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Anatomy of a Murder
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Anatomy of a Murder

1959
Drama
Mystery
2h 41m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 73.37% from 1807 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(1807)
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Rated 17 Nov 2009
8
82nd
Gets progressively better throughout then the ending is wrapped up a bit too nicely. It would've been more interesting and more shocking if the verdict was different. Stewart and Scott are both awesome, really fun watching them go back and forth. Nice Duke Ellington score too. Minor complaint - everytime Stewart plays the piano, you can clearly see he isn't actually playing. Ever heard of panning up?
Rated 12 May 2009
84
86th
a damn fine court movie, george c. scott and jimmy stewart are both at the top of their game on this one. it's a bit on the lenghty side, but it really goes by quickly. the banter between the prosecution, defense, and the judge is extremely satisfying. my biggest complaint is the that the end is wrapped up too nicely.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
97
98th
Some may feel that its like an episode of Law & Order. This movie has influenced such court procedural type movies and shows; however, it easily outshines most if not all. It remains perfectly ambiguous; by not taking an obvious stance it takes the stance that no one is good or evil. Everyone is just human, with all the good and evil that comes with it. And no court system can ever perfectly prosecute or defend that.
Rated 24 Jun 2012
85
90th
Anatomy of a Murder, Dissection of the Justice System. A courtroom drama that places the viewer squarely in the jury box and allows them to decide which version of the truth they believe the most. Great performances from Stewart and George C. Scott (and Muffy the dog), crisp B&W cinematography and a cool jazz score. Good stuff.
Rated 27 Aug 2010
4
74th
A real potboiler if there ever was one. There is a strange conflict between words and actions, and the film is constantly subverting your expectations, peeling back layer after layer. Admirably there is no clear line drawn between good and evil, and it's not as if we're just waiting for inevitable justice or redemption. We actively participate. It really ratchets things up in the second half, when the trial begins. The cast is generally fantastic, and Preminger is at home pushing the envelope.
Rated 27 May 2011
90
78th
I enjoy the hell out of these older courtroom trial films that just can't be made anymore. They're classy and mysterious with deep, dynamic characters and they rely on drama - the power of speech - to engage audiences. They also exhibit a tour-de-force performance or two, and Stewart is no disappointment in that department. It's a battle of wits and words between two attorneys, and that alone is so much more compelling than most of the current explosionfests of today.
Rated 25 Jun 2012
81
84th
I'm not a huge fan of courtroom dramas, but all the different elements help elevate it to something better: the great performances, the ambiguous nature of the case, the blurred line between good and evil, the cool soundtrack, the great (and at times pretty damn funny) dialogue. Despite its running time I was constantly engaged.
Rated 07 Aug 2013
90
97th
Best courtroom drama of all time. Captivating and entertaining in equal measure. And quite funny. The whole cast is on fire, particularly the leads, and everything is superb, really. Except for the ending.
Rated 29 Mar 2008
92
86th
Now better known for the renowned Saul Bass poster that promoted it, Preminger's film is a prime example of smart filmmaking filled with just enough backstory and surprising notes of ambiguity throughout. The film never spells out the truth behind the crime of the title. The mechanics and manipulations of the legal battle are what Preminger builds his drama around and the film plays out as one of the more convincing depictions of jurisprudence in the pantheon of Hollywood cinema.
Rated 09 Sep 2010
95
93rd
Fantastic. A storm of well constructed dialogues. One of the best court movies ever made with really good actings, but the ending could easily have been better.
Rated 03 Nov 2008
68
70th
A highly engaging, though not entirely realistic courtroom drama. Gazzara and Scott pwn, but Stewart seems a bit out of place in his role. Also, it trivializes rape. For example, when the audience chuckles at the mention of "panties", the judge says there is nothing funny about one man's murder and another's incarceration, ignoring the rape of the woman to whom the actual panties belonged. The very brutal rape seems to be systematically downplayed throughout the film, as if it's no big deal.
Rated 12 Apr 2012
80
70th
A fine courtroom drama with a great cast, enjoyable dialogue, and a nice sense of ambiguity. I don't think it's as well crafted as say Witness for the Prosecution or 12 Angry Men, but it's still a really good film all in all. Also, the soundtrack is fantastic.
Rated 11 Aug 2016
8
78th
Distinguishes itself from most courtroom dramas by being so goddamn fun, striking the right balance between intrigue and entertainment without trivializing the potentially unethical dilemmas involved in representing a murder defendant. Stewart is as passionate and engaging as he's ever been while a then still up 'n coming Scott matches his performance to a T. A damn fine film.
