In view of the enthusiastic response to the Hong Kong Film Archive (HKFA)'s "Restored Treasures" series in March, an additional screening of six-time Academy Award winner Billy Wilder's restored classic "Witness for the Prosecution" (1957) will be held at 7.30pm on March 15 (Friday) at the Cinema of the HKFA.
"Witness for the Prosecution" was adapted from Agatha Christie's detective fiction. A rich woman dies and her beneficiary becomes the prime suspect in her murder. Yet when the suspect's wife testifies, she turns into a witness for the prosecution, accusing her husband of murder. Wilder remained faithful to Christie's narrative twists and preserved the surprise ending, creating a film that surpassed the stage production that Christie had adapted from her original story. Film goddess Marlene Dietrich is most eye-catching in the film.
Well known for his enjoyable comedies and features, Billy Wilder (1906-2002) was one of Hollywood's most talented and versatile filmmakers, and he produced over 50 films. Born to a Jewish family in the Austro-Hungarian Empire (in today's Poland), he started scriptwriting in Berlin in late 1920s. To escape the Nazis, he left for America via France and began a long and fruitful collaboration with screenwriter Charles Brackett in Hollywood. His famous titles include melodramatic works like "Double Indemnity" (1944) and "Sunset Boulevard" (1950) as well as comedies like "The Seven Year Itch" (1955) and "Some Like it Hot" (1959). Throughout his career, he directed many great stars including Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Shirley MacLaine, James Stewart and Jack Lemmon.
The film print to be screened was restored and loaned out by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The film is in English with English subtitles.
Tickets for the additional screening are now available at URBTIX outlets. Tickets are priced at $50. Half-price concessionary tickets are available for senior citizens aged 60 and above, people with disabilities and their minders, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. Credit card bookings can be made on 2111 5999, or on the Internet at www.urbtix.hk .
Detailed programme information can be found in "ProFolio 66", which is distributed at all performing venues of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. For enquiries, please call 2739 2139 or 2734 2900, or browse the webpage: www.lcsd.gov.hk/CE/CulturalService/filmprog/english/2011rt3/2011rt3_film.html .
Ends/Thursday, February 28, 2013
Issued at HKT 12:00
A film still from "Witness for the Prosecution" (1957).