Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 American courtroom drama crime film produced and directed by Otto Preminger. The screenplay by Wendell Mayes was based on the 1958 novel of the same name written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker under the pen name Robert Traver. Voelker based the novel on a 1952 murder case in which he was the defense attorney.
The film stars James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Eve Arden, George C. Scott, Arthur O'Connell, Kathryn Grant, Brooks West (Arden's husband), Orson Bean, and Murray Hamilton. The judge was played by Joseph N. Welch, a real-life lawyer famous for dressing down Joseph McCarthy during the Army–McCarthy hearings. It has a musical score by Duke Ellington, who also appears in the film. It has been described by Michael Asimow, UCLA law professor and co-author of Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies (2006), as "probably the finest pure trial movie ever made".
In 2012, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Semi-retired Michigan lawyer Paul Biegler (James Stewart) takes the case of Army Lt. Manion (Ben Gazzara), who murdered a local innkeeper after his wife (Lee Remick) claimed that he raped her. Over the course of an extensive trial, Biegler parries with District Attorney Lodwick (Brooks West) and out-of-town prosecutor Claude Dancer (George C. Scott) to set his client free, but his case rests on the victim's mysterious business partner (Kathryn Grant), who's hiding a dark secret.
Anatomy of a Murder (1959) - Four Ways to Defend Murder Scene (1/10) | Movieclips
July 13, 2020
Anatomy of a Murder | film by Preminger