Rated 08 May 2009
93
94th
Preminger keeps his camera remarkably controlled and varied throughout the proceedings, mixing in tracking shots both forward and backward, the occasional high-angled look, and allowing several scenes to play out in single shots. He lets the actors act with each other and takes great pains to note the space between them. While the subject matter is heavy, he doesn't refrain from a few brilliant comic moments, and underlines the tragedy of any justice system run by human beings.
Rated 12 Feb 2010
85
88th
One of the best films of the courts. Despite being a little long, the dialogues are very well interpreted and dynamic. Besides that, the pair of main actors are quite fun.
Rated 15 Jun 2017
89
97th
Equal parts funny, intriguing, and thrilling. The back and forth between Stewart and Scott is just some of the most fun you can have watching a movie.
Rated 12 Sep 2011
80
91st
For a nearly 3-hour long courtroom drama, it flies by. Stewart steals the show, but Scott nearly matches him blow-for-blow. If you want a twist, you'll be disappointed, but I personally prefer the questions of moral ambiguity the film offers up.
Rated 29 Nov 2011
78
78th
For some reason, the 50s were a really good era for courtroom movies. Jimmy Stewart stars in this one, so you know it's got at least one good thing going for it. The story's carried out in a way that you aren't really sure who to root for, so in a way it's not entirely clear if the conclusion is "right"
Rated 05 Dec 2010
90
96th
I like a good court room drama, and this is definately one of the best! The great thing is that we havent seen the actual incident and we are therefore put in the jurys tough position of judging wether who's right and who's wrong. Like them we get almost all our information directly from the witness stand except when Stewart is out nosing around. Stewart is solid as always and the 160 minutes fly by as you await the verdict...
Rated 07 May 2010
88
97th
Great performances. One of the best court movies ever made.
Rated 18 Jan 2010
90
51st
Good acting, dialogue, music - but a bit long - worth a lazy Sunday afternoon I guess .. and I generally don't like the movies that leave the ending open to interpretation - for e.g I liked the way they ended a very similar movie Primal Fear (1996) (featuring Edward norton's great performance)
Rated 02 Dec 2010
95
96th
Oh baby, Stewart cuts into that apple.
Rated 25 Jun 2012
90
85th
This is pretty terrific. It moves at such a wonderful pace, with great characters and performances that it hardly feels like a three hour movie. I'm a bit of a sucker for a good courtroom drama so I'm not surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did. The Duke Ellington soundtrack is excellent and gives it a more lively feeling, as well.
Rated 03 Jun 2014
90
96th
Where most court room movies opt for a clean cut guilty/innocent drama, this digs deeper, and examines the judicial process with all its uncertainties, bias' and emotional manipulations. And it does so brilliantly.
Rated 07 Feb 2010
100
91st
The best courtroom movie ever done. A rare kind of movie that is very long, but you can't leave the screen.
Rated 10 Mar 2011
80
75th
One part film noir, one part Hitchcock, and one part To Kill A Mockingbird. One of the best courtroom dramas I've ever seen. That said, I still can't quite wrap my head around Jimmy Stewart talking frankly about panties and ejaculation.
Rated 04 Jan 2012
90
95th
Excellent courtroom film with great performances.
Rated 05 Feb 2010
90
83rd
There is something just a little self-consciously sleazy about this movie, but it is still an absorbing and disturbing tale about a sensational murder trial. Features a great Duke Ellington score, and a cameo appearance by the great man himself.
Rated 01 Sep 2011
95
93rd
Probably the best courtroom drama I've seen. When George C Scott arrives, cool as ever, things really heat up and Stewart holds the room down the way he did 20 years earlier in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Watching them go back and forth against each other is simply phenomenal.
Rated 13 Oct 2012
86
84th
Great characters and acting, loved the way it avoided making the defendant likeable to make it harder to cheer for Stewart in court. Very enjoyable dynamic between all the characters.
Rated 22 Nov 2012
93
84th
Jimmy Stewart and George C Scott as dueling lawyers? Bliss.
Rated 02 Jul 2013
30
18th
I like James Stewart in this. And Lee Remick is very alluring. However, the story was neither clever nor very interesting. I did not like the way the writers attempted to inject tension by having the prosecution suppress evidence. It seemed too staged and phony to me. Many parts of the story was unconvincing, and the ending was weak. I wanted to love this, but was disappointed. Great if you are a Jimmy Stewart fan but not so much otherwise.
