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Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | September 1959 (Austria)
In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case?

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Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the novel by) (as Robert Traver)
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Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Asst. State Atty. Gen. Claude Dancer
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Russ Brown ...
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Brooks West ...
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Det. Sgt. James Durgo
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Dr. Dompierre
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Dr. W. Gregory Harcourt
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Storyline

Frederick Manion (Ben Gazzara), a lieutenant in the army, is arrested for the murder of a bartender, Barney Quill. He claims, in his defense, that the victim had raped and beaten up his wife Laura (Lee Remick). Although Laura supports her husband's story, the police surgeon can find no evidence that she has been raped. Manion is defended by Paul Biegler (James Stewart), a rather humble small-town lawyer. During the course of interviews, Biegler discovers that Manion is violently possessive and jealous, and also that his wife has a reputation for giving her favors to other men. Biegler realizes that the prosecution will try to make the court believe that Laura was the lover of the bartender and than Manion killed him and beat her up when he discovered them together. Manion pleads "not guilty" and Biegler, who knows that his case is weak, sets his assistants to try to find a witness who will save Manion. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Last year's No.1 best-seller ... This year's No.1 motion picture. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1959 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Anatomie eines Mordes  »

Box Office

Gross:

$11,900,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was cut, scored and in previews only a month after filming had wrapped. See more »

Goofs

When McCarthy is driving back at night, his car is shown approaching a fork in the road, with a large white sign in the area where the road divides, and taking the left-side (from the driver's viewpoint) fork. The shot immediately shifts to McCarthy in the car, driving, squinting ahead, passing other cars whose horns are heard and headlights seen. The scene then shifts again, back to the very same shot of the car approaching the same fork in the road, even though by then the car would have been well beyond this area, having already passed it several moments earlier. See more »

Quotes

Parnell Emmett McCarthy: [eyeing an empty liquor bottle] You fought this soldier by yourself. You've been drinking alone, Paulie. I don't like that.
Paul Biegler: Drop the stone, Counsellor. You live in a glass house.
Parnell Emmett McCarthy: My windows have been busted a long time ago, so I can say what I please.
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Connections

Featured in Targets (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the best courtroom dramas ever
3 December 2001 | by (la) – See all my reviews

An excellent ballet of film direction and courtroom procedure, Anatomy is one of the best courtroom movies ever produced. With a great cast and three dimensional characters, highlighted by Jimmy Stewart and his usual "likeable everyman" character, the film moves briskly and intelligently, thanks to Premminger's fine direction.

Ben Gazzara plays an army soldier who shoots a man who raped his wife, then pleads insanity. Stewart is his lawyer and Lee Remick is great as the suggestive, somewhat slutty wife who leaves you questioning her motives throughout. Whether or not you agree with the final verdict (personally, I don't), you will agree that this is a great film, worth repeated viewings.


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