Anatomy of a Murder - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Anatomy of a Murder Reviews

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February 20, 2015
The courtroom drama by which all others are judged......near perfect.
January 24, 2015
This film just works brilliantely. It's a great trial drama. It's especially impressive given how it dealt with heavy subject matter in 1959 during a still generally conservative era. This film must have been a bit controversial, because it didn't seem to pull many punches and goes right in for the kill. Fantastic classic!
½ December 29, 2014
"Anatomy Of A Murder" es quizás una de las mejores películas sobre juicios de todos los tiempos. Controversial para su época, pero ahora ya no tanto, la cinta dirigida magistralmente por Otto Preminger sobrevive gracias a las excelentes actuaciones de James Stewart, Lee Remick y especialmente, George C. Scott y Ben Gazzara.
½ December 28, 2014
Great to see two heavy weights Jimmy Stewart and George C Scott face off in this classic movie. A great movie which tackles some pretty tough issues considering when it was made. Stewart is his usual brilliant self in it as are Remick and Scott. Great pace to the film and it keeps you interested till the end. Its long enough but I like a great black and white classic film so that suited me perfectly.
December 27, 2014
I stole the whiskey. I'm guilty as hell!

Paul Biegler is a former low-key district attorney that now operates independently but very infrequently. He prefers to fish, harass his underpaid secretary, and hang out with a local drunk who is also an attorney. One day a murder case falls in his lap that he's enticed to take and prove a military officer innocent, even when it appears there may be some funny business in the case on both sides...

"I'm sorry if I offended you awhile ago."
"No you're not."

Otto Preminger, director of Laura, A Royal Scandal, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Carmen Jones, Skidoo, Exodus, and Bunny Lake is Missing, delivers Anatomy of a Murder. The storyline for this picture is amazing and very unpredictable. The acting and script are brilliant and the film is wonderfully paced despite the long runtime (160 minutes). The cast includes James Stewart, Lee Remmick, Eve Arden, Bem Gazzara, Arthur O'Connell, George Scott, and Orson Bean.

"You surprise me sometimes."
'Why? I've been around."

I grabbed this movie off Netflix because I love both Otto Preminger and James Stewart pictures. This was a very well done courtroom drama and reminded me slightly of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. The pace of the film is very well done is Stewart and such an amazing and compelling actor. I strongly recommend this gem!

"I used to think the world looks better through a glass of whiskey. It doesn't."

Grade: A
½ November 5, 2014
One of the all time great court room dramas. Stewart is at his very best and not only does the story look at the court room but also gives a great back ground to all the characters beforehand. Wonderful, wonderful characters.
October 18, 2014
Well acted, with a reasonable plot, some snappy lines and pretty good acting, but oh so very long! I quite enjoyed the first 90mins or so, but after that, it felt like I was gorging on a Columbo boxset. Slightly disappointing ending and not quite as clever as it thinks it is. 7.5/10
½ October 12, 2014
It's very long but you are kept interested throughout if only to be a bit disappointed by the predictable ending.
½ September 28, 2014
With superb acting all-around, great writing, involving case and interesting characters, Anatomy of a Murder is also thought-provoking and even groudbreaking in terms of use of language and sexual terms. James Stewart is easily likable as a wisecrack lawyer and the courtroom scenes are always entertaining and quite intriguing. Although it is unnecessarily long and drags at some points, this movie is an also extremely well directed, acted and scripted courtroom drama that is undoubtedly one of the genre's best.
½ September 25, 2014
I found it interesting the sets and decor. I recognized early on that a lot of thought and a strong emphasis went into the details, the look to make each scene appear appealing and interesting to look at to the audience such as the backgrounds, signs in jail, the shadows of the words Sherif Office stood out in the scenes or designs of the wallpaper or curtains, paintings to make long conversation scenes seem not so boring.
Keep the eye moving. And for a film largely verbal with very little seen of the crime itself it was very necessary for the audience to be able to look at other things to stay interested in the story. A great deal of this story requires the audience to infer and use your imagination to create the picture of what the troubles were and what happened at the crime scene.

