Anatomy of A Murder

Anatomy of A Murder

DVD - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A small-town Michigan lawyer takes on a difficult case: that of a young Army lieutenant accused of murdering the local tavern owner who he believes raped his wife. A gripping, envelope-pushing courtroom drama, Anatomy of a murder 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 and influential jazz score by Duke Ellington, it is an American movie landmark.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Apr 17, 2018

IF YOU WANT TO LEARN WHAT A COURTROOM IS REALLY LIKE AND THE TRUE ROLES OF DEFENSE AND PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS, SEE THIS MOVIE. James Stewart`s lawyer doesn`t take the case because he`s a "Fight-The-Man" rebel - he takes it because that`s his job, that`s his part in the judicial system, and he needs the money because that`s how he pays his bills. With an Academy Award winning screenplay by Wendell Mays (from Caruthersville, Missouri), this is how our judicial system works: the pretense that the D.A. believes the defendant is guilty and Defense truly believes the defendant innocent, otherwise he/she/they wouldn`t represent him/her. The truth is 1% of case are dismissed by the D.A. for lack of evidence or because the D.A. believes the wrong person has been charged, and only 2% go to trial. The other 97% are plea-bargained out which is where miscarriages of justice happen. Not because of the D.A. but because some blue-flamer, hot-shot wannabe defense lawyer can`t be bother with this nobody defendant. Ironically, these hypocrites are the very ones who, years later , come after "The Man" for the very injustice they created!

Apr 20, 2017

Excellent movie. A bit dated in the beginning, once you get to the trial the dialogue is superb. They take a moral conundrum of a murder and present both sides in a manner that can leave two viewers arguing at the end. Really shows how a case can turn on the better lawyer, not the better facts.

Veepea Sep 17, 2016

A great (but frightening) look at a trial and how guilt and innocence can be twisted. Also, I finally found out that the Hyperchicken from Futurama is based on Jimmy Stewart's lawyer! Double win!

d2013 May 15, 2016

Excellent courtroom drama with pretty good performance by James Stewart. Very entertaining!

Feb 05, 2016

This is a 1959 American courtroom drama directed by Otto Preminger, adapted by Wendell Mayes from the best-selling novel of the same name written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker under the pen name Robert Traver.
Voelker based the novel on a 1952 murder case in which he was the defense attorney.
On July 31, 1952, Lt. Coleman A. Peterson shot and killed Maurice Chenoweth in Big Bay, Michigan.
Voelker was retained as defense attorney a few days later.
The trial started on September 15, 1952, and Assistant Attorney General Irving Beattie assisted Marquette County Prosecuting Attorney Edward Thomas.
Voelker used a rare version of the insanity defense called irresistible impulse that had not been used in Michigan since 1886.
Although it is an excellent courtroom drama, lot of talking without no real actions bored me from time to time.

Sep 08, 2015

This is a pretty good courtroom drama but, at 160 minutes, way too long. The film could have be done better at say 120 minutes. It is still a pretty good watch, in black-and-white and with good old-fashioned acting and directing.

Jun 30, 2014

One of Jimmy Stewarts best movies! He is perfect as a small town lawyer who can't decide to take a wife beating/rape case over going fishing. Anatomy of a Murder has a great cast and the story is excellent. Don't read too much about it. This is really a great movie and I wouldn't want to spoil it for you!

mapmusic17 Apr 07, 2014

5 stars. It's long and slow at times,but well worth it.

Oct 28, 2013

I can't rate this one highly. It drags so badly in the last half; despite the often excellent acting, especially from Lee Remick and George C. Scott, it can be really dull.

Aug 24, 2013

Otto Preminger's scandalous Golden Globe winning and multi Oscar nominated 1959 piece, feasibly the first film of its day to boldly and frankly present the issues of sex and rape to the general public. Banned in Chicago for its language content (that offended the Police Commissioner and Mayor Daley), and eventually overturned when Otto fought it, it features a stellar cast. The gorgeous, seductive, porcelain faced Lee Remick; Ben Gazzara as the wife beating/rapist killing army tough... shooting for the insanity plea; George C. Scott, (who's so new in the game that he's not credited in the trailer!), as Asst. State Atty. Gen. "Dancer", who smells blood and craves the kill; and Jimmy Stewart, as the fly-fishing/ivory ticking, wise and easily flustered counsel for the defense, in a terrific performance. The entire supporting cast (O'Connell, Arden, drunk dog...) was excellent; a brilliant screenplay adapted from a best selling novel penned by a Supreme Court Justice... Duke ("Pie-Eye") Ellington's groovy score... Awesome stuff. FIVE STARS.

View All Comments


Add a Quote

Aug 24, 2013

Paul Biegler: "Mr. Paquette, what would you call a man with an insatiable penchant for women?" Alphonse Paquette: "A what?" Paul Biegler: "A penchant... a desire... taste... passion?" Alphonse Paquette: "Well, a, uh, ladies' man, I guess. Or maybe just a damn fool!" Judge Weaver: "Just answer the questions, Mr. Paquette. The attorneys will provide the wisecracks."

Aug 24, 2013

Parnell Emmett McCarthy: "...Twelve people, go off into a room. Twelve different minds, twelve different hearts, from twelve different walks of life... Twelve sets of eyes, ears, shapes, and sizes. And these twelve people are asked to judge another human being as different from them as they are from each other. And in their judgment, they must become of one mind - unanimous. It's one of the miracles of Man's disorganized soul that they can do it, and in most instances, do it right well. God bless juries."

Aug 24, 2013

Parnell Emmett McCarthy: "You know, I used to think the world looked better through a glass o' whiskey... It doesn't. I think I'll keep it this way. Looks nice."

Aug 24, 2013

Judge Weaver: "Now, Mr. Dancer, get off the panties. You've done enough damage."

Aug 24, 2013

Parnell Emmett McCarthy: "The lieutenant goes to Quill's place and plugs Mr. Quill about five times, which causes Mr. Quill to promptly die of lead poisoning."

Aug 24, 2013

Parnell Emmett McCarthy (eyeing an empty liquor bottle): "You fought this soldier by yourself. You've been drinking alone, Paulie. I don't like that." Paul Biegler: "Drop the stone, Counselor. You live in a glass house." Parnell Emmett McCarthy: "My windows have been busted a long time ago, so I can say what I please."


Add a Summary

Mar 14, 2012

A courtoom drama of premeditated murder as a jealous army lieutenant pleads innocent to murdering the rapist of his beautiful wife
James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O'Connell, Eve Arden, Kathryn Grant, George C. Scott, Joseph N. Weife.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at WCLS

To Top