The Witness for the Defense

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The Witness for the Defense
Elsie Ferguson The Witness of Defense Film Daily 1919.png
period advertisement
Directed by George Fitzmaurice
Produced by Famous Players-Lasky
Written by Ouida Bergere (scenario)
Based on The Witness for the Defense
by A. E. W. Mason
Starring Elsie Ferguson
Warner Oland
Wyndham Standing
Cinematography Arthur C. Miller
Hal Young
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • September 14, 1919 (1919-09-14)
Running time
50 minutes
Language Silent (English intertitles)

The Witness for the Defense is a 1919 American silent drama directed by George Fitzmaurice and starring Elsie Ferguson, Warner Oland, and Wyndham Standing.

Production background[edit]

The film is based on the 1913 novel The Witness for the Defence by A. E. W. Mason. Mason's story was performed as a play on Broadway in 1911 and starred Ethel Barrymore.[1]

The film is the earliest of prolific director George Fitzmaurice's to survive and is likewise the only silent film of Elsie Ferguson that remains extant. The film is also the first feature length art direction credit for William Cameron Menzies.


  • Elsie Ferguson as Stella Derrick
  • Vernon Steele as Dick Hazelwood
  • Warner Oland as Captain Ballantyne
  • Wyndham Standing as Henry Thresk
  • George Fitzgerald as Wigney Derrick
  • J. H. Gilmour as Harold Hazelwood
  • Amelia Summerville as Margaret Pettifer
  • Cora Williams as Teresa Derrick
  • Blanche Standing as Mary Derrick
  • Leslie King as Baram Singh
  • Charles W. Charles as Gardner
  • Mrs. Bryant as Gardner's Wife
  • Etienne Girardot as Richard Pettifer
  • Henry Warwick as Lawyer

Preservation status[edit]

A print of this film was discovered in the Gosfilmofond Archive in Moscow.[2][3]


External links[edit]