100 Movies in 100 Days / Movies

100 Years of Movies in 100 Days – Day 50 – Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

One of the many courtroom confrontations in "Anatomy of a Murder"

One of the many courtroom confrontations in "Anatomy of a Murder"

You ever have the feeling that you’ve seen a movie but just can’t remember if you really did? Thus is the curious case of Day 50’s movie Anatomy of a Murder. It’s essentially like Law & Order: SVU but with Jimmy Stewart leading the charge instead of Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni.

The thing that struck with the thought that perhaps I’d seen this movie before is about midway through
when the judge calls the lawyers to his bench and they have a short discussion about using another word for “panties.” It’s one of those odd, random moments that happens occasionally during movies that stuck in my head. It seemed familiar. And then the reference to the panties continues through the movie and becomes a critical piece of evidence.

The sexual tension between Lee Remick's Mrs. Manion and Jimmy Stewart's Mr. Beigler is palpable.

The sexual tension between Lee Remick's Mrs. Manion and Jimmy Stewart's Mr. Beigler is palpable.

Anyway, comparing this movie with Witness for the Prosecution, I have to give the edge to Witness, despite Jimmy Stewart’s commanding performance. I also liked how the judge acts as a referee during the actual trial and honestly, there’s no way the jury would have ruled “Not Guilty” given the evidence. One thing that did strike me a bit odd is the Duke Ellington soundtrack. From midway into the movie and on, it’s fine but at the very beginning, it felt like I was watching a Charlie Brown cartoon.

Well, that’s fifty movies down, fifty to go. I’m exhausted, not from the movie-watching but from the excessive heat today. But halfway there… ah, I can almost smell Hawaii!

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