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Anatomy of a Murder Reviews

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April 30, 2014
Well shot; interesting in the case of the fallacies interwoven into the judicial system without a satisfying conclusion.
July 6, 2011
not much to say: apart from a few shitty performances a very solid film. but I never figured out whether or not Laura was raped, so I had a hard time sympathizing with her husband. maybe that was precisely the director's intent
July 4, 2014
'I never met a gin drinker yet that you could trust.'
June 20, 2014
One of the most thrilling court room dramas ever because it doesn't offer a clear cut moral answer and Stewart and Scott give brilliant performances.
ShakenNotStirred007
October 23, 2013
A remarkably witty and entertaining courtroom drama that features amazing performances from James Stewart and the rest of the cast.
May 4, 2014
The unanswered question that is never asked outright: who gave Laura the black eye? This is the real reason to watch. Amazing for its length (2:40) in that the tension never wanes. Bonus: George C. Scott.
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

March 31, 2014
Though this adaptation of a best-selling novel may not seem like it now, it was quite a groundbreaking big deal when it came out.

The story, a stirring courtroom drama, follows an alcoholic, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants small town lawyer (Jimmy Stewart going against type), defending a man who openly admits to murdering someone, but only because said individual raped his wife, who, admittedly, is kinda a floozy. Stewart's character understandably has a lot going against him, and that's not including the fact that the prosecution is made up of some slick, hard-cased big city guys led by George C. Scott.

Like I said, this was a big deal at the time, mostly due to the subject matter, and how director Otto Preminger dealt with it. He did a great job of dealing with stuff that, until then, hadn't really been covered in cinema. Yeah, like I said, some of the impact has diminished, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it's still a powerful and engaging piece of work.

The opening titles by Saul Bass are the stuff of legend, the score by Duke Ellington is a jazz classic, and the performances, as one may expect, are quite good. I mean, there's Stewart, Scott, and Lee Remick as the floozy wife, all of whom are quite great. Oh yeah, and Ben Gazzara as the man on trial.

This one kinda set the standard for a lot of courtroom dramas to come, and it is quite realistic, accurate, and does a fine job of trying to show things in a pretty down to Earth way.

So yeah, I dig the film a lot, but I'll admit that the running time could be cut down a bit, and some of the pacing trimmed as well. It's quite engaging, but once in a while it gets slightly boring, but not enough to really derail things. While I don't feel like a lot of people do, I still think this is a fine film worth seeing, even if I don't regard it as a masterpiece like a lot of others do.
March 20, 2014
Preminger's aim, like that of the lawyer at the center of the movie, is to bring up controversial subjects in order to prove that refusal to talk about some things can damage our society.
January 24, 2014
A truly spectacular courtroom drama that features what is quite possibly Jimmy Stewart's most endearing performance.
January 5, 2014
A true classic. One of the very best courtroom dramas ever made. An honest portrayal of what criminal defense attorneys do as well as a candid look at the criminal justice system.
December 29, 2013
One of the greatest films I've ever seen.
PetrosTser
December 24, 2013
THE court-room drama, "Anatomy Of A Murder" is an exquisitely directed, superbly written and convincingly acted affair, a monumentally captivating 160-minute thrill ride.
December 29, 2012
great courtroom drama
October 11, 2013
Anatomy of a Murder is the same for trial films as Night of the Living Dead for zombie films. An absolute classic.
October 21, 2010
2 hrs 40 minutes and I began to watch this when I was dog tired intending to watch the second half later. I got the whole way through. A testament to the director and the sublime acting from Jimmy Stewart. Being a Jazz fan I loved the score and the guest appearance from The Duke. Great pioneering courtroom drama if overly long. Its a movie that hails the American legal system and how it works. There are no twists, no shocks and Its left to the viewer to judge whether the verdict was right or wrong. A progressive movie for its time and all its power is in no small part down to James Stewart. Acting at its finest.
August 20, 2013
Its surprises may not lend it the impact that other courtroom dramas possess, but Anatomy of a Murder remains a must see, not only for fans of the genre but, for all cinema lovers. With bits of noir elements and a modern score, Preminger skillfully drives the narrative as the trial unwinds. Jimmy Stewart, my personal favorite Golden Age actor, is excellent as always.
July 13, 2013
Other than this being FAR too long, Anatomy of a Murder is one of the most intriguing courtroom dramas of all time, but we all know we were expecting a twist ending and were disappointed.
February 17, 2008
Great direction and cast. The subject matter was considered scandalous back in the day (it's pretty tame by today's standards), but it's great to see an actor like Jimmy Stewart play against type. Everyone in the movie is not completely trustworthy (well, maybe Eve Arden and the judge) and the movie gives no easy answers. I thought the ending was a bit abrupt. The movie is over 2.5 hours long, so I think it deserved a better resolution. However, up to that point, it had me riveted. A classic.
June 19, 2013
Great acting and plot, but it was just too confusing. The courtroom scenes were also very drawn out. I started to drift off a few times.
September 19, 2012
A good courtroom drama. But where it really gets you is the vagueness of justice. Here is a man convicted of retributive murder after his wife was rapped, you feel bad for him, but yet something is off since he beats his wife. So what is right is never cut and dry. It is nothing profound especially where the result has implications on truth, but it does entertain with its good acting, writing, directing and score (Duke Ellington).

Stewart is a good touch stone for the movie as the lawyer. At first he seems washed up with drinking, girls and his cynicism, but then he changes to all seriousness when there is a chance to save a man from jail. He is supported by a strong cast, a beautiful Remick, Scott as the big lawyer, Welch as the unusual judge, O'Connell as the need to sober up assistant and the bartender whose name I do not recall.

Another review needed to be rewritten thanks to flixster messing up!
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