A virtuoso James Stewart plays a small-town Michigan lawyer who takes on a difficult case: that of a young Army lieutenant (Ben Gazzara) accused of murdering the local tavern owner who he believes raped his wife (Lee Remick). This gripping, envelope-pushing courtroom potboiler, the most popular film from Hollywood provocateur Otto Preminger, was groundbreaking for the frankness of its discussion of sex—more than anything else, it is a striking depiction of the power of words. With its outstanding supporting cast—including a young George C. Scott as a fiery prosecuting attorney and legendary real-life attorney Joseph N. Welch as the judge—and influential jazz score by Duke Ellington, Anatomy of a Murder is a Hollywood landmark; it was nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture. –The Criterion Collection
Otto Ludwig Preminger (December 5, 1905 – April 23, 1986) was an Austrian-born Jewish American film director who moved from the theatre to Hollywood, directing over 35 feature films in a five-decade career. He rose to prominence for stylish film noir mysteries such as Laura (1944) and Fallen Angel (1945). In the 1950s and 1960s, he directed a number of high-profile adaptations of popular novels and stage works. Several of these pushed the boundaries of censorship by dealing with topics which were then taboo in Hollywood, such as drug addiction (The Man with the Golden Arm, 1955), rape (Anatomy of a Murder, 1959), and homosexuality (Advise and Consent, 1962). He was twice nominated for the Best Director Academy Award. He also had a few acting roles.
Preminger was born in Wiznitz, a town west of Czernowitz, Northern Bukovyna, in today’s Ukraine, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, to Markus and Josefa Preminger. Preminger’s father was born in 1877 in Galicia, at a time when… read more
Loved how it was shown that truth is, sometimes, irrelevant and denied and how a trial moves like a dramatic "performance". Dense... but I found it quite amazing.
Great acting from all involved, I loved the judge and it's clear the influence this had over other courtroom dramas such as "The Verdict" and "A Civil Action." More importantly though I get a few more pop culture references and that's the only reason any of us watch film to begin with, yes?
I couldn't find 7 nominations for Oscar, only few. Is it all because based on a true story with authenticity of the historical place and people? This story is probably more interesting for those who are working with law, as for me it was way too long and boring. Only Stewart is a champagne here!
One of the best courtroom dramas. If Rashomon was about how, when it comes to the law, truth is unknowable, Anatomy is about how truth is irrelevant. The legal preceding is itself a kind of show, like acting, or filmmaking. One small thought: as glad as I am that Preminger gave them a cameo, I'm still not sure what Duke Ellington and hot jazz combo were doing in upstate Michigan. 5 out of 5 stars.
A look at the process that led to the poster for the new Zvyagintsev and its designer’s selection of his favorite movie posters of all-time.
Your weekend roundup.
Also: Top animators sign on for an adaptation of Gibran’s The Prophet and the doc Liv and Ingmar is set for the fall.
There were really only two directors who can claim credit for discovering the hidden depths of Jimmy Stewart. Alfred Hitchcock and Anthony Mann first penetrated the depths, paving the way for Otto… read review