Anatomy of a Murder, a beloved, highly influential, seemingly liberal 1959 classic law-film seems to appropriate some of the fading western genre’s features and social functions, intertwining the professional-plot western formula with a hero-lawyer variation on the classic western hero character, America’s 19th century archetypal True Man. In so doing, Anatomy revives the western genre’s honor code, embracing it into the hero-lawyer law-film. Concurrently, it accommodates the development of cinematic imagery of the emerging, professional elite groups, offering the public the notion of the professional super-lawyer, integrating legal professionalism with natural justice. In the course of establishing its Herculean lawyer, the film constitutes its female protagonist as a potential threat, subjecting her to a cinematic judgment of her sexual character and reinforcing the honor-based notion of woman’s sexual-guilt.
Kamir, O. (2005), "ANATOMY OF HOLLYWOOD’S HERO-LAWYER: A LAW-AND-FILM STUDY OF THE WESTERN MOTIFS, HONOR-BASED VALUES AND GENDER POLITICS UNDERLYING ANATOMY OF A MURDER", Studies in Law, Politics and Society (Studies in Law, Politics, and Society, Vol. 35), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 67-105. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1059-4337(04)35003-9
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