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 -- 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?
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?

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   39,484 votes »
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MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Wendell Mayes (screenplay)
John D. Voelker (based on the novel by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Anatomy of a Murder on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
September 1959 (Austria) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Last year's No.1 best-seller ... This year's No.1 motion picture. See more »
Plot:
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:
Awards:
Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 11 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(137 articles)
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User Reviews:
First-Class Courtroom Drama See more (187 total) »

Cast

  (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)
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 (music)
 
Cinematography by
Sam Leavitt (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Louis R. Loeffler 
 
Production Design by
Boris Leven (production design)
 
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:
Runtime:
160 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
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?

Trivia:
The movie's poster was as #1 of "The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Biegler returns to his house at the start of the film, McCarthy points to the United States Supreme Court reports and asks if they should read "a little Chief Justice Holmes", and Biegler also refers to "Chief Justice Holmes". Oliver Wendell Holmes was an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, never Chief Justice. (He was, however, Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachussetts before being appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.)See more »
Quotes:
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:

FAQ

How does the movie end?
Any recommendations for other similar court dramas?
Is 'Anatomy of a Murder' based on a book?
See more »
37 out of 56 people found the following review useful.
First-Class Courtroom Drama, 2 December 2004
Author: Snow Leopard from Ohio

As a courtroom drama, "Anatomy of a Murder" would be hard to surpass. It is a first-class production with an interesting and unpredictable story plus a strong cast. It works admirably, both as a story and as a portrayal of the workings of the law. It avoids the labored dramatics and contrived resolutions in which so many movies of the genre indulge, and it also declines to shy away from pointing out the more ill-conceived features of the legal system.

From his first scene, James Stewart pulls the viewer right into the world of lawyer Paul Biegler. It takes little time before you come to know him and to get a pretty good idea of what his life is like. His scenes with Arthur O'Connell work well in rounding out the picture. The two are neither heroic nor brilliant, but simply sympathetic and believable.

Into Biegler's world then come the characters played by Ben Gazzara and Lee Remick, a married couple with more than their share of faults. By making them less than ideal clients, the movie takes a chance on losing the audience's sympathy, but it adds credibility and complexity to the story. Both roles are played well - again, it seems as if you know a lot more about them than is specifically stated.

When George C. Scott enters the picture, he adds yet another dimension. His character arrives at just the right time to complicate the plot, and his legal skirmishing with Stewart makes some dry material come to life in an interesting way. Eve Arden also has some good moments, and her character is used in just the right amount to add some amusement without causing a distraction from the main story. It's also interesting to see Joseph Welch as the judge, and his portrayal works well enough.

Otto Preminger holds everything together nicely, with the right amount of detail and a pace that keeps the story moving steadily. The result is a very nice contrast to the many run-of-the mill legal/courtroom movies that present such an idealized view of the justice system. It maintains a careful balance, making clear the flaws and unpleasant realities of the system, yet never taking cheap shots either. And it's also an interesting and involved story, one of the most carefully-crafted of its kind.

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Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
the ending ? (did anyone want a twist?) film_buffy
Bad actor: The Judge rios_119
Do you think she was raped? RowTheBoats
Do you think it deserves very high review? jr8rdt
Interesting Top 250 behaviour jameskernaghan
Question about the ending... denis_xy
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