Do you remember "Anatomy of a Murder"?

By: Susan McDonald

About This Quiz

The 1959 courtroom drama, "Anatomy of a Murder," follows the case of Lt. Frederick Manion, who admits that he killed Barney Quill, but he claims he had a good reason: Quill raped his wife. James Stewart stars as the attorney who defends Manion. Do you remember the details?

How does Paul spend his free time?

Since his law practice is small, Paul has lots of free time. Since he lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, there is plenty of water, giving him ample opportunity to fish. In fact, his refrigerator is filled with fish he has caught.

Paul Biegler's friend, Parnell McCarthy, has a weakness. What is it?

Parnell is a former attorney who has lost his career to alcoholism. Although he realizes his friend has a problem, Paul aids and abets by giving him whiskey.

Laura took a lie detector test to prove she was raped. For whom did she want to prove the sex wasn't consensual?

Since Laura is a sexy, flirty woman, her husband seems to believe that she might have had sex with Quill willingly. She says she took a lie detector test to prove to him she was telling the truth about the rape.

Who is Maida?

Maida is Paul's secretary and only employee. She serves as a wise-cracking sidekick and a close friend to both Paul and Parnell.

When Laura comes to court for her husband's trial, what is different about her?

Laura's tight, sexy clothes are nowhere to be seen when her husband's trial begins. She comes to court in a conservative suit, a hat and a pair of glasses, looking nothing like the vixen she really is.

What does Laura Manion's dog like to drink?

When Laura Manion visits Paul for the first time, he offers her a beer and she accepts. He is surprised when she asks him to pour some into a bowl for her dog, who laps it up and promptly falls asleep.

Why is Paul Biegler no longer the District Attorney?

Paul served as District Attorney for many years, but he lost his last election to Mitch Lodwick. Now he has a small law practice that barely pays his bills.

Where is Paul's law office?

Paul has converted a room in his house into an office for his practice. Since he makes little money now, this saves on expenses.

Where do the Manion's live?

The Manions live in a trailer park in Thunder Bay. This fact is important to the story for several reasons.

Why does Laura say she wasn't afraid of Barney Quill?

Laura is beautiful, flirty and dresses provocatively. She tells Paul that she had no concerns about letting Quill drive her home, even driving into the woods, because men have always been attracted to her.

Paul asks Laura if she was wearing a particular item of clothing on the night Quill raped her. What was it?

When Laura describes for Paul what she was wearing on the night of the rape, he asks if she was also wearing a girdle. She replies that she doesn't need one.

Where did Lt. Manion kill Barney Quill?

Quill owned the Thunder Bay Inn and the adjacent bar. On the night in question, Manion says he walked into the bar, saw Quill, fired five shots and left.

How will Manion pay Paul's fee?

Manion tells Paul that he cannot pay his fee now because he is broke. He agrees to pay him $150 on his next payday and give him a promissory note for the rest.

When Paul visits the new District Attorney, what new piece of furniture has been added to his old office?

The new DA insists that Paul sit in the large new chair he has added to the office. When Paul sits down, the DA pushes a button and the chair starts to vibrate.

What did the police find at the scene where Laura says Quill raped her?

Mary says Quill tore off her panties before raping her and she never got them back. However, when the police inspected the scene, they found only the case containing Mary's reading glasses.

What do most people believe was Mary Pilant's relationship to Quill?

Rumors flew when Mary came to town and began managing the Thunder Bay Inn. It was clear she had a relationship with Quill, and most people assumed she was his mistress.

When Paul visits a local bar, he is surprised to find someone drinking and dancing there. Who is it?

Throughout the film, Laura doesn't seem particularly concerned about her husband's situation, but even so, Paul is surprised and unhappy when he finds her living it up in a bar. She's not happy when he insists that she leave.

Why does Manion not appear at his arraignment hearing?

The judge is surprised when he is told that the sheriff cannot produce the defendant because he is not currently in the jail. Paul informs him that he has been temporarily released and taken to Detroit to be examined by a psychiatrist.

Manion's psychiatric evaluation came to the conclusion that he had a reason for shooting Quill. What was it?

The evaluation finds that Manion had an irresistible impulse to kill Quill after learning he raped Laura. Paul uses this approach, which is a form of temporary insanity, to mount his defense.

