Army Lieutenant Frederick Manayon is arrested for the murder of bar owner Barney Quill. He claims that the bartender beat and raped his wife Laura. And, although Laura fully confirms her husband’s version, the medical examiner cannot find evidence of her rape.
Mainon’s defense is assigned to Paul Bigler, a humble provincial lawyer. The accused does not cooperate, the case is being conducted by a judge from another city. Bigler understands that a very difficult process lies ahead, and he has not so many chances to win the case …
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Forensic drama is a specific genre in cinema. Films from this category can not be mastered by everyone. Besides, considering that most of the films of this genre are either American or British. It is worth noting that the system of the court system and other legal subtleties is not the same everywhere. Even between the United States and the United Kingdom, there are no identical rules for the judiciary. And for a Slavic person, even a little familiar with jurisprudence, it will not be very easy to understand all the subtleties of the trial “over the hill”. For example, our courts lack the concept of legal custom, which is widespread in the Anglo-American legal system. To expand my erudition, I note that in most of the countries of the former Soviet Union, the legal foundation of the Romano-Germanic type of legal system has been laid with a special variety in each individual state.
The difficulty of staging a judicial film is precisely to make the picture more international and so that the viewer, even not familiar with jurisprudence, becomes interested in the plot and the twists and turns of what is happening. Of course, hardly anyone will watch a film about an ordinary crime, so some resonant crime is always taken as a basis.
In our case, we are dealing with murder. But first things first.
Paul Bigler is a provincial attorney and former prosecutor. He doesn’t have much to do, so he devotes his free time to fishing. Things are not going well at Bigler’s office, even his assistant complains that she did not receive her paycheck.
But then a young woman turns to Bigler, who wants to hire him to protect her husband, accused of murder. The plot of the case is as follows: Army Lieutenant Frederick Manayon shoots the owner of the bar, Barney Quill, who allegedly raped and beat his wife. The case does not bode well: the medical examiner cannot confirm the fact of the rape, there are no witnesses to the incident, and those who witnessed the murder confirm that Manayon killed Quill in cold blood. In addition, the lieutenant cannot pay for his defense and as payment can only offer a receipt that will pay off over time. Taking on this business, Bigler is very risky. In addition, as luck would have it, the local judge cannot consider the case, and instead the case is given to a judge from another city, and already at the trial the prosecution takes on the well-known prosecutor Claude Denser. The only clue for the defense is to insist on the temporary insanity of the accused.
The length of the film is quite long, which may scare some viewers away from it. Excessive length (2.5 hours) is the drawback of this film.
In the film, we will be shown in almost detail the “anatomy” of the court session. Of course, there will be no dizzying confessions and “twists”, as, for example, in “Witness for the Prosecution”, but all the same, the closer to the end, the more worried about the jury’s verdict. Will they take the side of the defense or agree with the accusation.
If we talk about the merits of the film, then, of course, without a doubt, these are acting works. The whole film is on them. James Stewart plays calmly, without impression, but how he plays is a must-see. Minor characters are not lost against the background of Stewart. Lee Remick perfectly conveys the image of a sexy wife, that you really believe that for the sake of such a woman you can kill. Ben Gazzara is a taker with his charisma, and you really sympathize with his hero and worry about his fate. Well, and George C. Scott – from his first appearance in the frame, the film takes on so many new shades. And when his hero enters into a debate with Stuart’s hero – this is something, there is so much expression in these episodes, moreover, seasoned with witty humor. Surprisingly, there is enough humor in the picture, you just need to see it.
And, of course, one cannot fail to note the amazing musical accompaniment of the film. It is not for nothing that the famous jazzman Duke Ellington (by the way, appeared in a small cameo) acts as a composer in the film. Who would have thought that jazz would be an excellent musical background for a legal drama.
As I wrote in the beginning, a judicial drama is a genre for an amateur, some people like it, but some don’t. In addition, so many films have now been released about lawsuits, with high-profile cases. Television is replete with horrible handicrafts like the “Hour of Judgment”, which, of course, did not play the best role for the genre. But âAnatomy of a Murderâ is not in vain included in the various tops of not only the best legal dramas, but also the best films.
At one time, the film was nominated for 7 Academy Awards (film, actor (James Stewart), supporting actor (George C. Scott), supporting actor (Arthur O’Connell), adapted script, cinematography (h / b films) and editing), but in the end I got nothing, tk. that year, Ben Hur swept everyone in its path in pursuit of Oscar.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (51.0 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
French: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
German: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Italian: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Portuguese: Dolby Digital Stereo
Spanish: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Spanish: Dolby Digital Stereo
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