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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
James Stewart
Ben Gazzara
George C Scott.
Directors
Otto Preminger.
Screenwriters
Wendell Mayes.
Running Time
161 minutes

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Anatomy Of A Murder
Vintage courtroom drama.


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


Review
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.


Verdict
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

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Anatomy Of A Murder
Empire Star Rating

tp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052561/]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


RE: RE:

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


RE:

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


amazing

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


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