Comparison of the movie and book
Agatha Christie wrote the short story Witness for the Prosecution and published in 1948 Mead and Company. Billy Wilder directed a movie by the same title and released it on 17th December 1957 after studying and internalizing the contents of the story.
Leonard Vole is detained for the killing of Emily French, an affluent older widow. Mrs. French had made him a principal heir not knowing that Leonard was a married man and with a family. The fact that Mrs. French him a beneficiary becomes a disgusting factor particularly for his wife, Romaine, and Leonard’s defense become even harder. Things become tough for Leonard when his wife decided to testify against him and witnessed as an eyewitness for the prosecution. Through a complex and ostentatious plan, Romaine was in strategizing on how to set her husband free. Romaine strongly believed that by first giving the prosecution its sturdiest substantiation, it will be easier to acquit Leonard later when she arrange and provide a new evidence that will contradict her initial evidence. As the story ends, it is discovered that Emily French was indeed murdered by Leonard.
Although the movie “Witness for the Prosecution”and the story by the same title, basically have the same plot, Billy Wilder and Agatha Christie presents the two narration differently thus making the two look outspokenly different.
The breakage of the courtroom scenes has been done so adeptly. The watcher grows impatient waiting for something to happen on the monitor. The scene where the English chap on trial for murder meets the widow who is accused of bumping off is not clearly illustrated in the book. The author is oblivious and assumes much that could have been of utter importance in improving the storyline. From the screenshot, the public realizes that the accused murder met his wife in the offices that Mr. Laughton occupied. Agatha does not draw a clear connection between Mr. Laughton’s office and the meeting between Leonard and Emily French.
Unlike the story, the courtroom drama plays suspense very well against the anticipation of the audience. The director makes every line reverberate like thunder and music. The movie brings the courtroom drama onto the screen with ingenuity and vitality to the extent that every scene gets better and better and the audience is more fascinated to watch and get the real essence of the rumbling scenes. Agatha Christie strives to capture the audience’s attention in the story; it certainly disappears, as more lines appear disjointed and difficult to comprehend.
Through the film, it appears that Leonard and Romaine were very idealistic characters guided by egoistic interests and the irresistible desire to tell ties. Agatha’s depiction of these characters is that they are honest, innocent and out to fight for justice. Through acting, their true nature is revealed and the movie appears different from what Agatha had depicted.
The film is quite the talker. Every line of dialogue can only belong to a specific individual saying it. Additionally, the movie incorporates astounding sessions of spoken fisticuffs and practical moments of pressure. The performance is so strong and keeps on varying and regaining the potency as the scenes progresses. In the book, boredom sets in as an individual reads on. The real emotions of the characters appear more fictitious than real due to the texts inability to portray emotional and psychological aspects
Agatha’s original version of the story ends as Romaine reveals that her husband was indeed guilty. The movie ends as Christine (Agatha’s stage name) grabs a knife and stabs her husband Leonard to death. The movie’s ending works better since it implies that criminals should not be left to walk scot-free but should be punished for their misdoing. This, therefore, makes the movie more interesting and enjoyable than the text.
Christie, Agatha. Witness for the Prosecution & Selected Plays. London: HarperCollins, 1995. Print.