I am finally catching up this blog and getting around to discussing some of the great films I got to watch over the Christmas holidays.

I’m beginning with my favorite: Anatomy of a Murder. This 1959 mystery/courtroom drama/ stars Jimmy Stewart, Lee Remick, and George C. Scott. This film was nominated for Best Picture in ’59, but lost out to Ben-Hur.

Anatomy tells the tale of attorney Paul Biegler (Stewart) who takes the case of Lt. Manion, a man accused of murdering bartender Barney Quill. Biegler’s challenge is to prove that Manion was temporarily insane when he murdered Quill because he had just learned that Quill raped his wife, Laura.

Biegler’s knows he will have another challenge convincing the jury that Laura Manion (Remick) was raped. Manion did not have the best reputation around the base and there was no proof of the rape other than her testimony. Biegler and his legal sidekick McCarthy must find witnesses and evidence to support their story before the assistant attorney general Dancer (played excellently by Scott) does the same to convict Lt. Manion.

Biegler is able to find a psychologist to support his temporary insanity defense, but the still lack evidence to support the rape portion of their case.

It may be easy to guess that Stewart’s character prevails in the end,  but I do not want to necessarily give the ending away altogether. There is so much more to say about this great film and this is one I believe that once you watch it once you will want to see it again and again.

This is one of the best dramas of the time and is full of suspense and moral questions. Anatomy also pairs two of the best actors of  the generation in Stewart and Scott.  Remick also gives a great performance as the sometimes vulnerable, sometimes provocative military wife.

Again, there is much more I can say about this great film that I am leaving out. Here are a few clips (keep a look-out for a certain musician!):

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