Hokuspokus (1953) Movie Script

The delayed flight from London,
scheduled to arrive at 10:10 pm,
is now making its final approach.
Was a Mister Graham on board?
Graham? No.
Any other London flights tonight?
- No, sir.
I see. Thank you.
No telegram?
- No, Mr. President.
No call from London?
- No, Mr. President.
Mr. Graham didn't arrive.
Are you expecting him again today?
The phantom.
Shall I chill some champagne?
- As always.
Two glasses? - Three,
in case Mr. Graham comes. - Yes.
And if he doesn't,
I'd appreciate it if you stayed up.
Of course.
Are you fearful?
- No, Mr. President.
Who might that be?
The phantom?
It's too early for that.
Open up, please.
Mr. Graham?
What's wrong?
We were worried about you.
Won't you step in?
That was my intention.
Doesn't it open?
- What?
The umbrella.
- Why?
It's raining.
- Is that so?
- What?
You didn't arrive.
I did.
- I was at the airport.
Had you been at the train station...
- You wired that you'd come by plane.
Is that so? Well...
Plans can change, as can dispositions.
Yes. Well, do come in.
What will you have?
I'll have a seat first. If I may.
- Yes.
- No!
How is London?
Splendid. I'm to say hello.
- From whom?
You spoke to her?
- She still loves you.
So she says.
I hope I didn't open an old wound.
I hate opening old wounds.
That's over.
Thank God.
Your last will is more generous
to her than she deserves.
Forget her.
- I have forgotten her.
Let's drink to that.
Now I believe you've forgotten her.
Just a moment.
So she's your new queen of hearts?
- Don't be silly.
The painting's no masterpiece,
but the way you illuminate it
like a Christmas tree
puts the woman in a favorable light.
And since the colors are hardly dry,
one would hope she's still alive.
And if she is, one should marry her.
Then you should hurry up.
Tomorrow she'll likely be
condemned to death.
- Yes. - So that is...
Agda Kierulf...
whose trial you'll attend tomorrow.
Who'd think she was a murderer?
Who's the painter?
- Her husband.
All he painted was his wife.
And why did she kill him?
You'll hear the prosecutor's theory.
Any chance of her being acquitted?
Hardly. - But she has
the world's best defense counsel.
She had. Her lawyer dropped the case
this afternoon.
Oh! Why's that?
She lies, contradicts herself,
and faints when she sees no way out.
I'm very curious as to what to expect.
Who knows
if the trial will even take place.
You'll find a new counsel.
- But not a new president.
Are you dropping the case too?
- Someone wants to... - What?
...drop me.
- I don't understand.
Well, I haven't asked you here
just to attend the trial, but...
If you'd be so kind
as to speak at my funeral...
At your...
- Yes, at my coffin.
I hope you'll find suitable words.
Of course.
Are you going to hang yourself?
- Shoot yourself?
The method of death
is not my decision.
The thing is, tonight
I'll probably be murdered.
Very likely!
Namely by me, if you continue to speak
in tongues. How do you know this?
From a man in a tailcoat.
- In a tailcoat?
He's been telling me for two weeks.
- How convenient!
14 days ago someone called and said,
"Is the President there?
I've something important to tell you.
I'll come at midnight.
I drink champagne." And hung up.
And then?
- He came at midnight.
What did he look like?
- Quite friendly.
And what did he say?
Nothing at first.
He drank, commended the champagne,
and then he told me.
- Told you what?
That I'd be murdered.
On the night of June 13th.
That would be... today.
- And by whom?
I'd find out, he said.
Did the gentleman
say he'd be coming tonight?
Yes. In order to protect me, he said.
Do you know what I think?
He's the one who wants to murder you.
Does a murderer announce his murder?
No, but I don't
associate with murderers.
Did you inform the police?
- No.
If this turned out to be a joke,
I'd make a fool of myself.
Why put up with such perilous visits?
Haven't you noticed?
- What?
The date. Tomorrow's the big day
in the Agda Kjerulf trial.
And tonight I'm to be murdered.
- Damn.
Agda Kjerulf is Danish,
and so is my nocturnal friend.
What time is it?
One minute to twelve.
Then we have one minute left.
Are you nervous?
- Me? No.
It looks like you are.
Some more light, perhaps?
No, no, it's quite cozy like this.
Did you hear that?
- No.
Luckily no one can see us sitting here
like idiots, awaiting our murderer.
I'll open the door.
- No, don't. He might shoot.
I'll get it. He's got
no reason to shoot at me. Right?
I'll go with you.
Nobody's there.
This is starting to get eerie.
Good evening.
Nobody opened up,
so I used the window.
May I introduce...
- How are you, Mr. Graham?
How do you...
- Is your name not Graham?
- Well then. How are you?
Fine, thanks.
- Splendid.
And you, Mr. President? I was worried
about your health tonight.
I feel wonderful. Have a seat.
Thank you.
How cozy. Was this dim lighting
your idea, Mr. President?
It was mine.
What did he say?
Know what I like most about this?
- No.
She's not smiling, but you can tell
she might do so at any moment.
And if she did, she'd have dimples.
Hm. Well...
You had a stormy trip, Mr. Graham?
Why didn't you come by plane?
Plans can change, Mr. President,
as can dispositions.
So you came by ship?
I did, by Jove.
The sea was so rough
that even the captain got seasick?
