Does this man look guilty to you? Does it look like he’s hiding something?
In fact he is: he has fastened only the top button on his three-button jacket.
Pictured above is Tyrone Power from the fantastic 1957 Billy Wilder film “Witness For The Prosecution,” which features an incredible performance by Charles Laughton as a celebrated barrister who takes one final case, defending Power’s character from the charges of murder.
The film is set in London, but Power plays an American who stayed in Europe after the war. To sartorially separate him from his environment, Power is dressed in an Ivy-cut herringbone sportcoat. It features a hook vent, so likely not Brooks, correct? J. Press? Norman Hilton?
Regardless, I’ve no idea if it was the idea of the actor, director or costumer, but when Power first shows up on screen to plead innocence of the charges against him, his jacket is buttoned in this odd fashion, visually sending a signal to even the least clothes-observant audience member that something is slightly off. Call it a 3/1 roll, and for Power, the “roll” of a lifetime.
“Witness For The Prosecution” is currently available from Netflix streaming and is well worth a view. — CHRISTIAN CHENSOVLD