Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Roar Power
Jurassic World unleashed on iTunes
Halo 5 Guardians
The Master Chief returns
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

James Stewart
Ben Gazzara
George C Scott.
Otto Preminger.
Wendell Mayes.
Running Time
161 minutes

4 Star Empire Rating
2 Star Empire Rating
Intern, The
3 Star Empire Rating
Beasts Of No Nation
4 Star Empire Rating
Nightmare, The
3 Star Empire Rating

5 Star Empire Rating
Man With A Movie Camera
5 Star Empire Rating
Salt Of The Earth, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Song Of The Sea
5 Star Empire Rating
Look Of Silence, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Anatomy Of A Murder
Vintage courtroom drama.

submit to reddit

James Stewart defends Ben Gazzara on a murder rap, while George C Scott stands for the prosecution.

Otto Preminger's film was controversial in 1959 - making frank use of words like "panties", "rape" and "spermatogenesis" - and remains a trenchant, bitter, tough and witty dissection of the US legal system. We don't see the murder, even in flashback, and have to decide along with the jury whether army officer Ben Gazzara was or was not subject to an "irresistible impulse" tantamount to insanity when he shot dead the bar-owner alleged to have raped his teasing trailer-trash wife. James Stewart is all aw-shucks conniving as the folksy but laser-brained defence lawyer who goes up against George C. Scott's prissy, big-city legal eagle.

It's simply the best trial movie ever made, showing that lawyers have to be not only actors but stars, performing for their 12-man audience.

Reviewed by Kim Newman

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Anatomy Of A Murder
Empire Star Rating

tp://]Anatomy of a Murderrilliant court drama and a complaint against the American justice system by Otto Preminger in wich James Stewart in a brilliant way portrays a lawyer who needs to defend a military officer. He`s accused of murdering the man who raped his wife. You`re really sucked into the story and need to form your own opinion, especially about the verdict that the jury will give. The films is well over 2,5 hours long but doesn`t bore one second. Thanks to... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by TheGodfather at 22:00, 18 March 2012 | Report This Post


My review from lywoodbitchslap.comime mellows all insults and all taboos eventually. From the first films that dared to show a bit of bare flesh, to the first liberal use of the 'c' word, everything eventually will lose its impact, to the point where Ricky Gervais can use the term for one of the most heinous crimes in society as a punchline for one of the best jokes in The Office. Anatomy of a Murder, however, was made in a time when just the mention of it was enough to cause a scandal./b] ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by matty_b at 08:34, 14 June 2008 | Report This Post


Great film. I might quibble over the fact that it runs a little too long; Preminger was clearly interested in building up his characters. But once the trial starts this goes like gangbusters, with a thrilling battle of wits between the wily James Stewart and the vicious shark-like George C. Scott. Great turn from Lee Remick as the slutty wife too. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RJNeb2 at 12:17, 09 June 2008 | Report This Post

Brilliant. A masterpiece. Top notch acting, writing, direction only enhanced by being filmed on location. Stewart is a relevation for people who only know him as George Bailey. Controversial then and now. Scott is an excellent foil and the ending cross examination is amazing. A true classic. Shocking, uncompromising, and provocative. The ending will lead you stunned. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by lynnshep at 22:14, 18 April 2007 | Report This Post


i simply love this film, it doesnt get the credit it deserves ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by doncopey1 at 21:43, 22 January 2006 | Report This Post

Empire's Best Horror Films For Halloween
An unlucky thirteen triple-bills

Emily Blunt Talks Sicario
On the five-star thriller, puke acting and taking Tom Cruise to The Box

Denis Villeneuve Talks Sicario
On his cartel thriller and the upcoming Blade Runner sequel

Tomorrowland: The Viewing Guide
Brad Bird talks through his sci-fi adventure, scene by scene

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)