Rated 02 Mar 2008
64
42nd
# 716
Rated 25 Jun 2012
76
92nd
Felt a little dated in its attitudes but manages to build tension up to the conclusion.
Rated 08 Nov 2014
80
65th
An unusually gripping yet leisurely paced courtroom drama with a slightly seamy, wry humor that rescues it from any longueurs endemic in a nearly 3 hour film. Stewart shines in one of his best roles, and Scott, Remick and Gazarra are also outstanding. And Duke Ellington's score is note perfect and his cameo rather charming.
Rated 23 Mar 2011
98
88th
Stewart does have an attractive jiggle.
Rated 21 Jul 2009
76
88th
Very well acted, good pacing and a compelling story full of interesting characters makes for good watching. I heart James Stewart.
Rated 25 Sep 2013
70
36th
Pretty good script.
Rated 21 Nov 2012
73
60th
Really good. This Preminger guy is onto something.
Rated 15 Jun 2014
90
95th
Nice story, great performances and I love the fact that at the end we still can't be sure what exactly happened that night.
Rated 28 Feb 2016
18
96th
Star Rating: ★★★★★
Rated 04 Mar 2009
100
98th
Merely the best courtroom drama ever committed to film, with its lively theatrics tempered by sober and unbudging moral ambiguity. It is hardly less remarkable as perhaps the most mature consideration of rape (least polemical, least hysterical) ever put on film. And in the semi-retired asexual backwoods lawyer who really prefers fishing and jazz, Stewart has one of the best roles of his career
Rated 06 Apr 2014
84
91st
A 140 minute film that feels like 80. It's thoughtfully shot, expertly acted, and wonderfully paced.
Rated 02 Sep 2012
90
80th
Otto Preminger is identifying not just heroes but a full respect for the law. You could add that Preminger was himself the son of a great Viennese jurist. This magnificent film and model courtroom melodrama is also an honest testament to America and its brave attempt to spread a little justice around. It's not going too far to call this film perfect - not just as a passing show, but as a tribute to reason, irresistible impulses, and that rare gambling game that was the young Lee Remick. Enjoy.
Rated 15 Mar 2012
75
62nd
Not bad by any stretch, but this seems to be overrated. Some good performances by Stewart and Scott, but the case and story aren't really all that interesting. I also hated how many jokes seemed to be in the film. Maybe I prefer a more straightforward courtroom drama. It's also too long.
Rated 21 Dec 2014
80
89th
A very effective legal thriller and, whether this was the intent or not, the bad guys win.
Rated 11 Mar 2022
65
42nd
James Stewart yine iyi, hikaye "eh işte" seviyesinde.
Rated 27 Jul 2007
3
62nd
This is almost like the beta version of Matlock. Snappy dialogue and James Stewart is great as always, but I don't get that much out of this. The catharsis isn't strong enough to fully justfify its length. The accused Manion and his wife are disgusting & unsympathetic human beings. Usually the juice of these kind of movies is the likeable, wrongfully accused person, but not in this one.
Rated 20 Sep 2010
45
85th
Amazing pacing. Feeds viewers just enough to keep them hungry for the next tiny detail, the next minor twist.
Rated 02 Dec 2011
59
18th
#821
Rated 20 Oct 2012
75
67th
cinayet, tegmen, asifte kadin, kiskanc koca, avukat, sucluyu savunmak, mahkeme, kisilik bölünmesi, dayanilmaz itki, femme fatale, (tegmen Frederick Manion, bara gideip eglenen esine tacavüz ettigini iddia ettigi bar sahibi Quill Plant'i öldürür. Fettan kadin kocasini savunmasi icin eski bölge savcisi yeni avukat Paul Biegler'e başvurur. Filmin bir buçuk saati mahkeme salonunda geçer)
Rated 19 Dec 2008
61
22nd
776
Rated 24 Dec 2013
90
97th
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.
Rated 13 Dec 2011
85
89th
James Stewart is outstanding in this courtroom drama. Stewart is a joy to watch from beginning to end. Lee Remick also is very good in her role. The story is straight forward but still interesting.
Rated 10 Jun 2008
82
91st
Although I haven't read Robert Traver's book on which this was based, the movie by itself is a great court-room drama. James Stewart and George C. Scott turns in great performances, the latter edging out the former by a wee bit, as the ruthless Asst. St. Attorney Claude Dancer. Very recommended watch.
