Otto Preminger

Anatomy of a Murder

Anatomy of a Murder

A virtuoso James Stewart plays a small-town Michigan lawyer who takes on a difficult case: the defense of a young army lieutenant (Ben Gazzara) accused of murdering a local tavern owner who he believes raped his wife (Lee Remick). This gripping envelope-pusher, the most popular film by Hollywood provocateur Otto Preminger, was groundbreaking for the frankness of its discussion of sex—but more than anything else, it is a striking depiction of the power of words. Featuring an outstanding supporting cast—with a young George C. Scott as a fiery prosecutor and the legendary attorney Joseph N. Welch as the judge—and an influential score by Duke Ellington, Anatomy of a Murder is an American movie landmark, nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture.

Film Info

  • Otto Preminger
  • United States
  • 1959
  • 161 minutes
  • Black & White
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #600

Special Features

  • New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New alternate 5.1 soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • New interview with Otto Preminger biographer Foster Hirsch
  • Critic Gary Giddins explores Duke Ellington’s score in a new interview
  • A look at the relationship between graphic designer Saul Bass and Preminger with Bass biographer Pat Kirkham
  • Newsreel footage from the set
  • Excerpts from a 1967 episode of Firing Line, featuring Preminger in discussion with William F. Buckley Jr.
  • Excerpts from the work in progress Anatomy of “Anatomy”
  • Behind-the-scenes photographs by Life magazine’s Gjon Mili
  • Trailer, featuring on-set footage
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Nick Pinkerton and a 1959 Life magazine article on real-life lawyer Joseph N. Welch, who plays Judge Weaver in the film

Cover based on a theatrical poster by Saul Bass

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New alternate 5.1 soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
  • New interview with Otto Preminger biographer Foster Hirsch
  • Critic Gary Giddins explores Duke Ellington’s score in a new interview
  • A look at the relationship between graphic designer Saul Bass and Preminger with Bass biographer Pat Kirkham
  • Newsreel footage from the set
  • Excerpts from a 1967 episode of Firing Line, featuring Preminger in discussion with William F. Buckley Jr.
  • Excerpts from the work in progress Anatomy of “Anatomy”
  • Behind-the-scenes photographs by Life magazine’s Gjon Mili
  • Trailer, featuring on-set footage
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by critic Nick Pinkerton and a 1959 Life magazine article on real-life lawyer Joseph N. Welch, who plays Judge Weaver in the film

Cover based on a theatrical poster by Saul Bass

Anatomy of a Murder
Cast
James Stewart
Paul Biegler
Lee Remick
Laura Manion
Ben Gazzara
Lieutenant Frederick Manion
Arthur O'Connell
Parnell McCarthy
Eve Arden
Maida Rutledge
Kathryn Grant
Mary Pilant
George C. Scott
Claude Dancer
Orson Bean
Dr. Matthew Smith
Russ Brown
George Lemon
Murray Hamilton
Alphonse Paquette
Brooks West
Mitch Lodwick
Ken Lynch
Sergeant James Durgo
John Qualen
Sulo, the guard
Howard McNear
Dr. Dompierre
Alexander Campbell
Dr. W. Gregory Harcourt
Ned Wever
Dr. Raschid
Jimmy Conlin
Clarence Madigan
Royal Beal
Sherrif Battisfore
Joseph Kearns
Lloyd Burke
Don Ross
Duane "Duke" Miller
Lloyd Le Vasseur
Court clerk
James Walters
Army sergeant
Duke Ellington
Pie-Eye
Joseph N. Welch
Judge Weaver
Credits
Director
Otto Preminger
Producer
Otto Preminger
Director of photography
Sam Leavitt, A.S.C.
Production design
Boris Leven
Music
Duke Ellington
Based on the novel by
Robert Traver
Camera operator
Irving Rosenberg
Lighting technician
James Almond
Key grip
Leo McCreary
Makeup
Del Armstrong
Makeup
Harry Ray
Hairdressing
Myrl Stoltz
Wardrobe
Michael Harte
Wardrobe
VouLee Giokaris
Editor
Louis R. Loeffler
Sound
Jack Solomon
Script supervisor
Kathleen Fagan
Music editor
Richard Carruth
Set dressing
Howard Bristol
Assistant to the producer
Max Slater
Production manager
Henry Weinberger
Assistant director
David Silver
Titles designed by
Saul Bass

From The Current

Otto Preminger, His Way

Flashbacks

Otto Preminger, His Way

The author’s colorful interactions with the famously crusty filmmaker.

By Peter Cowie

On Film / Features — Nov 5, 2013
Letters from John: Getting to Know the Author of Anatomy of a Murder

Features

Letters from John: Getting to Know the Author of Anatomy of a Murder

The writer reflects on the decades-long creative collaboration and friendship between his father, playwright and television writer Elihu Winer, and John Voelker, judge and author.

By Stephen Winer


Feb 24, 2012
Dukie

Features

Dukie

Author John Voelker (a.k.a. Robert Traver) met musician Duke Ellington on the set of Anatomy of a Murder; he wrote this piece about the experience for the Detroit News Sunday Magazine in 1967.

By Robert Traver


Feb 23, 2012
Anatomy of a Murder: Atomization of a Murder

Anatomy of a Murder: Atomization of a Murder

When it comes to depicting actual people’s jobs, the truism goes, Hollywood gets everything wrong with stunning regularity. The rare exception is Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder (1959), widely considered among the finest trial films ever mad…

By Nick Pinkerton

On Film / Essays — Feb 22, 2012