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Criterion Release: Anatomy of a Murder

February 28, 2012

On February 21st, the groundbreaking 1959 classic Anatomy of a Murder was released on Blu-ray & DVD as part of the Criterion Collection.  Directed by Otto Preminger, the film stars the great James Stewart as a Michigan lawyer who takes on the difficult case of defending an army lieutenant (Ben Gazzara) who is accused of murdering a man who allegedly raped his wife.

With frank discussions of sexual abuse that were groundbreaking for 1959, this is a fascinating courtroom drama that has the ability to shake you up and leave you talking long after the credits roll.  Stylistically shot in black and white, featuring a brilliant musical score by Duke Ellington and nominated for a total of seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, this is a timeless war of words that still holds up.

The Blu-ray includes interviews, several featurettes, newsreel footage from the set and more.  Also included in the package is a fascinating booklet featuring even more “behind the scenes” info on the film.

Anatomy of a Murder is 161 minutes and rated 18A.

-John C.

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