January 27, 2010

242. Anatomy of a Murder

  • Year of release: 1959
  • Director: Otto Preminger
  • Genre: Crime, Drama
  • IMDB Page

A courthouse drama. I love the Phoenix Wright series, but do I love this movie?

A man, Lt. Manion, kills the man who raped his wife. Paul Biegler, a defense attorney, takes on the case and tries to get the lieutenant out of the charges. It is obvious Manion killed the man, not even Manion himself denies that, but Biegler tries to get him out based on "irresistible impulse".

That's the story without too much details. In fact, this movie's plot isn't too thick nor is there a plot twist in every scene. This movie is very interaction driven. The prosecution versus the defense. Mr. Biegler versus his successor in the DA's office. This movie is filled with witty remarks and comebacks that will make you chuckle.

The characters are or have some morally gray touches and that's what makes them come to live all the more. It doesn't take too long to get to know and to understand Mr. Biegler. In fact after his first scene, you'll know what kind of a man he is. But that doesn't mean he's a hollow character, no sir.

The movie also has the raped wife act in a manner that you'll wonder if she actually has been raped or not. This is a good thing as the rape issue is a very big and key element to the trial and the mystery makes it that much more entertaining to follow.

Despite the movie's long length (2 hours and 40 minutes) I find it entertaining and amusing and I have only a few remarks.

Even the judge finds it to be a bit lengthy

The ending is a bit off. It ends suddenly and unannounced: the entire trial's conclusion is explained (barely), acted out and over with in less than five minutes.

The beginning is slow. It takes the movie a bit too long to pick up the pace and it does so when the trail begins. Unfortunately the trail starts somewhat before the halfway mark and after you spent an hour just watching a lawyer prepare his case.

In conclusion, an entertaining watch. Just make sure you got the time to watch it:

Buy It

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