Witness to Murder

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For the Hardy Boys novel, see List of Hardy Boys books. For the CSI: Miami episode, see Witness To Murder (CSI: Miami).
Witness to Murder
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Roy Rowland
Produced by Chester Erskine
Screenplay by Chester Erskine
Nunnally Johnson
Starring Barbara Stanwyck
George Sanders
Gary Merrill
Music by Herschel Burke Gilbert
Cinematography John Alton
Edited by Chester Erskine Productions
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s)
  • April 15, 1954 (1954-04-15) (United States)
Running time 83 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Witness to Murder is a 1954 suspense film starring Barbara Stanwyck. While the film received moderately positive reviews, it ended up as an also-ran to Alfred Hitchcock's somewhat similar Rear Window, which opened less than a month later. The latter picture was a box-office hit.[1]


Cheryl Draper (Barbara Stanwyck), while looking out her bedroom window, witnesses a young woman being strangled to death. The woman reports the killing to the police, but no one believes her. In fact, the body can't even be found. The killer, Albert Richter (George Sanders), an ex-Nazi, sets Draper up to make her seem insane and she's locked up in a mental institution. With the aid of a sympathetic yet skeptical Police Lt. Lawrence Mathews (Gary Merrill), Draper is released and confronts the killer.



Critical response[edit]

Film critic Dennis Schwartz appreciated the work of cinematographer John Alton but gave the film a mixed review, writing, "The camerawork of John Alton is the star of this vehicle. His camerawork sets a dark mood of the Los Angeles scenario, escalating the dramatics with shadowy building shots. The twist in the story is that as upstanding a citizen as Stanwyck is, the authorities still side with the Nazi Sanders because he has a higher status. The noir theme of alienation is richly furnished. But the rub is in the story's credibility -- Stanwyck was just too strong a character to be so completely victimized."[2]


  1. ^ Witness to Murder at the Internet Movie Database.
  2. ^ Schwartz, Dennis . Ozus' World Movie Reviews, film review, July 31, 2000. Accessed: July 8, 2013.

External links[edit]