Anatomy of a Murder
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Anatomy of a Murder

4.5 7
Director: Otto Preminger, James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara

Cast: Otto Preminger, James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara


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Otto Preminger's classic Anatomy of a Murder comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. English and Spanish soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include vintage


Otto Preminger's classic Anatomy of a Murder comes to DVD with a standard full-frame transfer. English and Spanish soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, and Thai subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include vintage advertising materials, talent files, the theatrical trailer, production notes, and a photo montage. This is a solid release from Columbia/TriStar.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Karen Backstein
Stylish, sophisticated, and as supremely adult as only an Otto Preminger film can be, Anatomy of a Murder is both a murder mystery and a densely textured courtroom drama. Its complex, compelling protagonists are motivated by emotions ranging from passion to self-loathing, weakness to rage. As a country lawyer defending a GI who killed his wife's alleged rapist, James Stewart delivers a richly layered performance. Special notice also goes to George C. Scott, who plays a big-time prosecutor from the city; his performance in the film's penultimate scene is particularly memorable. Set in a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Anatomy succeeds in transposing the urban genre of film noir to this folksy setting. The visuals often have a dark, shady ambiance, and everyone from the soldier's fun-loving wife to the lawyer's snappy secretary (marvelously portrayed by Lee Remick and Eve Arden, respectively) fits snugly into noir's cast of archetypes. Yet the sharp and witty script (which actually marked the first time, post-code, that the word "panties" was heard on screen) delivers surprise after surprise.
All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
Like the court proceedings at its core, Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder moves at a deliberate pace, unwinding its 161 minutes in long, fluid takes. The subject matter (rape and the insanity defense) was controversial in the 1950s, as was Preminger's approach, which was bluntly direct. The film maintains a cool objectivity as it explores both the psychosexual issues of the central characters and the complex legal issues confronted by lawyer Paul Biegler and his client Lieutenant Manion. It raises prickly and complex questions about legal ethics, while challenging the audience to decide for itself the tricky issues of justice and truth. Sam Leavitt's black-and-white cinematography contrasts with the various shades of gray in the moral dilemmas of the characters. Justice appears to be an afterthought in this case in which procedure and self-interest, rather than a pursuit of the truth, control the process. There are no clear-cut good guys and bad guys, and the film's resolution has a willfully ironic edge. An excellent soundtrack by Duke Ellington and superior casting invigorate what could have become a series of methodical courtroom scenes. James Stewart brings a natural integrity to his flawed character, while George C. Scott's gravelly voice and rumpled energy enliven his cinematic debut. Standouts also include Lee Remick, playing somewhat against type as the flirtatious "victim," and Ben Gazzara, who eases effortlessly into his cynical role. In an ingenious piece of casting, noted Boston lawyer Joseph N. Welch, famed for his evisceration of Joseph McCarthy ("Have you no shame, senator?"), is cast as the judge. Nominated for eight Academy Awards (though winning none), Anatomy of a Murder was an envelope-pusher in its day, forcing open some of the tightly locked censorial shutters in prudish 1950s Hollywood.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[B&W, Full Frame]
[Dolby Digital, monaural]

Special Features

Digitally remastered audio and video; Production notes; Vintage advertising; Photo montage: "Anatomy of a Classic" (featuring the music of Duke Ellington); Talent files; Theatrical trailer; Bonus trailers

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Stewart Paul Biegler
Lee Remick Laura Manion
Ben Gazzara Lt. Frederick Manion
Arthur O'Connell Pamell McCarthy
George C. Scott Claude Dancer
Eve Arden Maida
Kathryn Grant Mary Pilant
Joseph Welch Judge Weaver
Brooks West Mitch Lodwick
Murray Hamilton Alphonse Pacquette
Orson Bean Dr. Smith
Alexander Campbell Dr. Harcourt
Joseph Kearns Mr. Burke, Photographer
Russ Brown Mr. Lemon, Caretaker
Howard McNear Dr. Dompierre
Ned Wever Dr. Raschid
Jimmy Conlin Madigan
Ken Lynch Durgo, Police Sergeant
Royal Beal Sheriff Battisfore
John Qualen Sulo
James Waters Army Sergeant
Duke Ellington Pie-eye
Don Ross Duane Miller

Technical Credits
Otto Preminger Director,Producer
Del Armstrong Makeup
Howard Bristol Set Decoration/Design
Duke Ellington Score Composer
Michael J. Harte Costumes/Costume Designer
Sam Leavitt Cinematographer
Boris Leven Production Designer
Louis Loeffler Editor
Wendell Mayes Screenwriter
Harry Ray Makeup
David Silver Asst. Director
Jack Solomon Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selection
1. Start [8:26]
2. Mrs. Manion calls [1:54]
3. Maida [4:45]
4. Questioning Lt. Manion [11:51]
5. Laura's story [11:27]
6. Mitch Lodwick [4:17]
7. Thunder Bay Inn [5:04]
8. Mary Pilant [4:23]
9. Pie-Eye [5:39]
10. Judge Weaver [4:02]
11. At the Station [7:27]
12. Dr. Raschid [3:04]
13. Mr. Burke [2:53]
14. Alphonse Paquette [1:57]
15. Mr. Lemon [7:56]
16. Sgt. Durgo [3:58]
17. Dr. Dompierre [9:47]
18. Recall: Alphonse Paquette [2:09]
19. Back to Thunder Bay Inn [7:01]
20. Manion takes the stand [5:01]
21. Remarkable little animal [6:03]
22. Dr. Smith [13:39]
23. Dr. Harcourt [6:13]
24. Duane Miller [2:26]
25. Recall: Lt. Manion [3:44]
26. Last-minute witness [3:17]
27. The verdict [8:58]
28. Irresistible impulse [1:10]


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Anatomy of a Murder 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jimmy Stewart triumphs in his role as the humble, country lawyer Paul Biegler. He was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar, but unfortunately didn't win. I think every actor would love to get a role like this in their career. Jimmy was older, but he could still show great range from tying flies in the courtroom to playing the piano with Duke Ellington to going head to head with the prosecutors of the case. The subject matter, racy for the time, gives a great story to this classic film. The other actors of the film give classic performances including Ben Gazarra (the army lieutenant), Lee Remick (Lt. Manion's wife), George C. Scott (the attorney from Lansing), Arthur O'Connell (Stewart's drunken friend), and Eve Arden (Stewart's secretary). A great film with great music, a great cast, and a legendary director, Otto Preminger!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love James Stewart and this film is definitely in the top 3 of any Stewart performance through his sixty year career. He is absolutely amazing, with a quick dry humor and incredible presence in the courtroom scenes. One of the best and most controversial courtroom dramas of all time has an all-star cast and great director, Otto Preminger. If only Ben Hur would have been made a year later, Stewart probably would have won the Best Actor Academy Award. An absolutely brilliant film in every aspect, controversy surrounded it after it's release because of its' racy themes and subject matter including rape, murder, and ladies underwear. The film was banned in Chicago, Jimmy's hometown Indiana, Pa (a campaign led by his own father) and in South Africa because of one short scene in which Jimmy Stewart plays the piano with Duke Ellington (who lends his talent with a beautiful score to the film). Great addition to anyone's film collection!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jimmy Stewart is captivating as a smart-aleck trial attorney hired to defend a Marine convicted of a murder. Enthralling and delightful perfomances from an ensemble of supporting actors, including George C. Scott and Eve Arden, cement this as an American classic.
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