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Witness For The Prosecution-Short Story-Play-Film

Guest Author - Siobhain M Cullen

The Witness For The Prosecution short story has some of the snappiest, twistiest and most devious knots of all the short stories, plays or novels written by Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie. Even some movie fans rate the classic film adaptation as one of the best courtroom dramas ever made.

Now, the works of Agatha Christie have made another leap - this time into the 21st century - as her mysteries become gripping interactive Agatha Christie Wii games. Far from losing their appeal, the classic crime mysteries have managed to reach out to a whole new generation as everyone, from Grandmas to kids, tries to figure out the clues to the gripping 'whodunnits' online!

Because the original short story was later made into the Witness For The Prosecution play, and then into a successful movie, this title is one of Agatha Christie's best-known works. It is also one of the best loved, even by it's author. Agatha states in a biography that it was one of the pieces that gave her most satisfaction.

In the storyline, the chief suspect, Leonard,is arrested. His friend Emily, an elderly lady, has been murdered. The spotlight is on Leonard because he is the main beneficiary of the lady's will. However, at the time of the bequest, Leonard's elderly friend had not been aware that he was married.... Leonard Vole's wife then acts as a witness for the prosecution in the murder trial and things start to slide downhill very fast for him. In desperation he turns to the only professional that can save him - his lawyer. But can the lawyer find the crucial needle in the haystack of this complicated tissue of relationships and deceptions?

According to the self-editable source Wikipedia, the Witness For The Prosecution short story originally had a different name. Agatha called it (in true memoldramatic style...) Traitors Hands and got it published in a magazine called Flynn's weekly in 1925. In England, the short story appeared in the collection entitled 'The Hound of Death' - another melodramatic title.

Agatha was then approached by a director to adapt the Witness For The Prosecution short story for the stage, and she agreed. Initially dubious, and concerned that the short story would not convert well into stage play format, she nonetheless set about the task with vigour, calling upon all her resources of friends and contacts to complete the research. Barristers, solicitors and lawyers of every size, shape and description must have been called upon to 'give counsel' to the great Agatha, Queen Of Crime.

Whatever she did (in under three weeks,) it worked! The play was, and still is, the quintessential court-room drama. However Agatha did decide that the ending needed to be changed. As a regular theatre-goer and an educated lady of her times, she would've probably instantly understood the different limitations and expectations of stages and audiences - so she added a more dramatic ending.

Adapted by the great 'Queen Of Crime' and directed by the talented Peter Saunders, the play was very well received at its first London showing and was set for success after its rave reviews in respected English newspapers. As she said in her autobiography, “It was one of my plays that I liked best myself. I was nearly as satisfied with that play as I have been with any.”

After success like that of course, the play made it 'across the pond' to Broadway, where American audiences raved about it even more. It even won the New York Drama Critics Circle best foreign play award.

In true 'got the book, then the play ticket, then the movie ticket, then the t-shirt' style - the play was noticed by the movie moguls. In 1957 Witness For The Prosecution became a hugely successful film directed by Billy Wilder and starred Charles Laughton and Marlene Dietrich.

From there on in, the original short story was guaranteed immortality due to the memorable screen adaptation of the Billy Wilder film. As a DVD, it's safely in the ranks of most-loved Agatha Christie Video Games and other Agatha Christie games,Computer Games, Agatha Christie ebook publications and other 21st century media! Deservedly so, too, for the quintessentially English schemes, sub-plots and fiendish tissue of evidence,twists and turns makes it a collectible vintage classic for all who love the law - and mystery,intrigue,court-rooms, crime,relationships and an intellectual challenge - there's something there for everyone but law-lore fans will love it most!

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Content copyright © 2015 by Siobhain M Cullen. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Siobhain M Cullen. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


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