600 Anatomy of a Murder

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kinjitsu
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 1:39 pm
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600 Anatomy of a Murder

#1 Post by kinjitsu » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:26 pm

Anatomy of a Murder

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A virtuoso James Stewart plays a small-town Michigan lawyer who takes on a difficult case: the defense of a young army lieutenant (Ben Gazzara) accused of murdering a local tavern owner who he believes raped his wife (Lee Remick). This gripping envelope-pusher, the most popular film by Hollywood provocateur Otto Preminger, was groundbreaking for the frankness of its discussion of sex—but more than anything else, it is a striking depiction of the power of words. Featuring an outstanding supporting cast—with a young George C. Scott as a fiery prosecutor and the legendary attorney Joseph N. Welch as the judge—and an influential score by Duke Ellington, Anatomy of a Murder is an American movie landmark, nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture.

Disc Features

- New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
- New alternate 5.1 soundtrack, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition
- New interview with Otto Preminger biographer Foster Hirsch
- Critic Gary Giddins explores Duke Ellington’s score in a new interview
- A look at the relationship between graphic designer Saul Bass and Preminger with Bass biographer Pat Kirkham
- Newsreel footage from the set
- Excerpts from a 1967 episode of Firing Line, featuring Preminger in discussion with William F. Buckley Jr.
- Excerpts from the work in progress Anatomy of “Anatomy”
- Behind-the-scenes photographs by Life magazine’s Gjon Mili
- Trailer, featuring on-set footage
- PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Nick Pinkerton and a 1959 Life magazine article on real-life lawyer Joseph N. Welch, who plays Judge Weaver in the film

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jojo
Joined: Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:47 pm

Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#2 Post by jojo » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:30 pm

Let the aspect ratio wonderings begin... :D

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hearthesilence
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#3 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Nov 15, 2011 4:37 pm

Criterion's using widescreen? So what's the deal with this movie - did Preminger compose for two aspect ratios at the same time?

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movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#4 Post by movielocke » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:09 pm

My time traveling mind reading capabilities tell me that even if there is a written note in Preminger's hand that the film is x ratio, I know that he only wrote such a thing under duress and really truly totally meant y ratio because I like y better. :-p

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triodelover
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#5 Post by triodelover » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:22 pm

hearthesilence wrote:Criterion's using widescreen? So what's the deal with this movie - did Preminger compose for two aspect ratios at the same time?
The R1 Columbia Tri-Star was Academy ratio. The R2 Columbia Tri-Star was 1.85:1. Beaver says it was filmed in open matte but 1.85:1 is correct. IMDB says 1.85:1. Saw it in the theater in the early '60s and I believe it was shown in widescreen.

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Fierias
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#6 Post by Fierias » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:32 pm

At the Preminger retrospective in Toronto a couple of years ago, it was definitely 1.85:1.

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kinjitsu
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#7 Post by kinjitsu » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:35 pm

Saw this upon initial release with some very fond memories attached, but please don't ask me to recall the AR. All subsequent screenings I believe were 1.85. I do have a fondness for the R1 open matte edition, however...

This is a splendid addition.

eerik
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#8 Post by eerik » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:17 pm

I'm glad they chose this to be spine #600 and not Tiny Furniture.

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domino harvey
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#9 Post by domino harvey » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:21 pm

Like Saint Joan, the master's open matte; like Saint Joan, it looks better open matte. I'm on board for the Preminger extras, though

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Jeff
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#10 Post by Jeff » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:49 pm

The only reason that there is any confusion about the aspect ratio is that Columbia chose to release their original region 1 DVD without the mattes. Anatomy of a Murder isn't an unusual situation at all though. Over half of all American films since 1955 were shot at 1.37 and exhibited at 1.85. By 1959, there is no doubt that it would have been exhibited with 1.85 mattes at virtually all U.S. theaters. Many people may prefer the looser framing, but there's no doubt that 1.85 is "correct" since Preminger isn't here to insist on having it otherwise.

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Tom Hagen
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#11 Post by Tom Hagen » Tue Nov 15, 2011 6:58 pm

kinjitsu wrote: - Excerpts from a 1967 episode of Firing Line, featuring Preminger in discussion with William F. Buckley Jr.
Some of the discussion is available on YouTube.

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kinjitsu
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#12 Post by kinjitsu » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:00 pm

Right. A bit late to fight for open matte, so better hold on to your Columbia R1. If pressed, my memory would favor 1.85 as witnessed in 1959 at whatever theater that was on Collins Ave.