Rated 06 May 2010
49
8th
It honestly felt like a waste of time. It's just another court room movie. 160 minutes of 'just another court room movie.'
Rated 04 Mar 2012
85
71st
Or as I like to call it, Anatomy of a Moider!
Rated 24 Jun 2008
70
63rd
I watched this for my criminal law class in college. It was pretty good.
Rated 14 Aug 2015
78
83rd
"As a lawyer, I've had to learn that people aren't just good or just bad. People are many things."
Rated 19 Jul 2011
88
80th
The trial sequences look really astonishing and very professional. James Steward did his job perfectly as he always did.
Rated 24 Apr 2008
68
64th
Awfully good; I especially enjoyed Ben Gazzara.
Rated 24 Nov 2015
56
48th
It certainly keeps you interested but as the,long,running time goes on you start to think "shit,is this it?".And yep,that's it Which left me feeling short changed to be honest.Also memorable for the general hilarity in the courtroom over the mention of a raped woman's panties.Different times...
Rated 12 Jan 2010
100
96th
watched: 2010, 2013, 2017
Rated 17 Mar 2012
60
23rd
Very long movie with unsympathetic characters and no payoff. Might be interesting as an introduction to law, but those looking for entertainment should stay away.
Rated 12 Dec 2011
75
42nd
A mostly un-miraculous film when seen today given the staleness of courtroom dramas. Sure, it's easy to get wrapped up in the story (as with most courtroom dramas, no matter how cliche) and James Stewart and George C. Scott provide a great presence to the film just by being there, but it never really makes an impression. It does seem to be shockingly obscene given it's era of release, and watching "Mr. Wholesome" Stewart is odd in that respect, but beyond that context it's mostly bland.
Rated 11 Oct 2014
98
98th
Preminger delivers a crackling case that feels incredibly Hitchcockian in its quality and style. And of course, Jimmy Stewart is amazing, as always.
Rated 24 Feb 2007
90
98th
Best adaptation of a novel I've seen. Outstandingly well-cast--top flight stars and character actors. Interesting score.
Rated 27 Feb 2013
84
83rd
Excellent acting and very capable writing and directing. A faster pace would've done the movie good though.
Rated 02 Aug 2013
65
73rd
Great performances but a pretty run of the mill courtroom drama.
Rated 29 Mar 2011
6
43rd
Solid black and white, a little over long but raises some interesting questions.
Rated 19 Sep 2007
93
93rd
The characters are lovable and Jimmy Stewart is always amazing. Some wonderful humor in this film.
Rated 15 Jan 2010
62
24th
767
Rated 16 Oct 2011
70
50th
"The film examines the apparent fallibility of the human factor in jurisprudence. In various ways all of the human components - the counsels for defense and prosecution, the defendant and his wife, and the witnesses - have different positions on what is right or wrong, and varying perspectives on integrity, justice, morality and ethics." (wikipedia)
Rated 06 Oct 2009
85
93rd
I think a lot of people will focus on the Courts scenes; but I was rather fond of the scenes set in and around Stewart's home, where his performance felt particularly natural and charming.
Rated 10 Apr 2016
90
95th
Beautifully acted -you will remember every character with its name-, crafted -you will remember and tell many scenes-, soundtracked -you will listen to it again. Its brave approach to a difficult issue, quick-wit humour -without being lame-, and neutral standpoint -without being judgemental- are admirable.
Rated 01 Apr 2007
60
47th
Where's the beef? Not really that exciting a movie, despite its reputation, and although I like Duke Ellington the score is often used in a highly obtrusive way. Sort of like the Stevie Wonder music in _Jungle Fever_ sometimes actually drowning out the dialogue
Rated 18 Jul 2011
78
66th
The ending seemed a bit anti-climactic, as I thought it was going in more of a Witness for the Prosecution-type direction.
Rated 28 Jun 2010
84
94th
Nice Movie
Rated 11 Oct 2013
89
89th
Otto Preminger takes on the courtroom drama, and scores; it's lower-key than usual for him, but his sure hand and Wendell Mayes' rich script (from a best-seller written by a judge), and another of Preminger's trademark ensembles--with James Stewart, Lee Remick, Arthur O'Connell, George C. Scott, Eve Arden, and Joseph N. Welch turning in especially fine work--make for compelling viewing indeed, even at nearly three hours. Duke Ellington's score helps craft an appropriately unsettled mood.