- Did the captain get seasick?
- There you are.
I recall a captain getting seasick
only once.
It was on a very calm sea
after a very strong punch.
Yes, Mr...
Bille. Peer Bille.
Bille? I knew Noldus Bille,
the great circus man from Copenhagen.
- My father.
Oh really!
I'll never forget his shows.
He could shoot like William Tell,
play violin like Paganini and do magic
like Houdini. Long live your father!
Thank you. Unfortunately, he's dead.
Let's drink to his memory.
Not you, Mr. President. You must
keep a clear head for tonight.
To your father, Mr. Bille.
He was a great man.
- That he was.
He improved the old trick
of cutting a woman in two.
He cut her in four.
Many a man
would like to know how that works.
Very funny!
Not you, Mr. President.
It's a sign of true friendship,
Mr. Graham,
that you've come to cheer up
your friend in his final hours.
That's what I wanted to ask you about.
- Very interesting.
What about the Kjerulf trial?
- It's taking its course.
That's interesting too.
I hear you're doing a good job.
I hear you play
cat and mouse with the defendant
in a way that diminishes her chances
with every answer she gives.
People speak highly of you,
Mr. President.
Let's get to the point.
- Gladly.
You told my friend
he'd be murdered tonight.
How so?
- It's my Christian sense of kindness.
I mean, how do you know this?
I'd rather not say.
- But you must.
Even if I touch a sensitive nerve
with the President?
By all means.
It's about Evelyn.
- What's she got to do with my murder?
Plenty. Although she left you, your
last will is overly generous to her.
Do you know where she is right now?
- In London.
And she's met a man there who knows
that your death would make Evelyn
a rich heiress.
This friend arrived today to kill you.
His name is Graham.
This revolver alone
would prove nothing.
But here... this is your glass.
Do you think that is sugar?
I think it's poison.
You're mad! I wired him to come.
When did you wire him?
- When was it? - The 10th.
When did you receive the telegram?
- When was it? - The 11th.
And when did you buy the ticket?
- When was it? - The 8th.
Three days before
the telegram arrived. May I?
The ticket.
The 8th!
Ticket, revolver and poison
could still leave a slight doubt.
But I think the note in Mr. Graham's
breast pocket. Pardon me, Mr. Graham.
...should dispel any doubt.
Recognize the handwriting?
It's mine.
- Did you write that?
- Care to read it?
"I can't live without Evelyn. My
last will is deposited with my lawyer,
Arthur Graham, London."
That was to be found on your body
to make it look like suicide.
Forgive me, Mr. Graham.
Let him go.
He's just getting the police.
Am I dreaming or am I awake?
- What?
That he painted her as a widow.
As if he'd suspected it.
See that fly?
- Which fly?
That fly. It's still alive.
And why shouldn't it be?
- It's been nibbling on the poison.
Maybe it's sugar after all.
Yes. It is sugar.
Am I still sane?
- Apparently not.
Not if you now see your one-time
best friend Mr. Graham as a murderer.
The poison?
- It's sugar.
And the ticket?
- I go like this...
And the note?
- I wrote it. - And why all of this?
To prove to you
that Agda Kjerulf is innocent.
The evidence against her
is circumstantial.
And with three cheap tricks,
that any illusionist would use,
I've proven beyond a doubt
that your best friend
is your murderer.
Have a seat, Peer Bille.
That eavesdropping at the window
must've been tiring.
Now may I?
Yes, now you may.
So you'd like to influence me
to the defendant's advantage?
Yes, I would.
What would you like to tell me?
- Agda Kjerulf is innocent.
Not even her counsel believes that.
He dropped the case today.
She's still innocent. I've followed
her for years. She didn't do it.
Why do you follow her?
- I love her.
Does that surprise you?
- Not at all.
What surprises me
is that Agda Kjerulf was married.
She had a husband.
- That man was worthless.
He tormented her with his pettiness,
his jealousy, and his awful old beard.
But he's dead, Mr. Bille.
Thank God.
But he was alive until March 13th.
Until when?
- March 13th.
Do you think she was happy with him?
- Didn't you say he tormented her?
That doesn't make a woman unhappy.
But you have proof that she was
unhappy enough to kill him.
You must acquit her, Mr. President.
- How is that supposed to work?
Have you ever spoken to her?
- Certainly.
Looked into her eyes?
- Certainly.
And you still think she's a murderer?
- Yes. - Scoundrel!
You have a bad temper, Peer Bille.
- Very much so.
Does that often happen?
At times. But I stop myself
at the last moment...
You wanted to tell me what you know
about Hilmar Kjerulf's murder.
You won't tell me?
On your love for Evelyn,
do you think such a sweet thing
as Evelyn... or Agda
is capable of murder?
On your love for Agda,
did you assist her?
I did it alone.
Good night.
Now we'll decide whether this man
belongs in the madhouse or in jail.
In jail. Arrest him.
- Just a moment.
I came of my own accord. I'll leave,
and attend the trial the same way.
Arrest and restrain him.
He has a violent temper.
You are no gentleman, Mr. President.
That's no good. I can free myself.
See? My hands must be like this.
Not with the thumb on the inside.
Watch, like this...
Now try to get loose.
You can't. Good.
Goodbye, gentlemen. I'll be at
at the trial, but not in a tailcoat.
The murder weapon.
As a souvenir.
