MovieChat Forums > Anatomy of a MurderĀ (1959) Discussion > What happened to the Lieutenant and his ...

What happened to the Lieutenant and his wife in the end? (Spoiler)


I enjoyed the movie, but wasn't sure about the ending. Does that mean the Lieutenant and his wife escaped without paying the lawyer fee they promised (because James Steward and his assistant needed his signature but couldn't get it)? Also, I'm not quite clear whether the wife was lying about the rape and the Lieutenant did say the things the other guy (jail mate) testified?

Can anyone help? Thanks a lot!

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Does that mean the Lieutenant and his wife escaped without paying the lawyer fee they promised (because James Steward and his assistant needed his signature but couldn't get it)?

Yes.

In theory, they could still chase him for it, but since he has gone overseas it would not really be worthwhile.

And even if they get the money (or some of it) eventually, it won't help the lawyers to pay their immediate debts.


Also, I'm not quite clear whether the wife was lying about the rape and the Lieutenant did say the things the other guy (jail mate) testified?

You have to make up your own mind. The movie was from the lawyer's point of view. To him it made no difference what really happened. All that mattered was that he could get the jury's sympathy for the Defendant, and that he could undermine any witnesses who impugned the Defendant's character. He succeeded on both points.

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Thanks for the clarification, that's what I had suspected. Great to be confirmed.

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Laura and Frederick Manion skedaddled-away, stiffing Paul Biegler out of his fee. Everything else is just conjecture.

"You can't HANDLE the truth!" Jack Nicholson, "A Few Good Men."

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I've seen this movie 4 times and I still don't understand what happened or the conclusion..reminds me of movies like "The Big Sleep" which has so many twists that I never fully understand it. I didn't get why Kathryn Grant withheld that Barney was her father, why the found panties made such a difference, whether Bannion killed out of "temporary insanity" (the real charge) or if he was innocent. Certainly Laura's playfulness and seeming lusty side and "availabilty" to other men make her out to be the real cause of the murder. The hour wait on Banion's part before killing Barney make his crime premeditated. And the end scene..why did they just take off and what was in store for them as a couple in the future? All of the character traits/weaknesses of the Lt would make him incapable it would seem of being a "good officer" as his men said and his Korean record impressive.

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Yeah, it bothers me in a small way that the team who saved his bacon never got paid their due.


...top 50 http://www.imdb.com/list/ls056413299/

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In real life the lawyer could have put a lien on the soldier's pay. The military takes a dim view of its men, especially officers not paying debts. On the other had an Army lieutenant didn't get paid much then, so it would have taken a while to collect the 3 grand. Further, the Army would have been likely to ask Lt Manion to resign, considering the circustances. Since he was aquitted, they probably couldn' force him to resign, but he would have ever after been passed over for promotion.

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He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good... St. Matthew 5:45

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I guess the Lt. & his wife did ditch their lawyer, from the ending it seems, Stewart & Co. won't go after them.

As for whether the wife was raped or not, we will never really know. It is left up to the audience to decide.

And finally, whether the Lt. said those things in jail to his cellmate, I really doubt it. First, it's clear they didn't get on very well. I doubt he would've said anything to him of all people. Also, if the Lt. was guilty (he knew his wife wasn't raped), then he would've been quite smart & cool headed in maintaining his innocence, I doubt he would've slipped up in his jail cell for someone he didn't even like. 3rd, based on his intense reaction in the courtroom, it's pretty clear & obvious to me that the statement was a lie and made up by the jail mate to get whatever offer the prosecutor has to offer and as a retaliation to a man he didn't like.

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I agree with you. They got away without paying their lawyer.

I always thought that the wife encouraged the attention. Nobody should be forced to do what they don't want to do. I don't believe she wanted sex with Barney. Unfortunately for her, she was giving off all of the wrong signals.
I hate saying that because I am a woman and I don't believe that I have to dress in sack cloth.
I am married and I love my husband. I don't need a lawyer because I don't venture out to bars at night while he's asleep. If I did need a lawyer I wouldn't come on to him.

I enjoy this movie and I understand the people involved. I have known lots of couples like the Lt and his wife. I've been in the Army, but even as a civilian, I have known a few couples like the ones in this movie.

I believe that she was raped. Was she asking for it? No.

I do think that she should have been smarter in her behavior.....
It sucks that the lawyer didn't get paid.

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