MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 1,459 this week

Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 38,185 users  
Reviews: 183 user | 91 critic

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?

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on the novel by)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 21 titles
created 11 Feb 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 10 Apr 2013
 
a list of 33 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 45 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 26 titles
created 4 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

Anatomy of a Murder (1959) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Anatomy of a Murder.

User Polls

Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Leonard Vole is arrested on suspicion of murdering an elderly acquaintance. He employs an experienced but aging barrister as his defense attorney.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A family vacationing in Morocco accidentally stumble on to an assassination plot and the conspirators are determined to prevent them from interfering.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie
Rope (1948)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the US Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains
Vertigo (1958)
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A retired San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
Harvey (1950)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Due to his insistence that he has an invisible six-foot rabbit for a best friend, a whimsical middle-aged man is thought by his family to be insane - but he may be wiser than anyone knows.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow
Laura (1944)
Film-Noir | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Strung-out junkie deals with daily demoralizing drug addiction while crippled wife and card sharks continue to pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder...a theory that he plans to implement.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman
Edit

Cast

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

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


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1959 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Anatomía de un asesinato  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The police car sitting in the parking lot of the jail, is a 1959 Edsel sedan. There is on record a few Edsels used by municipalities, but it was more common to find a Ford, Chevy, or Plymouth in use by law enforcement. See more »

Goofs

When Lt. Manion returns from psychological examination, he chats with his attorney, Paul Biegler, at the train station. The shadow of a crew member falls on Biegler. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Frederick Manion: [Roars at "Duke" Miller, who has just given his testimony] You're a *liar!* You're a *lousy, stinking liar!*
Paul Biegler: I apologize to the court for my client's outburst. But it's almost excusable, since the prosecution has seen fit to put a felon on the stand to testify against an officer in the United States Army.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Conan: Dial T for Misdialed Murder (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Gray Anatomy
15 July 2001 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

Anatomy Of a Murder is probably Otto Preminger's best film. It's certainly my favorite. Adapted from a novel by Robert Traver, it tells the story of a lawyer in northern Michigan and his defense of a particularly surly and violent murderer. As is always the case with Preminger, scenes are filmed mostly with all the characters present in the frame. There is no cross-cutting to speak of, which is to say the drama plays out with the assorted characters confronting one another, or at any rate with one another, and the effect is one of surprising warmth and good feeling in the movie's cosier scenes, which for once enhance rather than detract from the drama. I would have been quite happy to have spent much more time in lawyer Biegler's house and study, with its books, old furniture and broken typewriter, but alas this is a murder case so one has to get down to businss.

The question of whether the defendant, an army officer, was temporarily insane, is in fact insane, or is merely putting on a good show, is never fully resolved. The lawyer is by no means perfect. He's a little lazy, though he gets over it. One senses he's cheap. He enjoys his shabby genteel bachelor's life and isn't always responsive to the needs of his secretary, who would like to get paid more regularly. In the end he proves far more dedicated and brilliant than we might have first imagined him to be, but the fly in the buttermilk is that the better he gets the more complicated the case becomes, and the more ambiguous everything gets the more he finds out about his client and the man he killed. In this respect the movie is a masterpiece of ambiguity. Beautifully shot on location in black and white, it is more gray than anything else. Morally gray. No one is quite what he appears to be at first. And people change; or rather we learn more about them. The bartender at the resort where his boss was killed at first comes off as a jerk; in time he comes to seem more of a jerk. Then he seems maybe not so bad after all; and then he's a jerk once more, but a jerk we understand. The lawyer's assistant, an on-again, off-again recovering alcoholic, is also a mixed bag. He is dogged but sloppy, and always (or so it appears) on the verge of breakdown. Or at least this is how Arthur O'Connell plays him. The prosecuting attorney is a dolt, but he is aided by a legal bigwig the state has brought in, but this hotshot is no match for the cunning country lawyer. The defendant's wife, who 'started the whole thing' is gorgeous, sexy and provocative. She makes a play for her husband's lawyer, but he doesn't bite. One wonders about her. And one wonders about the marriage she and her hot-tempered spouse really have, and whether it will last.

This is a very sophisticated and adult movie for 1959, or for that matter today. The location filming greatly enhances the mood, chilly and very upper midwestern. Yet indoors one feels different, and the tone is often playful. The actors are superb. James Stewart is gritty, lovable, homespun, physically slow and mentally quick; and for all the familiarity there is about his screen persona, out of character, that is, in character he manages continually to surprise and delight. He was a true actor. Ben Gazzara is very Method actorish, which suits him well in his role as the volatile military man. Lee Remick is stunning as his wife, and one can well imagine a man killing for her, many times over. She is also a good actress. George C. Scott plays the state's bulldog prosecutor well, though he's an acquired taste at best. His hamminess contrasts with Stewart's folksy naturalism in interesting ways not ungermane to the plot, but he is out-acted and outclassed by the old pro he is presumably upstaging in this film.


51 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Do you think she was raped? RowTheBoats
Bad actor: The Judge rios_119
Do you think it deserves very high review? jr8rdt
Very poor direction thirsch-2
the ending ? (did anyone want a twist?) film_buffy
One of the best assets any movie could have... oldmotem
Discuss Anatomy of a Murder (1959) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?