Anatomy of a Murder
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Based on the best-selling novel by Robert Traver (the pseudonym for Michigan Supreme Court justice John D. Voelker), Anatomy of a Murder stars James Stewart as seat-of-the-pants Michigan lawyer Paul Biegler. Through the intervention of his alcoholic mentor, Parnell McCarthy (Arthur O'Connell), Biegler accepts the case of one Lt. Manion (Ben Gazzara), an unlovable lout who has murdered a local bar owner. Manion admits that he committed the crime, citing as his motive the victim's rape of the alluring Mrs. Manion (Lee Remick). Faced with the formidable opposition of big-city prosecutor… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"At 160 minutes, Anatomy is longer than the subject warrants, but the pace seldom slackens -- thanks to the competence of Director Otto Preminger."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"Coolly absorbing, nonchalantly cynical."
‑ Jessica Winter, Time Out
"This is probably the greatest courtroom drama ever made and it features James Stewart's finest screen performance."
‑ Adrian Turner, Radio Times
"Even with the glut of crime-related TV dramas that pepper today's screens, you'd be hard pressed to find a courtroom story that doesn't have you rooting one way or the other with a heavy-handed POV. This one doesn't it's way ahead of its time."
‑ Eric Melin, Scene-Stealers.com
"The picture is superbly photographed by Sam Leavitt in black and white, though there's nothing black and white about the movie's morality."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"Preminger purposely creates situations that flicker with uncertainty, that may be evaluated in different ways. Motives are mixed and dubious, and, therefore, sustain interest."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"It is the best courtroom melodrama this old judge has ever seen."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"(Stewart's character) finishes the film an enigma, possibly the good go-getter of Capra but too much of a shadow."
‑ Matthew Sorrento, Film International
"simultaneously plays by and punctures the expectations of the courtroom thriller"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"To me Remick's damaged, dysfunctional presence is the really subversive thing about the picture. And Stewart's grandstanding attorney propels this long film to its final verdict."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian [UK]
"As an entertaining look at legal process, this is spellbinding all the way, infused by an ambiguity about human personality and motivation that is Preminger's trademark, and the location shooting is superb."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Otto Preminger's cynical view of the judicial system is curiously contemporary and still serves as a blueprint for numerous TV 'tec shows."
‑ , Total Film
"Otto Preminger, no stranger to ruffling moral-watchdog feathers, never succumbs to the sleaziness inherent in the material, instead turning out an intelligent and tightly controlled drama that ranks as one of the all-time great courtroom procedurals."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"As courtroom thrillers go, it has few peers."
‑ Christopher Long, Movie Metropolis
"From the stylised Saul Bass credit sequence to Preminger's assured direction, this is a thought provoking, superbly acted drama that simply oozes class."
‑ Tom Dawson, Film4
More reviews for Anatomy of a Murder on Rotten Tomatoes

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