Be reasonable! It's senseless!
This is no bargain sale. Stop!
We're in the District Court main hall,
where Agda Kjerulf
is being tried today for murder.
The courtroom is jam-packed,
and people are still trying to get in.
The prosecutor and the new
defense counsel have not yet arrived.
We now await
the arrival of the justices.
Is the meteorological report there?
It's in the file, Mr. Prosecutor.
- Mr. President?
Where's the defendant? It's time.
- She's with her new defense counsel.
Do we have the counsel's mandate?
- Yes, and it's in order.
- Mr. President?
Has the police report
from Copenhagen arrived?
It's already in your file.
- Summon the defendant. - Yes, sir.
What is the new counsel's name?
- Dr. Bille. - I see.
What's his name?
I think that's him.
Mr. President, honorable judges,
state prosecutor and jury,
my name is Dr. Bille. I am
the new counsel, if it may please you.
I hope Mr. President doesn't hold
last night's incident against me,
but it's part of my defense. Unusual
circumstances require unusual steps.
And it's unusual for a defense counsel
to abandon his client.
That in itself shows that he doesn't
believe his client to be innocent.
Such a measure must be condemned
if he did it, as he says,
for reasons of conscience.
A man with a conscience
has no business being a lawyer.
I have followed this case,
and I am of the firm belief
that the defendant, now my client,
is innocent. And I will
stop at nothing to prove it.
As last night proved. And I beg
the prosecutor's pardon for lacking
the politeness of a guest counsel.
However, I have no choice
but to disprove his theories
with unrelenting perseverance.
I'm not fearful, so go right ahead.
I certainly will.
- Sir?
I won't praise you
for your performance last night.
I think it fair to inform
those present of this incident.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dr. Bille
showed up in my flat last night
claiming to be a former circus artist.
- Yes, but then I studied law,
which my father claimed
was a more noble circus.
He presented watertight evidence that
my best friend had come to murder me,
that the defendant didn't kill
her husband, but rather that he did.
And if I'd given him more time,
he would've likely proved that not he,
but rather that I was the murderer.
But you did make one mistake.
The razor...
Yes, I realized that afterwards.
I contacted the forensic expert.
The corpse showed no injury.
Cause of death is drowning.
- Exactly.
Furthermore, I requested
your police record. Care to hear?
No. Is it good?
- I haven't read it yet.
Peer Jens Christian Bille, born in
Svendburg, son of Noldus Bille,
in whose circus
he attained great skills
as rider, swordsman, magician,
speed painter and escape artist.
I wasn't a great escape artist.
Yesterday you were excellent.
He left the circus to study law, went
to the Himalayas, and never returned.
He's presumed dead.
That's quite an exaggeration.
But who would dare
contradict a police report?
The defendant may sit here
in that chair.
I hope your fainting spells
won't impede today's proceedings.
So do I, Mr. President.
Those spells seem to come about
when you contradict yourself.
It is strange.
Very. Wouldn't you rather
make a confession
and ease your conscience?
I cannot, Mr. President.
- Why not?
Because it is clean.
I didn't drain my husband. - Drown!
When you reported him missing,
why didn't you tell the police
you were on a boat with him
before he disappeared?
I didn't think it was important.
Your husband drowned in the lake,
and you didn't think it important?
At the time, I didn't know he drained.
- Drowned!
But when his body
washed up six days later, you knew.
Why did you still keep quiet?
I thought that if I said something
that I had kept quiet about...
So you did keep quiet?
- No. No, that I hadn't mentioned
as being suspicious.
- And that it is.
Why did you refuse to identify your
husband? You had to be forced to.
I wanted to remember him
as I last saw him.
Alive and smiling.
What is the point?
- To determine if it was your husband.
I knew that it was.
- How did you know?
Excuse me?
- You said you knew he'd disappeared.
How did you know he'd drowned?
That he was dead?
From physics class. After six days
in the water, a person must be dead.
So you no longer deny
taking a boat ride with your husband?
My client did not deny it,
she just didn't mention it.
She saw no link between the boat ride
and her husband's disappearance.
So you admit taking a boat ride
with your husband? - Yes.
What happened during that boat ride?
Nothing special, as I recall.
May I aid your recollection?
Was there not the usual fight?
We did not usually fight.
It's a fact that the boat capsized.
Who caused it to capsize?
I don't know.
- The prosecution claims that you did.
That's not true.
You're a swimmer. Your husband wasn't.
You knew he wouldn't survive,
while you'd be able to save yourself.
- I never considered that.
But you did consider
getting rid of him.
I only said, "Why don't you divorce me
if you don't trust me?"
What was his answer?
He'd rather tear me into tiny pieces,
as he put it.
And why didn't he trust you?
- He was jealous.
With reason?
- Oh, yes.
Would you tell us the reason?
- He loved me.
We want to know
if he had reason to be jealous.
- No.
Are we to believe that?
- If you'd be so kind.
You're a charming woman.
- Thank you, Mr. President.
You husband wasn't your type.
- I liked him. - He had a beard.
Many famous lovers wore beards.
The prosecutor has a cute one too.
And you weren't unfaithful?
- But his jealousy pained you!
No woman is pained by the jealousy
of a man she loves,
Mr. Prosecutor.
- In other words,
everything was fine.
- Yes.
Then explain to me
what caused the boat to capsize.
It wasn't me.
