Best Movies by Farr
Anatomy of a Murder Poster
Released Runtime Category
1959 160 Mystery/Thrillers
Director Language
Otto Preminger English
James Stewart, Ben Gazzara, Lee Remick, George C. Scott, Eve Arden

Anatomy of a Murder

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What's it About

Paul Biegler (Stewart) is a former prosecutor who's at a professional turning point. Now out of the district attorney's office, he's a defense lawyer, and needs a high-profile assignment to establish himself. He finds it in the case of Lieutenant Fred Mannion (Gazzara), an army officer accused of killing the man who raped Bannion's wife Laura (Remick). The case grows more complex the deeper Biegler investigates, and it doesn't help that he's also up against a ruthless young prosecutor (Scott) intent on winning a conviction at all costs.

Why we love it

Preminger's crackling courtroom drama makes for a twisty, racy, irresistible film. A mature, restrained Stewart is in his element as the dogged Biegler, but junior players Gazzara, Remick and Scott are every bit as good. Gritty atmosphere and a smoky Ellington score (with Duke himself in a rare on-screen appearance) help make this daring, distinctive picture hum. Mystery fans, here's an "Anatomy" lesson worth taking.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"