IMDb > Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
Anatomy of a Murder
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Anatomy of a Murder (1959) More at IMDbPro »

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Anatomy of a Murder -- When his flirtatious young wife (Lee Remick) claims she was raped, an army lieutenant (Ben Gazzara) kills her attacker and hires a small-town lawyer (James Stewart) to defend him.
Anatomy of a Murder -- 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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Down 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Wendell Mayes (screenplay)
John D. Voelker (based on the novel by)
View company contact information for Anatomy of a Murder on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
September 1959 (Austria) See more »
Last year's No.1 best-seller ... This year's No.1 motion picture. See more »
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? Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 11 nominations See more »
(145 articles)
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User Reviews:
Classy courtroom drama that trades on it's cynical edge See more (190 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Stewart ... Paul Biegler

Lee Remick ... Laura Manion

Ben Gazzara ... Lt. Frederick Manion

Arthur O'Connell ... Parnell Emmett McCarthy

Eve Arden ... Maida Rutledge

Kathryn Grant ... Mary Pilant

George C. Scott ... Asst. State Atty. Gen. Claude Dancer

Orson Bean ... Dr. Matthew Smith
Russ Brown ... George Lemon

Murray Hamilton ... Alphonse Paquette
Brooks West ... Dist. Atty. Mitch Lodwick

Ken Lynch ... Det. Sgt. James Durgo

John Qualen ... Deputy Sheriff Sulo

Howard McNear ... Dr. Dompierre
Alexander Campbell ... Dr. W. Gregory Harcourt
Ned Wever ... Dr. Raschid
Jimmy Conlin ... Clarence Madigan
Royal Beal ... Sheriff Battisfore
Joseph Kearns ... Lloyd Burke
Don Ross ... Duane 'Duke' Miller
Lloyd Le Vasseur ... Court Clerk
James Waters ... Army Sergeant 1st Class
Joseph N. Welch ... Judge Weaver
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Snuffy the Dog ... Muff (uncredited)

Duke Ellington ... Pie Eye (uncredited)
Irv Kupcinet ... Distinguished Gentleman (uncredited)
Chuck Ramsay ... Orderly (uncredited)
Mrs. Joseph Welch ... Juror (uncredited)

Directed by
Otto Preminger 
Writing credits
Wendell Mayes (screenplay)

John D. Voelker (based on the novel by) (as Robert Traver)

Produced by
Otto Preminger .... producer
Original Music by
Duke Ellington 
Cinematography by
Sam Leavitt (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Louis R. Loeffler 
Production Design by
Boris Leven 
Makeup Department
Del Armstrong .... makeup
Harry Ray .... makeup
Myrl Stoltz .... hairdresser
Madine Danks .... hairdresser (uncredited)
Norman Pringle .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Henry Weinberger .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
David Silver .... assistant director
Hal W. Polaire .... assistant director (uncredited)
Ray Taylor Jr. .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Howard Bristol .... set dresser
Saul Bass .... poster designer (uncredited)
Wallace Carr .... assistant set dresser (uncredited)
Irving W. Sindler .... props (uncredited)
Ken Walton .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
Jack Solomon .... sound
Bill Flannery .... boom operator (uncredited)
Harry Foy .... recordist (uncredited)
Don Hall .... sound effects (uncredited)
Al Yaylian .... cable (uncredited)
Special Effects by
George Harris .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
James Almond .... lighting technician
Leo McCreary .... key grip
Irving Rosenberg .... camera operator
Bert Chaliacombe .... best boy (uncredited)
Gjon Mili .... still photographer (uncredited)
Al St. Hilaire .... still photographer (uncredited)
Bob Uhl .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Hope Bryce .... costume coordinator
Vou Lee Giokaris .... wardrobe
Michael J. Harte .... wardrobe (as Michael Harte)
Paula Giokaris .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Norman Martien .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Editorial Department
John Loeffler .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Michael Vittes .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Richard Carruth .... music editor
Duke Ellington .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Johnny Hodges .... musician (uncredited)
Billy Strayhorn .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Clark Terry .... musician (uncredited)
Britt Woodman .... musician (uncredited)
Other crew
Saul Bass .... title designer
Kathleen Fagan .... script supervisor
Otto Preminger .... presenter
Max Slater .... assistant to the producer
Robert E. Blair .... dog trainer (uncredited)
Dave Golding .... publicist (uncredited)
William T. Hurtz .... director: animated titles (uncredited)
Jim Merrick .... publicist (uncredited)
Nat Rudich .... publicist (uncredited)
John D. Voelker .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
160 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:16 | Australia:M | Australia:PG (TV rating) | Canada:PA (Manitoba) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | Germany:16 (DVD rating) | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) | Norway:16 (1959) | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:12 (video re-rating) 2001) | UK:12A (re-rating) (2005) | UK:15 (video rating) (1988) | USA:Unrated | USA:TV-PG | West Germany:16 (f)

Did You Know?

Otto Preminger sued Columbia Pictires and their TV subsidiary Screen Gems when they sold "Anatomy of a Murder" in a package of sixty films to television for ten million dollars. In New York, ABC interrupted the 160 minute film 13 times with 36 commercials. Preminger was furious that his film was being mutilated and took them to court in a highly publicized case, but lost.See more »
Continuity: Several times in the movie one of the characters makes a humorous comment and you hear the courtroom audience burst out laughing; however, when the camera immediately turns to the audience, they are shown completely still and without emotion.See more »
Paul Biegler:If you do that one more time, I'll punch you all the way out into the middle of Lake Superior!See more »
Movie Connections:


Any recommendations for other similar court dramas?
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See more »
41 out of 60 people found the following review useful.
Classy courtroom drama that trades on it's cynical edge, 25 March 2002
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

Lawyer Paul Biegler takes the case of Lt. Manion who killed a man after he discovered he had raped his wife, Laura. Biegler realises that the cards are not all in his favour and begins to ensure that the facts are spun in his favour as much as possible during the trial.

This film caused a stir back when it was released – supposedly over the dialogue that contained words not used before in a motion picture. However it was more likely that the furore was over the cynical view of the legal profession that the film has. The story is good, but if you're looking for a John Grisham type film with shouting and ridiculous twists in the final reel then you're in the wrong place. What we have here is a clever, interesting story that moves slowly – focusing on Biegler rather than twists and turns in the actual plot.

Biegler is sort of clean cut, but he seems like a real lawyer – he twists facts and prompts lies in order to improve his case. The various tricks and theatrical shenanigans during the trail are also well observed. The characters are all interesting with only the judge seeming like a dull stereotype.

James Stewart is excellent and helps make the shifty lawyer more likeable and relatable. Remick is excellent as the flirtatious Laura while Gazzara is cool as the accused. George C Scott doesn't have much to do, but does well anyway.

Overall a very enjoyable courtroom thriller – it lacks the fireworks of modern legal dramas but has a nice cynical edge to it that shows it isn't as in awe of the law as Grisham is.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (190 total) »

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
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Question about the ending... denis_xy
so what really happened juntjoo-817-696896
Bad actor: The Judge rios_119
Do you think it deserves very high review? jr8rdt
Duke Miller EJF
the ending ? (did anyone want a twist?) film_buffy
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