- What then?
I don't know. It all happened so fast.
May I ask what speaks against
the notion that it was an accident?
Then she would've
reported the accident.
Instead, she initially denied
even having gone on a boat ride!
And how do you think
the defendant capsized the boat?
By leaning over the side.
How much do you weigh?
- 101 pounds.
Have you always weighed so little?
- I was always a lightweight.
Summon the nun, please.
- The nun!
The what?
- The nun.
I see no nun in my file.
Here she comes!
What's this?
- It's your chance to show
how such a light person
could capsize such a heavy boat.
Care to step into the boat with me?
- Gladly.
You'll be the defendant,
and I'll be her husband.
Capsize the boat by leaning out, and
I'll never go boating with you again.
Where did you sit, Madam?
- There.
And your husband?
- In the middle.
Madam... I mean, Mr. Prosecutor.
Ahoi, Mr. Prosecutor!
You cheat!
You're leaning the other way.
That's a reflex he would've had
as well. But fine, I'll sit still.
Try it again.
Well, Captain?
- It's different in the water.
Who knows how this is built!
It was built under expert supervision
to match conditions in the water.
Boat lender, sir, you've worked
with boats for over 25 years.
What could cause such a boat
to capsize? Leaning out too far?
I'd rule that out.
There must've been a struggle.
In which case the man would've won.
Could a sudden gust of wind
have caused the boat to capsize?
That can be ruled out. At the time
in question... Where's my file?
You're sitting on it.
- Thank you.
At 4 pm there was a lull.
Here's the meteorological report.
At 4:20 there was a storm,
if you'd read on.
At 4 pm there was a lull!
- At 4:20 there was a storm.
The boat capsized at 4.
The storm was at 4:20!
A gust of wind can herald a storm.
- 'Can'.
For the record, the prosecutor admits
the possibility of a gust of wind.
I don't admit anything!
- For the record, he admits nothing.
Mr. Defense Counsel, must I...
- But no, Mr. President,
I merely wanted to demonstrate
that her theory need not be as silly
as the prosecutor
would make it out to be.
Thank you, but concentrate on
defending your client.
Defendant, was there a gust of wind?
I don't think so.
- See!
Lucky for you. Sir, what else
can cause such a boat to capsize?
Careless switching of seats.
- Did you switch seats?
I object to the way he's putting words
in her mouth. - What do you...
What's more, I protest the theory
that a boat can only be capsized
by switching places.
But it's obvious! - No, it's not.
- Hold tight! - Thank you.
You're assuming I'll go that way
to switch places, so you go that way.
Then I go that way too!
Did you hurt yourself, Mr. Prosecutor?
- No.
Too bad. Thank you, Mr. President,
I no longer need the boat.
Constable, take it away.
Boat lender, sir, please remain.
Mr. Prosecutor,
your files are floating away!
Ah, yes, hold on!
Just a moment. Thank you.
For the record, the test showed
that the boat's capsizing couldn't
have been caused by leaning over,
but quite possibly by switching
positions. Thus the accident theory
appears plausible again.
I repeat: If it had been an accident,
why did the defendant not report it?
No idea. Perhaps she had a reason
that had nothing to do with this case.
More important is the question whether
or not the two switched positions
or got up at the same time.
Oh yes, now I remember.
What spontaneous recollection!
It was cold, and my husband
helped me into my coat.
Hold on! Your maid stated
that you left home without a coat.
Well... yes.
I didn't mean my coat.
My husband gave me his.
Your husband
didn't have a coat either.
The oilskin coat that was in the boat.
The oilskin coat that was in the boat.
That's what he helped you into?
Then you must've had it on
when the boat capsized.
- Yes.
Then you swam to shore
and walked home? - Yes.
But your maid testified
that you came home without a coat!
I took it off in the water
so I could swim better.
And your husband probably put it
back on so he could drown better.
For when he washed ashore,
he was wearing the oilskin coat!
Buttoned up!
Right? And that in turn
might cause another fainting spell.
The defendant continues to lie!
The question we all have is:
Why do you lie if you are innocent?
So you don't think I'm guilty.
- What was that?
I can't put it any other way.
What my client means is, although
innocent, she must sometimes lie,
because the truth
would falsely incriminate her.
So she's lying for truth's sake!
- That sums it up. Thanks, Prosecutor.
Please, Mr. Defense Counsel...
- Madam Defendant...
Shouldn't we admit
there was a small fight in the boat?
- A small one or a big one?
A big one.
Hilmar was jealous as usual.
Of whom?
Of men.
Which men?
- All men.
Which men in particular?
Particularly of successful men.
- For example?
Napoleon is dead.
- That didn't matter to him.
You see, Mr. President,
he had an inferiority complex.
He thought he was a bad painter.
I told him he was a good painter,
and he was.
- I know. I have one of his paintings.
It's hanging above my fireplace.
- Really, Mr. President,
I never doubted his talent, but he
didn't believe me. He'd get jealous
and say I couldn't possibly love
such an amateur as himself.
Then he demanded the name of my lover.
- But you didn't give it to him.
Of course not.
- And why not?
I didn't have one.
- So that kind of fight took place?
Exactly. Just like that.
- How did it end?
In reconciliation.
That's what capsized the boat?
- What then?
The boat didn't capsize at all.
Another lie!
- That hasn't been proven.
We'll see about that!
