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Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

2012 National Film Registry

Columbia Pictures

Director Otto Preminger brought a new cinematic frankness to film with this gripping crime-and-trial movie shot on location in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where the incident on which it was based had occurred. “Anatomy” — starring James Stewart, Ben Gazzara and Lee Remick — endures today for its first-rate drama and suspense, and its informed perspective on the legal system. The film includes an innovative jazz score by Duke Ellington and one of Saul Bass’s most memorable opening title sequences.

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