Anatomy of a Murder

The movie Anatomy of a Murder is a courtroom drama directed by Otto Preminger. It is based on a real story and depicts the attempts of former district attorney Paul Biegler to win the case in court and save Frederic Manion from imprisonment. Additionally, the picture presents unique jazz score composed by Duke Ellington. This paper will describe and discuss the film.

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Since the main character Paul Biegler has been deprived of the post of local prosecutor, he is engaged in small business, sometimes considering typical legal cases to keep his business. His colleague, Parnell McCarthy, stands aside of judicial life and practice and is mired in alcoholism. However, Biegler, due to the instigations of McCarthy, takes the case of Lieutenant Manion who killed the owner of the local bar Bernard Quill. Manion committed the crime because Bernard Quill raped his wife, Laura Manion. The defense states the Lieutenant is not guilty, arguing that he was under the influence of an uncontrollable impulse, the mental state in which he could not control his actions. Therefore, the purpose of Biegler is to prove Manion’s innocence to the judge Weaver and the jury.

The movie is focused mainly on Biegler’s trial and its elements. It shows how the attorney step-by-step reveals the complicated situation in which Manion and the other characters of the movie are involved. The jazz music plays a special role and has specific meaning in the film. Despite the fact that the compositions are used sparingly during the scenes, they emphasize the emotional mood and amplify the dramatic moments. The scene where Biegler takes Laura Manion home from the local bar has one of the most impressive musical accompaniments. The amazing performance of the piece strengthens the notion of Laura's loneliness adding dramatic sense to her situation.

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To conclude, the film ‘Anatomy of a Murder’ is a courtroom drama that depicts the trial and the personal issues of Paul Biegler. He takes the case of Lieutenant Manion who killed the owner of the local bar. However, the case is not simple to resolve. The significant meaning and role is played by the jazz music in the film.

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