Mr. President, if I may
summon witness Sedal.
- Witness Sedal, please.
Please step forward.
Anna Sedal, 23 years old, unmarried,
no relation to the defendant.
You were the defendant's maid?
Lady's maid, Mr. President.
Mr. Prosecutor.
- Witness,
one of your duties was to help the
defendant get dressed and undressed.
Do you recall March 13th?
Yes, that was the day the Madam
went for a boat ride with Mr. Kjerulf.
What kind of dress was she wearing?
- The one with the blue dots.
In what condition was the dress
when the defendant returned?
I don't know.
You just said
you helped her dress and undress.
That day I only dressed her.
- Why didn't you undress her?
I didn't notice that she'd returned.
She came through the garden
and got changed on her own.
In other words, she sneaked in.
I don't know.
When did you see her that afternoon?
It must've been just after her return
that I entered her room.
And the defendant had already changed?
- Yes.
Did she ring for you?
No, I entered mistakenly.
And what was the defendant doing
when you mistakenly entered?
She was humming a tune.
Humming a tune?
- Yes.
Out of embarrassment?
- No, out of Carmen.
Did the defendant seem agitated?
- Yes.
Very agitated?
- I think so...
Did she look exhausted?
Answer me, you're under oath.
Did she look exhausted?
Madam was always good to me.
Tell me if she was exhausted!
Her hands trembled
while she did her hair.
She trembled with exhaustion
while humming a tune
when you came in?
I can only say how it was,
even if it doesn't make sense.
It does make sense. How did the dress
look when you found it in the closet?
It wasn't in the closet.
- Where was it?
- It was gone?
You're saying you never saw it again?
- No, I did. - When?
A few days later.
- Where?
In a trunk.
- Interesting. And how did it look?
It was damp.
- What else?
- And what did you do with it?
I took it to the cleaners.
- Keller and Hoffmann?
That will be all. I'd like to
question the employee of that company.
Cross examination, Counsel?
- No, thanks.
Witness, please have a seat.
Witness Munio Eunano!
Your name is Munio Eunano?
A stupid name...
But my ancestors were Greek.
'Eu'. Hence the 'Eu'.
Hence the 'Eu'. But that is your name?
- Yes.
26 years old, unmarried,
no relation to the defendant, employee
at Keller and Hoffmann's cleaners.
Yes. I wanted to be an actor.
Yes. Mr. Prosecutor, go ahead.
Witness, on March 17, the defendant's
maid brought a blue and white dress
to be cleaned.
- Yes. A blue and white dress.
Precisely. In what condition
was the dress when you received it?
Damp, bunched up, wrinkled,
and slightly torn.
Did it have any stains?
- Yes. - What kind?
Tar and seaweed stains.
We couldn't remove them.
But we did remove the blue dots!
That's why we didn't charge for it.
Well, that would've been difficult.
Don't ask the defense anything, just
answer the prosecutor's questions.
Yes, Mr. Chairman.
How do you explain
the tar and seaweed stains?
It seems they got on the dress.
It seems so.
I mean, did it look like the dress
had come into contact
with the tar and seaweed covered hull
of a capsized boat?
I didn't understand that.
I asked if the dress looked like
it had come into contact
with the tar and algae covered hull
of a capsized boat?
He still didn't understand.
The prosecutor asks if you think
the dress looked like
it had come into contact
with the tar and algae covered...
No. I can't improve on that.
It's quite possible.
- What?
That the dress
clung to a capsized boat.
Or the wearer of that dress?
- That's what I meant.
Enter that in the record.
Witness, you said the dress was torn.
Where was it torn?
- Above the breast, so to speak.
What do you mean by 'so to speak'?
Pardon me, I mean,
a dress has no breast, so to speak.
I mean, no breasts!
Little breasts. Pardon me.
Don't be so nervous. Did the tears
look like they came about in a fight?
- Enter that in the record as well!
I'm finished with the witness.
- Cross examination?
Witness, sir...
You said the dress was damp.
How damp was it?
How damp?
- Yes, how damp?
So damp
that it had to have been in a lake?
Or could it have become that damp
in an intense downpour?
In a downpour...
That's also possible, Mr. Counsel.
It's also possible,
and we want that in the record too.
And the seaweed stains,
what color were they?
- Couldn't they also be grass stains?
- But tar stains don't come from grass.
Unless there was tar in the grass.
And the torn dress: You said the tears
could've come about in a fight.
But might they not,
in your sophisticated experience,
also have been the result
of a passionate embrace?
That would be even better!
Enter that in the record too!
Thank you.
Witness, we'll judge your oath later.
You can go now.
What do you say
to the testimony of the two witnesses?
Well, was the dress wet
from the lake or from the rain?
Do you realize that your silence
is very incriminating?
Next item then.
That would be
the allegedly happy marriage.
I will prove
that the defendant had a lover.
The witness Eulalia Kiebutz, please.
Witness Kiebutz, please.
The jury should know
that the observations
of this witness are what first caused
the authorities to get involved.
Your name is Eulalia Kiebutz,
52 years old, you are unmarried and
in no way related to the defendant?
- That's right, Mr. President.
You must testify under oath.
Raise your right hand.
You swear to tell the truth
to the best of your ability?
I swear.
Are you and the defendant neighbors?
Not exactly. My house is on a hill
overlooking the Kjerulf villa.
