Wednesday, March 21, 2007

An Anatomy of a Murder

A couple of weeks ago, we noticed in the TV Guide that An Anatomy of a Murder was going to be shown at an ungodly hour. We decided to tape it. Several years ago when we were making our Michigan tour of lighthouses, we booked a night in the Big Bay Lighthouse near Thunder Bay, Michigan. The light itself is managed by the USCG. The lighthouse is now a private B & B on Lake Superior. There were two choices for dinner, eat at the Lumberjack Tavern or drive 30 miles to Marquette and dodge the deer on the roadway after dusk on the return trip. We choose the Tavern. The connection to the movie is that the actual murder took place in this Tavern in the same room where we ate. The movie was shot in and around the area. At the time of the murder, the U S Army was training artillery units along the lake. The murder was committed by an Army officer after his wife told him she had been raped by the bartender-owner of the Tavern.

The film was shot in 1959 and the Thunder Bay Inn was used in the film. We walked around the Inn and it had not changed from the time of the movie. At the time the film was considered "risque". The legal significance is that this was the first successful defence using "temporary insanity" as a plea. The film leads you to believe that the Army officer was in full control and got away with murder. Although the movie is 2 1/2 hours long, it completely held our interest.

We enjoyed the stay at the lighthouse. The owner gave a talk on the history of the lighthouse and the keepers over the years. We can always say that we slept in a lighthouse. However, it was our dining at the Lumberjack Tavern that was really the highpoint.

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