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   36,858 votes »
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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:
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 »
User Reviews:
A Spot-On Courtroom Drama See more (179 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:

Duke Ellington ... Pie Eye (uncredited)
Irv Kupcinet ... Distinguished Gentleman (uncredited)
Mrs. Joseph Welch ... Juror (uncredited)
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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 .... hairdressing
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 dressing
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 .... presents
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


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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:
Otto Preminger disliked the use of flashbacks; hence there are none in the film.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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:
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

Is 'Anatomy of a Murder' based on a book?
How closely does the movie follow the book?
How does the movie end?
See more »
71 out of 81 people found the following review useful.
A Spot-On Courtroom Drama, 17 December 2005
Author: tightspotkilo from Oregon, USA

Anatomy of an excellent movie:

Begin with an extremely tight and well written script, from the novel by the same name. While reportedly the story is based on a real-life case it is nevertheless a timeless story, almost biblical, presenting age-old questions of human conflicts and human dilemmas.

Add to that a sensational cast, starting of course with the leads, Jimmy Stewart, George C. Scott, Lee Remick, and Ben Gazarra, but also the rest of the cast, filled as it is with numerous accomplished and veteran stage actors and radio performers from days of yore. Character parts played by actors Arthur O'Connell, Eve Arden, Ken Lynch, Joseph Kearns, and Howard McNear. Someone paid careful attention to the casting for this film.

Perhaps the most masterful stroke as far as casting goes was the casting Joseph Welch as the judge. Welch was an experienced and renowned lawyer in real life. Welch turns in a very good and a very believable performance.

With the collision of those elements, a great script and a great cast, adding Otto Preminger as director, an overseer who knew exactly what to do with it all, you then have a very fine film.

More than any other movie or play, including modern day presentations like the television series Law & Order, this 1959 movie, Anatomy of a Murder, even though it is now 46 years old, is by far the most realistic and technically accurate courtroom drama ever produced. The conduct of the trial, the examination of the witnesses, the colloquy and bantering back and forth between the lawyers and between the lawyers and the judge, is spot-on. Every bit of it. Every question from the lawyers, every objection, every ruling by the judge, every admonishment from the judge, and the testimony of the witnesses, every bit of it, is realistic and believable, lines that were accurately written with care, and then flawlessly delivered.

Beyond the technical accuracies of the legal proceedings, some other aspects of the overall story were also spot on. The ambiguous ambivalence of lawyers, their motivations, their ethics, their relative honesty. Nothing is all black or all white. Shades of gray abound. Legal cases as sport. Being a "good lawyer" means pushing the envelope too far, bending the rules until you're told to stop. Not for justice. No, not that. To win. That's why. To win. Then sanctimoniously telling themselves that the system really works better this way. The movie accurately captures the fact that real-life legal cases are very often comprised of upside down Alice in Wonderland features. Innocent people are guilty, and guilty people are innocent. Good is bad, and bad is good. Everything is relative. Some call it cynicism. Others, cynically, call it realism. Anatomy of a Murder captures all of these and more.

I've read the criticism that Lee Remick was not believable, that as an actress she failed at nailing the portrayal of how a true rape victim would appear and behave, and that her character, Laura Manion, just didn't seem to have the proper affect nor strike the right emotional chord of a woman who had been raped. All I can say is that such criticism misses a humongous part of the point. It is almost mind-boggling that there are viewers out there who, after viewing this film, somehow managed to miss it. Let me clear it up: we the viewers WERE SUPPOSED to have serious doubts about whether Laura Manion had actually been raped. The question of whether she was really raped or not is central to the plot and story line. That's why Lee Remick played the part the way she did. And then, in turn, it was part of the story for the Jimmy Stewart character, Paul Biegler, to recognize this problem, and the problem that it presented to his defense. He worried that the jury would see it and would also doubt that she had been raped, and so that's why he propped her up in court, dressed up all prim and proper, with a hat over her voluptuously cascading hair, and with horned-rim glasses. So, yes, Lee Remick nailed it. Bull's eye.

Speaking of Lee Remick, some say that this was the movie that put Lee Remick on the map. She was stunningly beautiful here, at the ripe young age of 24. Even though the film is in black and white, her red hair, blue eyes, and porcelain skin still manage to jump right off the screen and out at you. Has any other actress ever played the role of the beautiful and sexy lady looking to get laid any better than Lee Remick? It was a woman she reprised several times in her career, sometimes with greater subtlety and understatement than others. This was her first rendition of it, and it may have been the best.

Anatomy of a Murder is a very complex movie, with multitudes of layers and texturing, where much is deftly explored, but precious little is resolved. It's a movie that leaves you thinking and wondering. I highly recommend it.

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Do you think she was raped? RowTheBoats
One of the best assets any movie could have... oldmotem
My hometown movie... ltappy
Lets hear it for the U.P! greg164
Bad actor: The Judge rios_119
Do you think it deserves very high review? jr8rdt
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