Anatomy of a Murder (1959) Filming Locations

Location #1: Peninsula Bank


100 South Main Street, Ishpeming, Michigan, United States

Location #2: J.C. Penney Company


Corner of South Main Street & Cleveland Avenue, Ishpeming, Michigan, United States

Note from the Webmaster: The building was torn down in 2011.

Location #3: The bar


108 South Main Street, Ishpeming, Michigan, United States

Location #4: Paul Biegler’s home


205 West Barnum Street, Ishpeming, Michigan, United States

Location #5: Paul meets Laura

anatomyofamurder04A anatomyofamurder04B

234 West Baraga Avenue, Ishpeming, Michigan, United States

7 thoughts on “Anatomy of a Murder (1959) Filming Locations

  1. David Lawrence

    There were actually two scenes filmed at the C&NW depot in Ishpeming. The one shown in the photo was the second, at which the Army psychiatrist arrives to testify at the trial. The first showed the defendant, Lieutenant Mannion, arriving back from his psychiatric interview in Detroit. This one was quite a bit longer, showed the interior of the depot, and the departure/arrival board mentioned in an earlier post.

    It neither case was it mentioned (or explained) that we were looking at a train from Chicago–when both characters were arriving from Detroit. And indeed, that wouldn’t have added anything to Preminger’s movie; it just would have sent railfans like us scurrying to our timetables from that era.

    If the movie had been made a few years earlier, there would have been an alternative route. Although the ride on the C&NW, after a fast dash from Detroit on the NYC (Big Four) would have been more pleasant, the most direct route would have been the NYC’s overnight “Northerner” from Detroit, connecting at Mackinaw City to DSS&A #1–which was a unique train. It left from St. Ignace, across the water (there was no bridge at the time), but you could board it in Mackinaw City, as the train (with engine!) got a ride on the ferry that connected the two parts of Michigan. In the style of those gentler times, there was a guy in the station at St. Ignace who made breakfast for those passengers, since neither the NYC nor the DSS&A train had a diner. As far as I know, it was the only passenger train of its era that got a ride on a ship.

    1. Fred Leonard

      Although the movie was made in 1959, the “murder” on which the novel and film were based occurred in 1952. At the time, the “alternative route” across the straights was still an option. If the setting for the film was moved forward (from the novel) to 1959, then air travel (North Central Airlines to Marquette) would have been an option.

  2. Dennis LeVan

    Being a railfan and maybe an even bigger fan of the movie, I’ve scoured Google Earth to locate the various locations to see what’s left–the line to the station is gone along with the station from what I can ascertain but the right of way is very visible. Being also and avid modeler, I’m trying to see if I can get a floor plan/elevation of the 205 W. Barnum house that was Jimmy Stewart’s law office and abode. Probably need to call the Town Hall for Ishpemming to see if their housing/engineering/tax dept has the dimensions and layout for the house–I can do a fairly good job estimating by careful eval of the movie interior shots and experience. If anyone has this info, I’d love to see it–don’t want to invade privacy or press anyone. Thanks

  3. David Lawrence

    A few more notes for the combination rail fans / movie buffs among us. Ishpeming was served by passenger service on two roads: the C&NW from Chicago and the much-maligned DSS&A on its trains “The North Country Mail” between Duluth and Marquette, and “The Lake Superior Limited” between St. Ignace and Calumet (shortened to Marquette in January, 1953).
    “Mail” is an appropriate title for DSS&A trains 7 and 8, which averaged 23 mph on their overnight runs. That said, sleeping car accommodations survived in the consist until the end, although in its later years we’re only talking about three times a week. As to trains 1 and 2, there was nothing “limited” about them. They made pretty much every stop en route, and there was no food service on board. If you look hard enough on the internet, you will be able to find a few nice pictures of a “South Shore” coach with six-wheel trucks, as it either waits for or is unloaded from the Chief Wawatam steamship that ferried it across the Straights of Mackinac. With all due respect, I wonder if any passengers really took the 10-hour ride all the way across the Upper Peninsula from St. Ignace to Calumet.
    The next oddity is that the C&NW trains (both “The Iron and Copper Country Express” shown in the movie and the daylight “Peninsula 400”) served Negaunee and Ishpeming in what would appear to be the reverse order. The DSS&A route, does the obvious thing: going west to east through Ishpeming to Negaunee and then on to Marquette and beyond. But the C&NW going north from Chicago is routed through Negaunee first, and then makes a left turn (to the west) to terminate in Ishpeming. I assume this is because Ishpeming was considered the more important city–but the route looks a little strange on the map.
    If you study the corporate history of the DSS&A, it’s one disaster after another; it’s no wonder it’s commonplace to make fun of that road. But for the nostalgiacs on this website (and others), I would think there would be some sadness attached. It’s very hard (in 2018) to find remembrances of this railroad on the internet–and goodness knows there’s just about everything on the internet. My assumption is that, in another generation or two, no one will know about this little corner of railroad history, or care.

  4. William Quayle

    Ishpeming/Negaunee/Marquette native speaking-

    The unidentified location of the rail station is a small park located near 201 N 1st St, just south of the Bell Forest Products Inc, at 200 Hematite Dr. in Ishpeming. The Bethel Lutheran Church bell tower is visible in the scene, providing a reference point and is currently visible just behind a Grocery store, replacing the two story building in the film.

    The final scene does not appear to have been filmed at the lower harbor, which features a large ore dock that operated from its construction in 1931 until 1971 and turned into a park in 1977 when bought by the city. The road is too close to the water, with no harbor buildings or ore dock, and a prominent cliff with homes built on top. More importantly, the scene tracks the car traveling through what seems to be a campsite or trailer park next to a lake. No such structure existed at the lower harbor, and for that to have been possible the park would have had to be located right in the downtown of Marquette.

    A more likely spot is the Perkins Park Campground and picnic area located in Powell, almost right across the road from the Lumberjack Tavern and Thunder Bay Inn featured in the film.


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