The Witness for the Defense
Elsie Ferguson The Witness of Defense Film Daily 1919.png
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Directed byGeorge Fitzmaurice
Written byOuida Bergère (scenario)
Based onThe Witness for the Defence
by A. E. W. Mason
Produced byFamous Players-Lasky
StarringElsie Ferguson
Warner Oland
Wyndham Standing
CinematographyArthur C. Miller
Hal Young
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • September 14, 1919 (1919-09-14)
Running time
50 minutes
LanguageSilent (English intertitles)

The Witness for the Defense is a 1919 American silent drama film directed by George Fitzmaurice and starring Elsie Ferguson, Warner Oland, and Wyndham Standing.[1]

Production background

The film is based on the 1913 novel The Witness for the Defence by A. E. W. Mason. Mason's story was performed as a play on Broadway in 1911 and starred Ethel Barrymore.[2]

The film is the earliest of prolific director George Fitzmaurice's to survive and is likewise the only silent film of Elsie Ferguson that remains extant. The film is also the first feature length film art direction credit for William Cameron Menzies.


Preservation status

A print of The Witness for the Defense was discovered in the Gosfilmofond archive in Moscow.[1][3]