The first 34 minutes of Mute Witness are some of the most suspenseful I’ve experienced in any film, and the first 5 minutes some of the funniest. It features an inspired 15-minute cat-and-mouse chase through a labyrinthian film studio after Billy, a mute make-up artist, stumbles upon a snuff film being shot in the studio after hours. The chase features several perfectly timed near misses that must have been incredibly difficult to nail.
An interesting tidbit: Anthony Waller, the director, had a moment of serendipity when he bumped into Sir Alec Guinness a full three years before filming on Mute Witness began. He took a chance and asked if Alec would be willing to shoot a cameo for his next film. To his surprise, Guinness said he’d be delighted and that he would do it for free. Guinness was booked for the next eighteen months, so Waller suggested they shoot the scene the following morning in an underground car park. Guinness readily agreed and, true to his word, took no payment.
It would be Sir Alec Guinness’s final film.