Have you seen Anatomy of a Murder? Most likely, you have not. It is a James Stewart movie that is not a Hitchcock film. What intrigued me about this movie was the subject matter: a man accused of killing his wife’s alleged rapist. This film was made in 1959 and I was interested in how they would portray this and what the viewpoint surrounding it would be. James Stewart’s father hated this movie, called it a “dirty picture,” and took out a full page ad in a newspaper asking people not to go see the movie.
James Stewart plays a lawyer asked to defend the man accused of killing his wife’s alleged rapist. Even though he asks both parties to disclose everything to him, he along with the audience learn the real details of their life and the events in question. There aren’t many movies that keep me guessing, and this was one of them. I wasn’t sure of anyone or anything until the end of the film. The wife character was flirtatious and seemed loose, and the question was whether she was battered and sexually assaulted or if it was consensual and she is covering for her husband beating her and killing her lover.
I’m not going to tell you what happens or who was lying or if the accused gets away with murder, literally; but I will tell you that this is a film worth watching. It is interesting to see the other side of legal defense – defending the accused.