Movies »Anatomy of a Murder

Anatomy of a MurderDepending on your feelings for the stammering everyman act of Jimmy Stewart, the idea of him as a showboating lawyer may turn you on or it make you head for the hills. I hope it's the former because this is one very well made classic court room drama.

Lee Remick absolutely sizzles as the free spirited, bare legged wife of Ben Gazzara, a man who has always dripped smarmy asshole charm. Here he plays a husband on trial for the murder of the man who may have raped his wife and the performance is riveting. George C Scott, Eve Arden, and Duke Ellington (!) make other notable appearances–Ellington also supplies the cool soundtrack.

The film was a total scandal when it was released in 1959, using words like “panties”, “rape”, and portraying a cynical view of the justice system. Its frank attitude feels way ahead of its time, even if it still feels of its time. You may be most familiar with the inventive graphic artwork by Saul Bass, but make yourself familiar with this award winning film. Otto Preminger was at his prime when he directed this one, it ranks among his greatest.

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Posted on April 23, 2007

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