Watch Anatomy of a Murder
- 2 hr 40 min
Anatomy of a Murder is a classic courtroom drama that tells the story of a man accused of murder and the extensive legal battle that follows. Released in 1959, the film directed by Otto Preminger features an all-star cast including James Stewart, Lee Remick, and Ben Gazzara. The movie is based on the novel by John D. Voelker, who was a lawyer and judge in Michigan. The story is set in a small town in Michigan, where a soldier, Lieutenant Frederick Manion, played by Ben Gazzara, is arrested and charged with the murder of a local bar owner. The victim, Barney Quill, was allegedly murdered by Manion because he had raped his wife, Laura Manion, played by Lee Remick.
The case is taken on by Paul Biegler, played by James Stewart, a former district attorney who now works as a small-town lawyer. Biegler takes the case because he believes that Manion is innocent, and he begins to investigate the circumstances surrounding the murder to build a defense for his client.
The story is told through a series of flashbacks as the witnesses testify at the trial. The testimony is often contradictory or incomplete, and the truth is gradually pieced together as the trial progresses. The film explores themes of justice, morality, and the limits of the law, as well as the personal lives of the characters involved.
Throughout the trial, Biegler faces off against the new district attorney, Mitchell Brody, played by George C. Scott. Brody is portrayed as a highly ambitious and ruthless prosecutor who will go to any lengths to secure a guilty verdict. The two lawyers engage in a battle of wits and strategy as each tries to outmaneuver the other.
One of the most intriguing characters in the film is Laura Manion, the victim's wife. She is portrayed as a complex and enigmatic woman with a troubled past. She flirts with Biegler and seems to enjoy the attention of the men around her, but her true motivations are never entirely clear.
The film is highly suspenseful and gripping, with twists and turns in the plot that keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The tension is heightened by the fact that the outcome of the trial is far from certain. The film also features a memorable jazz score by Duke Ellington, which adds to the mood of the film.
Anatomy of a Murder is also notable for its frank portrayal of sex and violence. It was one of the first Hollywood films to use the word "panties" on screen, and it features a scene in which the victim's underwear is shown in court as evidence. The film also includes a controversial scene in which the jury is taken on a tour of the spot where the murder took place, which was highly unusual at the time.
The film's themes of justice and morality are still highly relevant today, and Anatomy of a Murder remains a classic of the courtroom drama genre. The performances by the actors are outstanding, particularly James Stewart as the folksy and savvy Paul Biegler. The film is a must-see for anyone who enjoys legal dramas or classic Hollywood cinema.
Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 crime movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 40 minutes. It has received outstanding reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 8.0 and a MetaScore of 95.