In addition to the two attorneys, who is the third person who sits at the prosecutor's table?

Paul is surprised when a third person, someone he doesn't know, begins sitting with the two prosecutors. He's even more surprised to learn that the man is a psychiatrist who is there to observe Manion's behavior. This is how the prosecutor got around the judge's ruling that Manion not be subjected to a second psychiatric evaluation.

What information does the Thunder Bay groundskeeper provide at the trial?

The groundskeeper at Thunder Bay testifies that although he did not hear it himself, other residents told him that they heard a woman screaming near the gate on the night of the murder. This supports Laura's claim that she screamed in order to get away from Quill when he took her home and tried to rape her again.

How did Laura swear to her husband that her story was true?

After she got home, Laura was desperate to prove that she was telling the truth about the rape. She testifies that she swore to Manion on a rosary as a way to convince him.

What damaging testimony does the Thunder Bay bartender provide that casts doubt on Laura's claim that Quill raped her?

The bar's backup bartender took over for Quill when he left to take Laura home. He testifies that Laura was drinking heavily that night, and that she was wearing her usual provocative clothes and flirting with men, including Quill.

What shocking information does Parnell uncover on his trip to Canada?

While everyone assumed Mary was Quill's mistress, Parnell discovers that she was really his daughter. She didn't tell anyone because she was embarrassed that she was born out of wedlock.

Why does Paul think the Thunder Bay bartender is hiding information?

Paul is somewhat mystified about the bartender's unwillingness to cooperate and his obvious disdain for Paul. Noticing the way he looks at Mary, Paul believes he is trying to protect her because he has a crush on her.

What unusual witness does Paul call to the stand?

While Laura is testifying, Paul surprises everyone by bringing her dog to the stand. He wants to demonstrate how the dog carries a flashlight in his mouth, to corroborate Laura's account of how she escaped from Quill and ran home with the dog guiding the way.

How does the prosecutor try to discredit Laura's story about swearing to her husband she was telling the truth about Quill raping her?

When Laura is on the stand, the prosecutor gets her to admit that she divorced her first husband in order to marry Manion, meaning that, according to church rules, she is no longer a member of the Catholic Church. She testifies that although that is technically true, the rosary is still meaningful to her.

Who does Paul bring from out of town as a surprise witness?

When the case seems to be falling apart, Paul sends for the Detroit psychiatrist who previously evaluated Manion. He and the prosecutor's psychiatrist, who also testifies, give conflicting testimony about Manion's mental state.

How does Paul try to bond with the judge during a meeting in his chambers?

When Paul discovers that the judge is also an avid fisherman, he begins talking about his favorite sport in an obvious attempt to curry favor. The prosecutor sees through his play and puts a stop to it quickly.

How does the testimony of a fellow prisoner damage Manion's case?

Although Manion claims the man is lying, a fellow inmate says that Manion said, "I've got it made" and that when he was released, he intended to beat Laura. His testimony is somewhat discredited when his lengthy criminal record is revealed, include several charges of perjury.

Where does Mary find Laura's ripped panties?

In a surprising development, Mary Pilant is called to the stand, where she reveals that she found the missing panties in the inn's laundry, indicating that they had been tossed down a laundry chute. This supports the rape claim since Quill owned and lived at the inn.

What does Paul do while waiting for the jury to come back?

Paul is a music lover with a large record collection and also loves to play the piano. While he waits with Maida and Parnell for the verdict to come in, he plays his upright.

What souvenir does Laura give Paul as the case comes to a close?

Recalling the time he asked if she was wearing a girdle on the night of the rape, Laura hands him one outside the courtroom before going inside for the verdict. She has also gone back to her sexy appearance and doesn't come in to hear the jury's decision.

When they go to the Manions' home to get their fee, what do Paul and Parnell discover?

Arriving at Thunder Bay to collect their badly-needed fee, Paul and Parnell are shocked to find that the Manions have gone, leaving behind a mess. The groundskeeper gives Paul a note from Manion, saying he had an irresistible impulse to leave.

What is the first case Paul and Parnell's new law firm will handle?

Paul asks the now-sober Parnell to join him in his practice, and Parnell accepts. Then Paul announces they already have a client -- Mary, who has inherited Quill's estate and has hired them to administer it. Parnell calls it poetic justice.

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