thing where she plays the Dr. and Bogie is a criminal, THE HOUSE ON 92ND STREET(?), MANDALAY, MY BILL and a few others.)

 

But I have to admit "Wavishing Kay Fwancis" had a comic ZING! to it that I just have to admire.

 

 

Her lisp was over hyped. I think Marlene's r's are more pronounced......

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Oddly enough, Island of Lost Souls was on Svengoolie Sat. night.....

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EugeniaH--Laughton was one actor Hitchcock couldn't control.  See "Jamaica Inn" (1939) next time its on TCM or on YT--there's more than one copy--it's Public Domain, I think.  Laughton's being "hammy" also helped Ethel Barrymore to a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination in 1948 for "The Paradine Case".   That was on YT2 weeks ago--am not certain about now.

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EugeniaH--Laughton was one actor Hitchcock couldn't control. See "Jamaica Inn" (1939) next time its on TCM or on YT--there's more than one copy--it's Public Domain, I think. Laughton's being "hammy" also helped Ethel Barrymore to a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination in 1948 for "The Paradine Case". That was on YT2 weeks ago--am not certain about now.

Lol. Between your and Lorna's suggestions, sounds like I've been missing out on some Laughton ham. Luckily I've only seen the better stuff. Thanks!

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Lol. Between your and Lorna's suggestions, sounds like I've been missing out on some Laughton ham. Luckily I've only seen the better stuff. Thanks!

Actually, Hammy Laughton is as good as Legit Laughton

You get your dollar's worth in either instance.

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