One of the things I found it interesting how the audience of the film is not told upfront what the case is all about. so in many ways the perspective or point of view which the audience is learning about what is going on with the case is just like a jury verses from the aspect of the victims or lawyer.

I also realized fairly early on that there is a lot of smoking and alcohol beverage drinking within the film.

I thought is was interesting to watch how the wife acted totally different once Jimmy Stewart mentioned her husband may be watching by looking out the window. She went from very close to her own car door window. She moved to the other side of the car away from the jail window or Jimmy Stewart giving a lot of personal space.

I think that one of the scenes could have been edited out cut when they showed that the victim was with the Psychiatrist.

Psychiatrist evaluation Temporarily insane. What does that mean?

I was surprised by how Large the courtroom was with two floors and large paintings above that may be 8 or more feet tall. It surprised me because usually you don't see court rooms that large in a film.

I find it interesting yet funny how Jimmy Stewart was seen at the beginning working on something to catch fish while sitting in court to keep him focused.

I find the story interesting in that it is about a controversial issue in the late 1950's like sex or rape. That was an issue rarely heard of fir its time. Things like panties are seen as funny by the Jury in court yet today it is heard more often therefore more common and viewed as not as funny.

One line that fascinated me that Jimmy Stewart mentioned was somewhat on the lines that; People are not just merely good or bad but are many things. I thought it was an interesting point for its day to bring up.

The other line that Jimmy Stewarts character brings up is that "Everyone loves something" weather it's fishing or any other personal interest.

One scene that stood out to me from a film aspect was The momentary pause/stare between the husband and wife on the way for the wife to go to the stand. It was a great scene with a lot of tension that leaves the audience curious what exactly could she reveal that may hurt either both herself or her husband whatever she may say.

I thought it was interesting when the Council sued by George C. Scott purposely blocking view of Jimmy Stewart's character.

I enjoyed the realism with ill-relevant discussions that are unrelated to the main story.

This film stands interesting as this film explores different elements such as Psychology, fishing, court, police investigation, military aspects are looked at in the film as aspects yet they all come together in the story to create one story.

I found it interesting when Jimmy Stewart brought up the aspect of Country lawyer Jimmy Stewart verses big city lawyer George C. Scott in the courtroom. It identified that there was a major difference in technics or styles how each lawyers went about facing the case. Such as in how the city lawyers has an associate to go to for information verses a small lawyer who had fewer resources to go to. An old style verses the new style of law.

Good points were brought up about how the side with George C. Scott consistently tried repeatedly to not bring up the rape case in court but rather a murder case.
September 22, 2014
One of the best courtroom dramas I have ever seen. It begins with a fine introduction with a cathy scoring, followed by a great series of development, which draws us into the apocalypse of innocence. However, it doesn't just have tensions but humour as well. Thanks to the excellent performance for the whole cast (especially Stewart and Scott), this piece is just unforgettable.
½ September 14, 2014
A fantastic courtroom drama. We need more courtroom dramas this well constructed!
September 7, 2014
One of the best ever courtroom dramas, it is a bit long but it doesn't drag at all. It's yet another James Stewart classic, he has starred in some top notch films over the years.
Super Reviewer
½ August 22, 2014
With a fantastic cinematography and superb direction, this superlative courtroom procedural unfolds in an unhurried fashion, daring to make outspoken use of sexual terminology (something unthinkable at the time it was made) and presenting a brilliantly complex script centered on a fiery, breathtaking rhetorical combat of the highest quality.
August 14, 2014
This trenchant dissection of the American justice system takes a sophisticated approach to storytelling that makes it a thought provoking and powerful courtroom classic.
½ July 13, 2014
Well shot; interesting in the case of the fallacies interwoven into the judicial system without a satisfying conclusion.
July 8, 2014
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
½ July 5, 2014
This was a good one.
½ 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.
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