Witness for the Prosecution (1957) Poster

Charles Laughton: Sir Wilfrid Roberts



  • Sir Wilfrid : [getting progressively more agitated]  The question is, Frau Helm, were you lying then, are you lying now, or are you not in fact a chronic and habitual LIAR!

  • Sir Wilfrid : I'd better take that thermos of cocoa with me. It helps me wash down down the pills.

    Miss Plimsoll : Let me see. My learned patient is not above substituting brandy for cocoa.

    [opens thermos and smells] 

    Miss Plimsoll : Sniff, sniff. It is cocoa. So sorry.

    Sir Wilfrid : If you were a woman, Miss Plimsoll, I would strike you.

  • Sir Wilfrid : I am constantly surprised that women's hats do not provoke more murders.

  • Sir Wilfrid : Give me a match.

    Leonard Vole : Sorry, I don't carry matches.

    Sir Wilfrid : [to Brogan-Moore]  I thought you said I'd like him.

    Leonard Vole : But I do have a lighter.

    Sir Wilfrid : You're quite right, I do like him.

  • Sir Wilfrid : Would you like a cigar? Pardon me.

    [Takes cigar out of Mayhew's suit pocket] 

    Inspector Hearne : That's very kind of you Sir Wilfrid.

    Sir Wilfrid : I better not, it would constitute a bribe.

    [Places cigar into his own suit pocket] 

  • Leonard Vole : But this is England, where I thought you never arrest, let alone convict, people for crimes they have not committed.

    Sir Wilfrid : We try not to make a habit of it.

  • Sir Wilfrid : My Lord, may I also remind my learned friend that his witness, by her own admission, has already violated so many oaths that I am surprised the Testament did not LEAP FROM HER HAND when she was sworn here today! I doubt if anything is to be gained by questioning you any further! That will be all, Frau Helm!

  • Sir Wilfrid : We've disposed of the gallows, but there's still that banana peel somewhere.

  • Miss Plimsoll : Is there too much of a draft? Should I roll up the window?

    Sir Wilfrid : Just roll up your mouth, you talk too much. If I had known how much you talk I'd never have come out of my coma.

  • Mayhew : She and her husband had lived abroad for many years in British Nigeria. He was in the colonial service. He died in '45 of a heart attack.

    Sir Wilfrid : Oh, please, Mayhew, not while I'm smoking.

  • [Miss Plimsoll discovers cigars hidden in Sir Wilfrid's cane] 

    Sir Wilfrid : You could be jailed for that. You had no search warrant for my cane!

  • Brogan-Moore : Touching isn't it? The way he counts on his wife.

    Sir Wilfrid : Yes, like a drowning man clutching at a razor blade.

  • Sir Wilfrid : Kings, prime ministers, archbishops, even barristers have stood in the dock.

  • Miss Plimsoll : I almost married a lawyer once. I was in attendance when he had his appendectomy, and we became engaged as soon as he could sit up... and then peritonitis set in and he went just like that!

    Sir Wilfrid : He certainly was a lucky lawyer.

  • Sir Wilfrid : Doctors! They've deprived me of everything: alcohol, tobacco, female companionship!

  • Miss Plimsoll : It's beddy-bye. We better go upstairs now, get undressed and lie down.

    Sir Wilfrid : We? What a nauseating prospect.

  • Miss Plimsoll : I shall have a very serious talk with Doctor Harrison. It was a mistake to let you come back here. I shall take you directly to a rest home or resort. Some place quiet, far off, like Bermuda.

    Sir Wilfrid : Shut up. You just want to see me in those nasty shorts.

  • Christine Vole : He is not my husband. Leonard and I went through a form of marriage in Hamburg, but, I had a husband living at the time somewhere in East Germany in the Russian zone.

    Sir Wilfrid : Did you tell Leonard?

    Christine Vole : I did not! It would have been stupid to tell him. He would not have married me and I would have been left behind to starve in the rubble.

    Brogan-Moore : But, he did marry you and brought you safely to this country. Don't you think you should be very grateful to him?

    Christine Vole : One can get very tired of gratitude.

  • Christine Vole : It isn't even my letter paper! I write my letters on small, blue paper with my initials on it?

    Sir Wilfrid : Like these?

    [pulling out a sheaf of letters on blue paper] 

    Christine Vole : Damn you! Damn you! Let me go! Let me get out of here!

  • Miss Plimsoll : Our nap! Sir Wilfrid! Our nap!

    Sir Wilfrid : You go on ahead. Start it without me.

  • Sir Wilfrid : [to Brogan-Moore]  Oh, pardon, Mrs. Vole, handle her gently especially when you break the news of the arrest. Bear in mind, she's a foreigner. So be prepared for hysterics and even a fainting spell. Better have smelling salts ready, a box of tissues and a nip of brandy.

    Christine Vole : [Enters Mrs. Vole]  I do not think that will be necessary. I never faint because I'm not sure that I will fall gracefully and I never use smelling salts because they puff up the eyes. I'm Christine Vole.

  • Sir Wilfrid : Ah, Miss Plimsoll, how alluring you look. Waiting like a hangman on the scaffold...

  • Sir Wilfrid : Might as well get a bigger box of more mothballs and put me away to.

  • Sir Wilfrid : I could probably think better if you gave me one of those cigars.

  • Sir Wilfrid : Aw, Miss Plimsoll, how yearning you look!

  • Sir Wilfrid : Your husband loves you very much, does he not?

    Christine Vole : Leonard? He worships the ground I walk on.

    Sir Wilfrid : And you?

    Christine Vole : You want to know too much. Auf wiedersehen, gentlemen.

  • Sir Wilfrid : I have done an unethical thing. I have taken your cigar and I am not taking your case.

See also

Release Dates | Official Sites | Company Credits | Filming & Production | Technical Specs

Recently Viewed