Anatomy of a Murder

1959 film by Otto Preminger / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 American courtroom drama[2] film produced and directed by Otto Preminger. The screenplay by Wendell Mayes was based on the 1958 novel of the same name written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker under the pen name of Robert Traver. Voelker based the novel on a 1952 murder case in which he was the defense attorney.[3]

Quick facts: Anatomy of a Murder, Directed by, Screenplay ...
Anatomy of a Murder
Theatrical release poster by Saul Bass
Directed byOtto Preminger
Screenplay byWendell Mayes
Based onAnatomy of a Murder
1957 novel
by Robert Traver
Produced byOtto Preminger
StarringJames Stewart
Lee Remick
Ben Gazzara
Arthur O'Connell
Eve Arden
Kathryn Grant
Joseph N. Welch
George C. Scott
Orson Bean
Russ Brown
Murray Hamilton
Brooks West
CinematographySam Leavitt
Edited byLouis R. Loeffler
Music byDuke Ellington
Carlyle Productions
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • July 2, 1959 (1959-07-02) (New York)
Running time
160 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2 million[1]
Box office$8 million (rentals)[1]

The film stars James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Eve Arden, George C. Scott, Arthur O'Connell, Kathryn Grant, Brooks West (Arden's husband), Orson Bean, and Murray Hamilton. The judge was played by Joseph N. Welch, a real-life lawyer famous for dressing down Joseph McCarthy during the Army–McCarthy hearings. It has a musical score by Duke Ellington, who also appears in the film. It has been described by Michael Asimow, UCLA law professor and co-author of Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies (2006), as "probably the finest pure trial movie ever made".[4]

In 2012, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[5][6][7]

James Stewart in the film's trailer

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