Director Preminger thrives in tense legal showdowns and this is perhaps his best, mostly for Stewart’s cagey performance as a deceptively wily small-town lawyer. The sensationalist trial revolves around an army lieutenant who shoots a bar owner for allegedly raping his wife, an ugly crime in which no one is wholly guilty or innocent. Based on Robert Travers’ novel. Score (and onscreen appearance) by Duke Ellington. Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor–James Stewart, Best (Adapted) Screenplay.