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ANATOMY OF A MURDER
1959, Sony Repertory, 160 min, USA, Dir: Otto Preminger

The finest courtroom drama ever made, a masterpiece of ambiguity in which the audience is the ultimate juror. James Stewart (in what is arguably his richest, certainly his most ambivalent performance) is a small-town lawyer who defends an arrogant soldier (Ben Gazzara) for the murder of his sexy wife’s supposed rapist. The characters often seem to behave inappropriately, in the process blurring the dividing line between guilt and innocence. Filmed on location in upper Michigan, in the actual locations where the real-life murder and trial took place. Superb performances from Eve Arden as Stewart’s rock-solid gal Friday, Arthur O’Connell as an alcoholic attorney, George C. Scott as a prosecutor who seems as aware as Stewart that the courtroom is a stage and that victory belongs to the best actor, and McCarthy silencer, real-life lawyer and non-actor Joseph N. Welch as a droll judge. Enhanced by a jazz score from Duke Ellington, who makes a surprise cameo appearance performing at the neighborhood juke joint.


THE CHANGELING
1980, Joel B. Michaels/Garth Drabinsky Productions, 109 min, USA, Dir: Peter Medak

Director Peter Medak’s superb ghost story has been recently rediscovered for what it is: one of the most chillingly effective portraits of the supernatural made in the past 30 years. George C. Scott stars as a musician, grieving over the recent deaths of his wife and daughter, who moves into a drafty old mansion - only to find it inhabited by the spirit of a young and very restless ghost.


THE HINDENBURG
1975, Universal, 125 min, USA, Dir: Robert Wise

Director Robert Wise helmed this film about the Hindenburg conflagration, touched off when the German zeppelin landed in Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937. George C. Scott is a conflicted German security officer aboard, Anne Bancroft is a wayward countess, William Atherton (DAY OF THE LOCUST) a possible saboteur, Roy Thinnes (TV’s "The Invaders") a fanatical Gestapo officer and Charles Durning (DOG DAY AFTERNOON) the Hindenburg’s captain. Recipient of two Oscars for Special Achievement in Sound Effects (Peter Berkos) and Visual Effects (Albert Whitlock, Glen Robinson).


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