Anatomy of a Murder (Criterion) (Blu-Ray)
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A virtuoso James Stewart (Vertigo) plays a small-town Michigan lawyer who takes on a difficult case: that of a young Army lieutenant (The Killing of a Chinese Bookie’s Ben Gazzara) accused of murdering the local tavern owner who he believes raped his wife (Days of Wine and Roses’ Lee Remick). This gripping, envelope-pushing courtroom potboiler, the most popular film from Hollywood provocateur Otto Preminger (Laura), was groundbreaking for the frankness of its discussion of sex—more than anything else, it is a striking depiction of the power of words. With its outstanding supporting cast—including a young George C. Scott (Patton) as a fiery prosecuting attorney and legendary real-life attorney Joseph N. Welch as the judge—and influential jazz score by Duke Ellington, Anatomy of a Murder is a Hollywood landmark; it was nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture.
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New high-definition 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”: The Making of a Movie
• Behind-the-scenes photographs by Life magazine’s Gjon Mili
• Trailer, featuring on-set footage
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Nick Pinkerton and a 1959 Life magazine article on real-life lawyer Joseph N. Welch, who plays the judge in the film
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Top Customer Reviews
WHen the widescreen (1.85:1) comes out, get that instead. I, for one, thought I'd picked up the original aspect ratio and was quite excited. Now i'm a little upset that the studios are releasing so called "classic films" without treating them with any of the care that classics, like this film and others, so truly deserve. SHAME ON YOU COLUMBIA!
This and Laura (1944) are two of his films that go beyond the merely commercial and achieve something that can be called art. Seeing this for the first time forty-three years after it was released I was struck by the fine acting all around and the sturdy, well-constructed direction. James Stewart's performance as the Michigan north country lawyer Paul Biegler might shine even more luminously than it does except for a certain performance by Gregory Peck three years later as a southern country lawyer in the unforgettable To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). Lee Remick, in a frank, but imperfect imitation of Marilyn Monroe, co-stars as Laura Manion, the wife of army Lt. Frederick Manion (Gazzara) whom Bielger is defending on a murder charge. The defense is temporary insanity because the man he shot raped his wife.Read more ›
Lee Remick has just the right amount of provocative sensuality as Laura Manion to make one wonder what exactly happened on the "fateful night" in question.
After playing Southern belles in both "A Face in the Crowd" (1957) and "The Long Hot Summer" (1958), Remick was offered the role of Laura because Lana Turner, who was supposed to play the part, refused to wear an "off-the-rack" wardrobe, and wanted dresses designed by Jean Louis (hardly what a Army wife would be wearing). It was a big break for Remick, and she makes the most of it.
The entire supporting cast is superb: Ben Gazzara as the intense Lt. Manion, Arthur O'Connell as Biegler's assistant and friend, Eve Arden as Biegler's loyal secretary. George C. Scott is Dancer, the Assistant State Attorney, and Joseph N. Welch, who gained fame for being the Special Counsel for the Army in the Army-McCarthy Congressional hearings, is a delight as Judge Weaver. Duke Ellington makes a cameo appearance as Pie Eye, and even Muffy the beer drinking dog does a great job. Otto Preminger's direction flows at a lovely pace, with a balance between the dramatic tension and thoughtful scenes tinged with humor.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This DVD was shipped from the UK and I can't play it on my DVD player.
You should have made this clear when I bought it.
Good movie not just because of actors and plot but also because of background settings. Northern Michigan makes story real.Published on Dec 16 2013 by Robert Matthews
Jimmy Stewart at his best. There's a reason trial advocacy classes still show this as part of their curriculum, even decades later.Published on May 23 2013 by Allan R
Un film phare parmi ces films hors du commun que le cinéma américain a produit. James Stewart excellent. Read morePublished on March 19 2013 by Luigi
We have a great story, a great cast, and a great director. What more could one ask? Jimmy Stewart shows what it means to be a great actor and displays some examples during his... Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2013 by Cattieluver
Otto Preminger was one of the most creative and brave directors of the american cinema in the fifties and sixties. Read morePublished on June 19 2004 by Hiram Gòmez Pardo Venezuela
This tense courtroom drama combines elements of suspense, sensuality, comedy, and intellect to deliver a wonderfully captivating film. Read morePublished on May 19 2004 by L.M.W.
I had the great misfortune of reading the book before watching the movie. The book was a masterpiece, arguably the best piece of courtroom fiction ever written. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2004