So you had a good view of
the Kjerulf villa and garden? - Yes.
How long after the painter's death
did you make your first observations?
- Around three weeks after his death.
Tell us what you observed.
Two or three times a week,
the studio light was on.
Once the shutters were left open,
and there were shadows
cast onto the white curtains.
- What kind of shadows?
Shadows of a man and a woman.
What did the shadows do?
Did they kiss each other?
- That too.
Could you tell who the shadows were?
- The woman, but not the man.
Who was the woman?
The defendant.
So much for the defendant's fidelity!
What did you observe at the grave?
A few weeks after Mr. Kjerulf's death,
I wanted to put some flowers
on my sister's grave.
When I passed Mr. Kjerulf's grave,
I saw a woman crying in mourning,
moving her lips as if
in conversation with the deceased.
And it wasn't the defendant?
That's just it. On two more visits,
I saw the woman sitting there talking.
So you're suggesting that the painter
had a mistress prior to his death?
Certainly not afterwards!
- Defense Counsel!
Then not only was the defendant having
an affair, but so was the deceased!
That's what the Kjerulf's
happy marriage looked like.
Cross examination, Counsel?
- Yes.
I assume, Miss Kiebitz...
- Butz! - Butz.
...that you were shocked by all this?
- I'd say so!
You covered your eyes and turned away?
- Not right away.
How long did you watch?
Until I'd had enough.
- And when was that?
I didn't check the time.
You just watched the shadows.
And tell us what they did.
What did the shadows do?
- They embraced. - Go on.
They kissed.
- Go on.
Kissed for a long time.
- Go on.
He kissed forehead, eyes and mouth.
- Go on.
Then the shadows disappeared.
And then?
- Then...
Then you waited a while?
- Yes.
But nothing happened?
- I'd had enough.
Apparently not,
if you waited some more.
What's the distance to your house?
- Around 100 meters.
Congratulations. You must have
great eyes for your age.
I used my opera glasses.
Just what I wanted to hear.
Thank you, no further questions.
Have a seat, please. Thank you.
Thank you.
And rest assured, that's the last time
I give the authorities a tip-off.
That's how the main witness looks.
- Defense Counsel!
I didn't say how she looks,
I just stated, "that's how she looks".
It's not how they look
but what they say that counts.
She said she saw two shadows through
her opera glasses, one of which
she thinks was the defendant's shadow.
I doubt that's of much use to you.
I'll determine that.
Defendant, please rise
and step forward.
Answer my question:
Who was the man who visited you?
I can't tell you, as you'd suspect him
of murdering my husband.
I implore you!
If you assume it was my lover,
do you think I'd remove my head
from the noose and put his in?
What would a woman in love do?
Your life is in the balance.
- His is.
Defendant, I ask you: Who was the man
who visited you at night?
It wasn't you, Mr. Prosecutor.
But if it had been you,
I wouldn't betray you either.
The hearing of evidence is concluded.
Before the Prosecutor
makes his final plea,
we'll take a short break.
How do you feel, Mr. Bille?
Excellent. But it's rather stifling.
If anything is more incriminating
than the facts just presented,
it's the defendant's
behavior during this trial.
Why does she lie,
I ask, if she's innocent?
It's the question that led her first
defense counsel to drop the case.
His conscience wouldn't bear it.
And it's the question
that her second counsel,
even if he has no conscience, as he
boasts, will not be able to answer.
And that is what condemns her!
I call upon you to find her guilty
of the malicious murder of her husband!
The Defense Counsel has the floor.
High Court,
ladies and gentleman of the jury...
It's the right of the defense
to see the good in a person.
It's the prosecutor's grave duty
to seek the evil in a person.
But as long as there are crimes,
there must be prosecutors.
Only where
no crimes have been committed
are prosecutors not only superfluous,
but also dangerous.
Such is the case here.
Going boating together
and coming home alone,
disposing of a ruined dress,
even having a lover
after her husband's death...
Some women do not wait so long.
These are not crimes!
Speculation? Everyone has his own.
I for one disagree with the prosecutor
that humming a song proves
that a woman killed her husband.
Instead, I'd take it as a sign
of a carefree spirit.
For me, a woman who'd rather
go to the gallows
than betray her lover
is a woman before whose virtue
I bow down.
Such a woman, ladies and gentlemen
of the jury, cannot,
in my eyes, be a murderer.
You see, the same facts
lead me to different conclusions,
but I don't ask you to believe me,
for I can't prove them.
But then don't believe the prosecutor
either, for has just as little proof.
Price Leopold I.
once said before battle,
"Dear God, you don't have to help me,
but don't help that scoundrel either!"
But speculation won't help us here.
Nothing can relieve the prosecutor
from his duty to prove
the deed, the crime itself.
And that is what he cannot do.
Because no one
saw it being committed. No one.
So what does a good prosecutor do?
He grabs the bull by the horns
and says,
"Nobody saw it
because nobody could see it,
as it happened so far out on the lake
that nobody was meant to see it."
Is that your theory, Mr. Prosecutor?
- Exactly.
Exactly! You heard it. That theory
has only one major advantage, namely
that you cannot possibly convict
the defendant based on such a theory!
For we all know that our lake
doesn't give up its victims
unless they drown
less than 30 meters from the shore
where the currents are too weak
to keep a body down.
But our lake did give up the body!
