Otto Preminger turned this 1959 courtroom drama, based on the popular novel, into terrific adult drama. James Stewart stars as a small-town lawyer who defends an army officer (Ben Gazzara) accused of murdering a bartender who assaulted his wife (Lee Remick). The taut script, large performance by Stewart, and then-daring elements of the story (words like "panties" are spoken in the context of discussing a sex crime) give the action a certain immediacy--which you don't find very often in today's movies about jurisprudence. Nice work by Remick and Gazzara, as well as George C. Scott, Arthur O'Connell, and real-life judge Joseph N. Welch, who plays the judge in this film. A very good experience all around. --Tom Keogh
Mr. Biegler, you finally got your rape into the case, and I think all the details should now be made clear to the jury. What exactly was the undergarment just referred to?
Panties, Your Honor.
Do you expect this subject to come up again?
There's a certain light connotation attached to the word "panties." Can we find another name for them?
I never heard my wife call 'em anything else.
I'm a bachelor, Your Honor.
That's a great help. Mr. Dancer?
When I was overseas during the war, Your Honor, I learned a French word. I'm afraid that might be slightly suggestive.
Most French words are.
Parnell Emmett McCarthy:
Twelve people go off into a room: twelve different minds, twelve different hearts, from twelve different walks of life; twelve sets of eyes, ears, shapes, and sizes. And these twelve people are asked to judge another human being as different from them as they are from each other. And in their judgment, they must become of one mind - unanimous. It's one of the miracles of Man's disorganized soul that they can do it, and in most instances, do it right well. God bless juries.