Rent Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

3.9 of 5 from 202 ratings
2h 34min
Rent Anatomy of a Murder Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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  • Available formats
Synopsis:
A virtuoso James Stewart plays a small-town Michigan lawyer who takes on a difficult case: the defense of a young army lieutenant (Ben Gazzara) accused of murdering a local tavern owner who he believes raped his wife (Lee Remick). This gripping envelope-pusher, the most popular film by Hollywood provocateur Otto Preminger, was groundbreaking for the frankness of its discussion of sex - but more than anything else, it is a striking depiction of the power of words. Featuring an outstanding supporting cast - with a young George C. Scott as a fiery prosecutor and the legendary attorney Joseph N. Welch as the judge - and an influential score by Duke Ellington...
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , Brooks West, , , , , , , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Otto Preminger
Writers:
Wendell Mayes, John D. Voelker
Others:
Louis R. Loeffler, Sam Leavitt
Studio:
Columbia Tristar
Genres:
Classics, Drama, Thrillers
Collections:
Award Winners, BAFTA Nominations Competition 2024, Cinema Paradiso's 2023 Centenary Club: Part 1, Lions on the Lido, The Biggest Oscar Snubs: Part 1, A Brief History of Film..., Top 10 Best Last Films: World Cinema, Top 10 Films By Year, Top 10 Films of 1959, Top Films
Awards:

1959 Venice Film Festival Best Actor

BBFC:
Release Date:
20/08/2001
Run Time:
154 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, French Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, German Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono, Spanish Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
Subtitles:
Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
B & W
Bonus:
  • 'Anatomy of a Classic' Photo Montage
  • Original Advertising Posters
  • Filmographies
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Interactive Menu
  • Scene Access
BBFC:
Release Date:
16/03/2020
Run Time:
161 minutes
Languages:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Interview with Otto Preminger biographer Foster Hirsch from 2012
  • Critic Gary Giddins explores Duke Ellington's score in a 2012 interview
  • A look at the relationship between graphic designer Saul Bass and Preminger with Bass biographer Pat Kirkham
  • Newsreel footage from the set
  • Excerpts from a 1967 episode of Firing Line, featuring Preminger in discussion with William F. Buckley Jr
  • Excerpts from the 2014 film Anatomy of "Anatomy"
  • Behind-the-scenes photographs by Life magazine's Gjon Mili
  • Trailer, featuring on-set footage
BBFC:
Release Date:
13/09/2021
Run Time:
160 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, English DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono, German DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono, Italian DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono, Portuguese LPCM Mono, Spanish DTS-HD Master Audio 1.0 Mono, Spanish LPCM Mono
Subtitles:
Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, English Hard of Hearing, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
DVD Regions:
Region 0 (All)
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
(0) All

More like Anatomy of a Murder

Reviews (2) of Anatomy of a Murder

Groundbreaking Courtroom Drama - Masterpiece - Anatomy of a Murder review by GI

Spoiler Alert
25/06/2021

This is one of the great courtroom dramas and like all good films like this it revolves around twists and turns throughout making it a suspenseful and riveting story. James Stewart (receiving his last Oscar nomination here) plays Paul, a small-town lawyer who'd rather be fishing, who accepts the case of Fred Manion (Ben Gazzara), an Army officer, accused of murdering a local bar owner. Manion doesn't deny the killing but claims he was temporarily insane at the time enraged because the victim had raped his wife, Laura (Lee Remick). The case revolves around whether she is lying and you're never sure who is telling the truth. This film was highly controversial and groundbreaking when initially made due to the detail around sex and the use of words including rape, bitch, sperm, penetration and slut amongst others. Viewed today it's a superb film, and is reputed to be very realistic and has been used in the training of young lawyers. Full of great performances, brilliantly written with a striking depiction of the power of words, with a famous score by Duke Ellington and brilliantly directed by Otto Preminger. If you love a good courtroom story then this is a classic, a masterpiece and a film to seek out.

3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Courtroom Procedural. - Anatomy of a Murder review by Steve

Spoiler Alert
24/09/2022

Lengthy courtroom drama based on a real life criminal trial which scrutinises the condition of the US legal system. And if that sounds like homework, it really isn't. This is an absorbing film made with a light touch by Otto Preminger with a fine jazz score by Duke Ellington. It was adapted from a novel by a defence attorney based on one of his cases.

The film is shot around coastal Michigan where the actual events took place. An unambitious small town lawyer (James Stewart), defends an army lieutenant (Ben Gazzara) who shot the man who raped his flirtatious wife (Lee Remick). The soldier is charged with murder and claims temporary insanity. The film is fascinatingly ambiguous and it is impossible to be sure, even by the end, what really happened. The same is true for the jury who must reach a verdict.

Of course, the audience wants the lawyer to win the case as we see the case through his eyes, and we like his sassy secretary (Eve Arden) and the alcoholic gumshoe seeking redemption (Arthur O'Connell). So we are partial. The point of the film is that everyone involved in the case is influenced by expectation, personal interest and past experience. Justice is at the whim of the dark arts of the lawyers.

It's a 160m film full of exposition voiced by static actors mostly framed within a single interior, the courthouse. It leans on its cast. And they are superb, particularly Stewart who is on the screen for almost every second. There is some awkwardness around issues which challenged fifties censorship, but that's a quibble. This is a masterpiece, and Preminger's best film by a long way.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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