Hostile Witness (1969)

March 17th, 2022
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Ray Milland | Cast: Ray Milland, Sylvia Sims, Felix Aylmer, Raymond Huntley | US Drama 101′

Ray Milland’s final film as a director was also one of the last in which he wore a toupee. But for the glossy colour it rather resembles a thirties quota quickie (complete with the presence of Felix Aylmer) or early sixties Edgar Wallace complete with opening and ending shots of the statue atop the Old Bailey, albeit at twice the length and with far more histrionics; but it provides the same undemanding entertainment and has a sublime final last line.

Milland stars as hot shot barrister Simon Crawford who finds himself on the wrong side of the law when his daughter is killed in a ‘hit and run’. When his neighbour is also killed, evidence points to his being involved in the murder.

The radiant Sylvia Syms represents the sixties, veteran silent star Percy Marmont the twenties; while fifties regulars Ballard Berkeley and John Horsley are also present, although by now no longer wearing trenchcoats.@RichardChatten


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