Anatomy of a MurderAt home, there's a set-top box (whose killer feature for me is that it shows, wherever available, the name of the current show and also further schedules) and as a result, we're seeing a free-to-air Emirates movie channel called MBC2. It seemed like the other movie channels beaming in, until last Saturday when they were airing a B&W film which turned out to be Otto Preminger's "Anatomy of a Murder".
Ever since the TNT channel departed from the Indian air, we have rarely seen any B&W classics from Hollywood. If they are being aired, then it's not during primetime. Coming back to this film, I missed a bit from the first quarter of the film, but saw every moment of the rest. I think this film had the most natural courtroom scenes I have ever seen on screen. James Stewart and a young George C. Scott are the opposing counsel and being such fine actors, they hardly put a foot wrong. The judge (played by Joseph Welch, a lawyer in real life) had some excellent dialogues ("Just answer the questions, Mr. Paquette. The attorneys will provide the wisecracks"). What was different here was that I found the questions and objections so plausible and logical that I was nodding in accordance to the judge's rulings on these interruptions.
The movie was controversial for its contents when it was released and from a screenplay pov, it eschewed dramatic cliches like the final summings-up by the attorneys etc. Very ambiguous and very interesting in content, this is a true classic. I wish these kinds of films were aired more often on our channels.