Hostile Witness

Hostile Witness is a 1968 British courtroom-based drama film based on a play by Jack Roffey, directed by Ray Milland (who had appeared in the play on Broadway) and starring Milland, Sylvia Sims, Raymond Huntley and Julian Holloway.[1][2] [3]

Hostile Witness
Detail of original British quad poster
Directed byRay Milland
Produced byDavid E. Rose
Screenplay byJack Roffey
Based onplay Hostile Witness by Jack Roffey
StarringRay Milland
Sylvia Syms
Music byWilfred Josephs
CinematographyGerald Gibbs
Edited byBernard Gribble
Caralan Productions Ltd. (as Caralan-Dador)
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
  • November 1968 (1968-11) (UK)
Running time
101 mins
CountryUnited Kingdom


A distinguished barrister finds himself on the wrong side of the law when accused of the murder of the motorist who killed his daughter.[4]



The play debuted in 1964 starring Michael Denison and transferred to the West End.[5]

Jay Julien bought the rights to take the play to America. In 1965 Ray Milland agreed to appear in the play in New York. It was Milland's first theatrical appearance in a number of years apart from appearing in a road version of My Fair Lady.[6] The New York Times called it "serviceable".[7] The show at a capitalisation fo $125,000 and ended on July 2 after 157 performances. Milland then took the play on tour.[8] The Los Angeles Times called the production "absorbing, completely satisfactory, and wholly successful thriller."[9]

In March 1967 it was announced that Milland would star in and direct a film version for Edward Small and United Artists.[10] Shooting started in London in July 1967 with David Rose producing.[11]

Critical reception

DVD Talk wrote, "It's not terrible and has its moments, but Billy Wilder's Witness for the Prosecution or your average episode of Rumpole of the Bailey is a lot more fun."[12]


  1. "Hostile Witness (1968)".
  2. League, The Broadway. "Hostile Witness – Broadway Play – Original - IBDB".
  3. HOSTILE WITNESS Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 37, Iss. 432, (Jan 1, 1970): 147.
  4. "Hostile Witness (1968) - Ray Milland - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  5. review: ERROLL GARNER at Leicester Cole, Ronald. The Guardian 13 Oct 1964: 9.
  6. 'Lost Weekend' Irks the 'Witness' By William Glover. The Washington Post, Times Herald 9 Jan 1966: G2.
  7. Theater: Milland in 'Hostile Witness': Courtroom Melodrama Is at the Music Box By STANLEY KAUFFMANN. New York Times18 Feb 1966: 26.
  8. KENTUCKY OFFERS 2 BOONE PAGEANTS: Rival Productions Staged in Harrodsburg and Berea By SAM ZOLOTOW. New York Times 22 June 1966: 37.
  9. 'Hostile Witness' Superbly Performed Smith, Cecil. Los Angeles Times 16 Sep 1966: C13.
  10. 'Hostile Witness' to Be Filmed New York Times ]27 Mar 1967: 41
  11. Barbra's Husband to Debut Martin, Betty. Los Angeles Times 31 Aug 1967: c13.
  12. "Hostile Witness". DVD Talk.
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