So Mr. Kjerulf must've drowned
very close to the shore.
And that takes care of
the prosecutor's theory.
Before I sit down, I'd like to answer
the prosecutor's question.
Why did the defendant lie
if she's innocent?
I'll tell you, Mr. Prosecutor.
Out of fear.
I see the young intern smiling...
Well, young friend,
assume that you take a walk one night,
and you find a man in a pool of blood.
You kneel down, lift his head,
pull a knife from his chest,
and he dies in your hands.
Suddenly you hear footsteps, and you
realize the situation you're in.
You're kneeling over a corpse, covered
in blood, murder weapon in hand.
The dead man can't testify,
so you run off as if possessed!
But they catch you.
You tell them what happened,
but they don't believe you. Why did
you run away if you're innocent?
And in that situation,
my dear smiling friend,
you too will be thankful
for insightful,
psychologically-trained judges.
Answer me.
- Yes.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,
I don't dread your decision.
I know you'll acquit Agda Kjerulf,
not only for lack of evidence,
but because something in your hearts
tells you that this woman,
whatever she may be hiding from us,
that her smile
is not the smile of a murderer.
I confidently place in your hands
my client's honor and life.
Thank you.
I've just received information
that the hearing be resumed.
Mr. Graham,
our English colleague, will ask some
questions of defendant and witnesses.
Please, Mr. Graham.
I wouldn't dare interfere
in this case, unless,
in the Defense Counsel's words,
unusual circumstances
required unusual steps.
Mr. President, would you please summon
witness Sedal once more?
- Witness Sedal!
High Court, it seems that clothing
plays an important role in this case.
You've heard much
about the blue and white dress.
Another dress, however,
is far more interesting.
Which dress did the defendant wear
to her husband's funeral?
That one.
Was it made for the funeral?
- Yes.
Yes, by Debaier's. Was it ordered
on the 19th and delivered on the 20th?
The painting!
I'm finished with the witness.
Mr. President...
you bought this from the estate
of the painter Kjerulf? - Yes.
Defense Counsel, you know something
about painting...
Is this painting a genuine Kjerulf?
Well, I'm not very familiar
with his other works, but...
My, what technique! What lightness!
Look at those frills! And that lace,
as if applied with a breath of paint.
Yes, you have to hand it to him,
he had to have had a steady hand.
And the arm belonging to that hand
wasn't bad either.
Put the painting
next to the defendant, please.
How about the likeness,
Defense Counsel?
Striking. The eyes,
the little mouth and nose...
More important than all that
are the frills,
the lace and the little hat.
Is it the same dress
as the one the defendant is wearing?
- What do you conclude from that?
What would you conclude?
That the arm joined to that steady hand
must've been very long,
as the dress was made for the funeral.
So the painter must've done it later,
from the hereafter, so to speak.
Do you think a dead painter can paint?
Very few living painters can.
- And what can we conclude?
That he's still alive!
High Court, release my client at...
- Just a moment!
The painter is undoubtedly dead
and buried in the cemetery.
So he cannot possibly have painted
this painting.
Who else could've painted it?
Your lover, whom you received in
the studio after your husband's death.
You frivolously
capitalized upon the interest
surrounding your late husband's works.
But the supply was too small
for the brisk pace of sales.
New 'old' Kjerulfs
had to be painted, and quickly!
Luckily, your lover was not only
a painter, but also a speed painter.
A magician and escape artist.
Ajack of all trades,
full of dirty tricks.
His name is...
Peer Bille!
Mr. President, I protest!
The shadow! It's the shadow
from the studio window!
A sensational twist
in the Agda Kjerulf trial!
The defense counsel Peer Bille
is the defendant's lover.
You admit you're the man who visited
the defendant in the studio? - Yes.
Do you admit to being her lover?
May I remind you
what I told you when I visited you?
Namely that I've loved her for years.
I also recall you telling me that
it was you who killed Hilmar Kjerulf.
Yes, but you wouldn't believe me.
Do you confess before the court?
- Yes.
The Defense Counsel is arrested and
charged with Hilmar Kjerulf's murder!
Remove that robe
and take a seat in the dock.
May I join him? For I was the one
who put him up to the deed.
Explain what happened.
It all started
when this sweet woman was sitting
in the box seats of our circus.
It wasn't a big circus,
it was just a small circus...
All of this began
one evening 12 years ago.
No one does it better than he,
No one does it better than Peer!
No one does it better,
No one does it better than Peer!
That's how it started. And I wanted
to marry her. But then she said,
"Peer, I do like you, but my father
won't let me marry a hocus pocus."
He didn't say hocus pocus.
- He said hocus pocus.
That made me very sad. I said farewell
to the circus, and the clowns cried.
I became a lawyer,
and her father gave us his blessing.
But my Peer wasn't happy,
because he wasn't true to himself.
And no man should be untrue
to himself, not even for his wife.
Hear, hear!
- And so I said,
"You're an artist,
and you should stay an artist.
And if you don't want to be
a hocus pocus, why don't you paint?
You're a good painter.
You don't have to paint fast.
Become a slow, serious painter."
So I became a slow, serious painter.
I grew a beard
and took on an artist's name.
I called myself Hilmar Kjerulf...
What? You are...
I'm the murdered man.
Forgive me, Mr. Prosecutor.
Quiet please!
If not, I'll have to clear the room!
Go on.
