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Salient: An organ of student opinion at Victoria University, Wellington. Vol. 23, No. 5. Wednesday, June 15, 1960

"Anatomy Of A Murder"

"Anatomy Of A Murder"

"Anatomy of a Murder" (II) is the latest movie from Otto Preminger, a director noted for such diverse works as, "Moon is Blue", "Carmen Jones", and "Man with a Golden Arm." In "Anatomy," Preminger is his usual slick-self and the film leaves no doubt as to the intentions of its maker— to obtain the nearest thing possible to authenticity. However, it is not so much the direction of the film that the audience is made primarily aware of, but rather the living persons in the story. There is no obtrusive and superfluous camera-work, no flashy trick-shots; Preminger keeps his adaptation well above the panic line as he allows his camera to observe the actors in a calm, almost too personal, objective manner.

James Stewart plays the hero of the tale with undoubted feeling and calculation. He is in the eye of the camera for most part of the movie, and fortunately, his performance never lags or suffers from lack of sincerity. His manner and humour are sometimes a trifle too farcical and there may have been a tendency for Preminger to have over-done the small town lawyer smart-aleckness. But as a whole his role is well played out and I doubt if any other actor could have created quite the lawyer James Stewart has. He is well supported by Lee Remick (a performance of some maturity), Ben Gazzara and, of course, the presiding judge, Josef N. Welch.