The Witness (1942) **

A charming, Walter Mitty-ish diversion: Benchley is reading a newspaper about some “investigating committee and the way they treat those witnesses” before fantasising himself a cocky and recalcitrant witness whose every bombastic retort elicits laughter and applause from the pressmen. We see newspaper headlines reading “Doakes Grills Grillers”, “Crowd Cheers Doakes”, “Committee Baffled” and “Hero Doakes May Get Medal”, before reality intervenes and he capitulates completely under the intrusive questioning of a door-to-door survey-taker.