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zedz
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#13 Post by zedz » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:23 pm

Just because something was shot open matte doesn't mean it was ever intended to be seen that way. People are still shooting widescreen films open matte today, when Academy projection is a physical impossibility in most cinemas. And 1959 is extraordinarily late for a major Hollywood production to be shot in Academy ratio, notwithstanding that Preminger had been working in widescreen for years at this point. Not that this will mean much to lampshade enthusiasts!

Napoleon
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#14 Post by Napoleon » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:50 am

This can't be Jimmy Stewart's first entry in to the collection? Can it?

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colinr0380
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#15 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:55 am

I'm not sure about Laserdisc, but while I don't think he features in Sans Soleil's section involving the tour around Vertigo's San Francisco locations, brief clips from Vertigo do feature in the French programme comparing the Hitchcock with La Jetee on the same disc (I remember being impressed that Universal allowed the clips to stay in!)

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zedz
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#16 Post by zedz » Wed Nov 16, 2011 3:05 pm

Well, if you're going to bend the rules like that, there were probably some stills including Stewart in one of the extras on The Furies!

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tenia
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#17 Post by tenia » Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:32 am

I'm not sure, but don't Paths of Glory and Night of the Hunter alone (plus, in France, the old Wild Side DVDs of Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss) tends to prove that a 1.33 master don't prove that the framing is intended as 1.33 ?

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Brian C
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#18 Post by Brian C » Fri Nov 18, 2011 11:30 am

tenia wrote:I'm not sure, but don't Paths of Glory and Night of the Hunter alone (plus, in France, the old Wild Side DVDs of Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss) tends to prove that a 1.33 master don't prove that the framing is intended as 1.33 ?
Until very, very recently most 1.85 movies were not only filmed 1.33, the 35mm prints sent to theaters were full-frame and then masked to 1.85. I don't know how much this practice has changed since both filming and exhibition went primarily digital.

neal
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#19 Post by neal » Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:28 pm

The relevant question for me with that shot would be: what happens right before/after that shot? Is it a static shot with the dog laying there with its body lopped off the whole time?

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zedz
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#20 Post by zedz » Sun Nov 20, 2011 2:45 pm

Brian C wrote:
tenia wrote:I'm not sure, but don't Paths of Glory and Night of the Hunter alone (plus, in France, the old Wild Side DVDs of Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss) tends to prove that a 1.33 master don't prove that the framing is intended as 1.33 ?
Until very, very recently most 1.85 movies were not only filmed 1.33, the 35mm prints sent to theaters were full-frame and then masked to 1.85. I don't know how much this practice has changed since both filming and exhibition went primarily digital.
It still happens. Anton Chekhov's The Duel (2011) was shot open matte in 1.33.

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swo17
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#21 Post by swo17 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 1:34 pm

Criterion just posted this picture from the film's first public screening on Facebook. It's clear from this still that the film was intended to be masked to Academy ratio by the combination of an actual matte and having two chummy tall people sit in front of you.

Image

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david hare
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#22 Post by david hare » Wed Dec 14, 2011 6:38 pm

Anatomy has always been a 1.85 no brainer to me. It's been interesting to have the regional option of an open matte but - to generalize - Prem was a master of widescreen and always makes it a part of his mise en scene.

The odd - oddest - man out is his final picture, the flawed but great Human Factor which he had the OZ DP shoot for 1.66. Possibly shot in this rather than a wider ratio because every sequence is topped and tailed with doors being opened and closed. And lone figures entereting and leaving cramped, enclosed "huis clos" sets. I imagine he needed the height to keep the doors within frame.

Jonathan S
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#23 Post by Jonathan S » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:29 am

david hare wrote:Anatomy has always been a 1.85 no brainer to me. It's been interesting to have the regional option of an open matte but - to generalize - Prem was a master of widescreen and always makes it a part of his mise en scene.
The witness is referred to his earlier testimony. :)

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david hare
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#24 Post by david hare » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:44 am

I'm astonished someone would flatter me to the point of quoting a post from five years ago.

Very simply Jon, I was wrong. Preminger's fluency with WS by 1958/59 simply rules out Academy as a preferred ratio, even if it had been commerically "acceptable". Ive watched both versions again and I honestly think the Academy is clunky. THe courtroom scenes dont suffer overly from high headroom but that's the best I can say. The Hitchcock from 57/58 I also talked about is one of those films that suffers several times from possibly unintended cropping of important details like Vera Miles' fidgeting, etc. Consequently The Wrong Man needs some careful handling in any reissue to probably return to Academy or at widest 1.66. Anatomy simply doesn't have any such potentially compromised setups or staging. Unless perhaps someone can point them out to me.

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Minkin
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Re: 600 Anatomy of a Murder

#25 Post by Minkin » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:10 pm


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