Rated 08 Nov 2014
22
28th
unnecessarily long and flat for a trivial case of obvious murder, with no twists but just unethical (or cynically -successful) manipulation of the jury (which also shows the defects of such a judicial system given to the hands of lay people instead of competent experts)
Rated 09 Feb 2014
70
57th
A compelling, highly stylized court film -one that, despite some humdrum stretches (especially those not set in the courtroom) and some archetypical characters, succeeds in entertaining throughout its 160 minutes. Although the ending seemed too, well, 'poetic', the confidence of the performances and the sharp writing make for an effective overall journey.
Rated 10 Nov 2012
80
90th
James Stewart is brilliant, like always, and the rest of the cast are great too. The direction was nothing special, but it was perfectly competent. It did feel quite risque for its time, in its talk about sex and rape. However, this subject was also a real problem for me in this film. They talked about rape so flippantly - like it was no big deal. There were even jokes made about it, essentially. It really bothered me. Anyway, it was an entertaining and pleasantly ambiguous movie.
Rated 05 Jan 2016
94
97th
George C. Scott is terrifying
Rated 05 Jul 2017
67
61st
Well-plotted, well-acted, well-directed... it's so deliberately high-minded that it isn't any fun at all--except the rare instances when Lee Remick decides it's time to spice things up a bit. A movie that seems to take its own importance far too seriously. Ben Gazzara certainly looks different with hair!
Rated 23 Dec 2006
76
58th
Fairly good courtroom drama. Jimmy Stewart does his usual Jimmy Stewart thing. This feels kinda formulaic and predictable by today's standards, but perhaps in 1959 it was still fresh. All the talk of rape and sperm and panties must have been rather shocking at the time.
Rated 04 Jul 2011
90
99th
Although there are some great performances here, for me the highlight is the magnificent script, which is at it's finest in the court room scenes.
Rated 09 Jan 2014
80
0th
2x
Rated 12 Apr 2012
88
87th
Consummate, brisk filmmaking - this is probably the fastest 2.5 hour movie I've seen. It's shocking how at ease the film is. It takes its time with the characters, adding the appropriate nuance in both framing (composition) and dialogue, deftly weaving in and out of high legal language and lowly human condition. Brilliant work.
Rated 17 Oct 2018
80
80th
Paul Biegler: "As a lawyer, I've had to learn that people aren't just good or just bad. People are many things."
Rated 23 Oct 2018
70
56th
çok arızalı bir film ve savunma makamının iddiaları hiç akıl çelici cinsten değil
Rated 14 Mar 2019
93
91st
92.50
Rated 08 Nov 2021
90
92nd
The 160 minute runtime goes down so smooth. I love a great courtroom drama, and after spending a decade-plus on my "to watch" list, I am now wondering why I waited so long to watch this. This film uses the word "panties" the most in film history.
Rated 25 Apr 2019
85
86th
Overlong with a disappointing, tacked-on finish but a marvelous performance by Stewart and the rest of the ensemble.
Rated 08 Sep 2020
80
63rd
Solid performance from Duke Elliongton
Rated 30 Sep 2021
85
51st
Gazzara got cooler with age
Rated 17 Feb 2022
82
83rd
It took a while for me to get into it, but once the courtroom stuff happened, I was hooked and time flew by. The ending wasn't that good. Too rushed and weak.
Rated 09 Nov 2022
86
94th
A fantastic movie that still feels quite fresh. It feels subversive to cast Jimmy Stewart, with his history of playing morally upstanding heroes, as the defense lawyer who uses every trick in the book to get his guilty client off.
Rated 02 Jan 2023
70
44th
The courtroom scenes were fun, everything else was a drag.
Rated 18 May 2023
89
94th
Really good. Parts of it have not dated well. However, the complexity of everyone's morality elevates the tale, with fine performances from Stewart, Scott and the rest of the cast.
Rated 18 Dec 2023
84
86th
Made waves in its time for its frank discussion of marital relations and human bodies. Now, it’s the corpus of the American legal system that’s being exposed in oblique and scandalizing ways. You don’t question how these proceedings turn fact-finding into a contest of credibility and popularity. (Jimmy Stewart’s aura of incorruptibility only adds to the intrigue.) In the end, it’s people who decide what they want justice to look even in spite of—or perhaps owing to—the ugliness of reality.

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