|Lee Remick as femme fatale Laura Manion|
Though the visual style is lacking we could, here at Noirsville, make a case for Anatomy Of A Murder being a ground breaking "Audio" or "Aural" Noir. The film was controversial at the time because it included use of the words "bitch", "no-girdle", "panties", "penetration", "rape", "slut" and "sperm". We've come a long way baby!
With the recent remake of Nightmare Alley in mind lets Noir-ify Anatomy Of A Murder.
Just think of how all the Thunder Bay sequences could have been filmed, the crummy trailer court lit haphazardly by bare light bulbs. The Manion's teardrop pull trailer. Along the curve of the water off through the woods we see the glow of the beckoning lodge it's neon blinking to attract highway traffic. We hear the tinkling of rock and roll.
|The real murder the original novel was based on took place here.|
|Preminger filmed in the real Thunder Bay Lodge not far from the near-by Lumberjack Tavern.|
She goes wiggling up to the bar sashaying her hips. Laura bats her eyelashes at Barney Quinn and slaps down a five and orders her cocktail. She lights up a tar bar and turns away smiling leaning back against the bar. She watches the dancers. Barney brings her drink and change, Laura takes the coins and with drink and cig in one hand and her change in the other she walks over to the jukebox. She makes her selections and to Chuk Berry's Johnny B. Goode, Laura starts dancing. The wild jiggling of her "non-girdled" assets are noticed by all.
All that could have been filmed in the Noir style and shown as a flashback. The entire sequence leading up to, and the rape of Laura by Barney Quinn, and subsequently Fred Manion blowing Quinn away also could easily have been filmed in the Noir Style.
|Ben Gazzara as Fredrick Manion|
The story, as filmed, neglects the "Noir characters in their "universe" spends more time with the trial and it's "Normal" people "down homey" piano playing, fly fishing, lawyer Jimmy Stewart, his good hearted alcoholic investigator pal Arthur O'Connell, and down to earth wisecracking secretary Eve Arden.
I believe it would be a easy candidate for a Noir remake that could definitely work.
|Arthur O'Connell and Jimmy Stewart|
|Eve Arden with Jimmy Stewart|
|Kathryn Grant as Mary Pilant with Jimmy Stewart|