So I started doing slow, serious art.
And paintings he did in two minutes
in the circus now took two months.
No matter how slowly I painted,
no one bought my paintings.
True art is a thankless woman.
First you run after her,
then she chases you away.
I painted away the entire fortune
I had made with hocus pocus.
And on that boat ride on March 13...
It was unusually hot
for the time of year...
The sun was already low,
and that sweet woman
said to me...
- I can't watch you suffer any longer.
I can't be happy if you're not,
and only the circus makes you happy.
Then I'd be a hocus pocus again.
- Yes, you would.
And you should be proud of it.
There's as much art in hocus pocus
as there is hocus pocus in art.
And you?
- I'll join you. I'll hold the reigns.
Do you think I can do that?
If I try hard?
Oh! - Peer, you're crying.
- You have no idea.
Yes, you're crying!
- It just looks that way.
If it weren't for her,
I would've drowned.
It wasn't easy swim to the shore
with the boat in tow.
He sent me home
so I wouldn't catch a cold.
The storm had broken out,
it was 4:20, Mr. Prosecutor.
He put me on a train...
I went back to secure the boat,
but the storm had already taken it.
He took the next train.
- Following my wife.
When he woke up...
- I'd fallen asleep from exhaustion.
...he was...
- I had gone five stations too far.
When I got out,
I saw a long, white train.
I knew that train.
Circus Noldus Bille, Copenhagen.
The sight of
that once proud, white train,
which once took me from city to city,
triumph to triumph,
when I was still Peer Bille,
caused tears to stream
into Hilmar Kjerulf's beard.
I saw some horses being unloaded.
Could Cleopatra still be alive?
Would she recognize me
15 years later?
There she was!
Her big fiery eyes fell upon...
my beard.
A shudder came over her.
Then I took the murder weapon,
and Hilmar Kjerulf
disappeared by my own hand.
And Peer Bille lived once again!
The circus had me again!
That evening I wrote my sweet wife
that I'd soon come to get her.
Within three weeks,
I had a formidable show.
How I looked forward
to my wife seeing it.
But when I got home...
I was confronted by strange things.
My wife, in mourning!
How typical! The card to my wife.
How can I help you?
- Well...
Did we not see each other earlier?
- Yes...
At my husband's grave.
- You mean at my husband's grave.
That's just it. You see,
as soon as I read about
a bearded man getting washed up,
I immediately thought,
"That's my Gustav."
And so it was. When I arrived
at the morgue, there he was.
Just then, a man asked you,
"Is that your husband?"
And you, without even glancing
at my poor Gustav,
gave a sobbing "Yes!"
before leaving with the gentleman.
When I went to clear up the mistake,
I heard a voice...
A voice from the hereafter.
It was Gustav's voice.
"You slut," he whispered,
reeking of his favorite schnapps.
"You ruined my life, and now you won't
even grant me a good death,
with a fancy coffin
and a nice funeral."
And I felt that he was right.
I could never have afforded such
a fine coffin, the silk pillows...
And now?
Now I'm torn between
my guilty conscience toward you
and the fear that they'll
dig up poor Gustav again.
Then hurry on to your Gustav
and tell him he can stay there
until judgement day.
But don't tell anyone else.
This must be our secret.
You're a kind soul.
Dear God will reward you.
Perhaps he already has.
I sneaked back into my room...
How to tell her I was still alive?
- Is this Mrs. Kjerulf?
This concerns...
Are you fearful, madam?
It's like this: We...
I'm sorry, but we can't keep him here.
We just can't keep him.
Who is this?
- Peter. Good afternoon.
Your good Peer
isn't quite ready for Heaven.
He's corrupting all the angels.
So we were wondering...
whether you'd be very disappointed
if we sent him back to earth?
Then she told me
that I'd officially drowned.
And when I wanted to go
to clear up the matter, she said...
"Peer, you will not do that.
Ever since your death, your paintings
have been selling like crazy.
I've run out,
so you must quickly paint more."
And so, whenever our circus
was in the area,
I'd sneak into my wife's house
after the show and paint her.
Once even as a widow.
- That was a mistake.
But the buyer didn't notice anything.
It looked good above your fireplace.
And that's where it'll stay.
- A few weeks later
I had to take the circus abroad,
where I got a letter from my wife.
I always carry it with me.
Here it is.
"Beloved, yesterday I was questioned
as a suspect in your murder case.
Whatever happens, do not return
to clear the matter up
until you've revived your circus
through the sale of your paintings,
and Hilmar Kjerulf has paid back
his debts to Peer Bille.
Don't worry about the inconveniences
I'll have to go through.
I look forward to having my honor
trampled upon for your sake,
just as you let your honor
be trampled upon for my sake.
If you love me, grant me this small
proof of my big love for you. Agda.
Or would you rather I cried?"
So that's why you kept silent so long.
What should I have done?
I'd stop a stampeding horse
with one hand,
but a beloved woman's tears?
And now you'll lock me up for
perverting justice. - Only with me.
That would suit you!
I drop my charges!
But you'll pay the court costs.
You'll paint them.
- I'll paint them for you!
The hearing is closed.
- Our circus show is about to start.
Mr. President, honorable judges,
ladies and gentlemen of the jury,
allow me the honor
of inviting you tonight.
Prosecutor, you especially. You too.
It's high time!
No one does it better than he,
No one does it better than Peer!