IMDb > Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
Anatomy of a Murder
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Anatomy of a Murder (1959) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 37 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
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?


User Rating:
8.1/10   43,045 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
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)
Special Feature: The best minimalist posters
 (From CineVue. 13 September 2015, 10:13 AM, PDT)

Scream: The TV Series Season 1 Episode 9 Review – ‘The Dance’
 (From Flickeringmyth. 4 September 2015, 5:15 AM, PDT)

Saul Bass Evolves with the Ants
 (From MUBI. 3 August 2015, 7:09 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Gray Anatomy 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:


How does the movie end?
Any recommendations for other similar court dramas?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
51 out of 64 people found the following review useful.
Gray Anatomy, 15 July 2001
Author: telegonus from brighton, ma

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.

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

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
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
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Accused Fury Appaloosa Fracture Conviction
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb top 250 movies IMDb Crime section
IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.