The first and still most important documentary about the
McCarthy era of American politics, Point of Order! is a
distillation of 188 hours of television coverage of the
1954 hearings during which Senator Joseph McCarthy,
through his Senate Permanent Committee on
Investigations, accused the U.S. Army of harboring
communists in its ranks. The Army countercharged that
McCarthy and Roy M. Cohn, the committee's chief
counsel, had threatened the Army as a means of
obtaining special privileges for Cohn's friend and the
committee's special investigator, David Schine, then
serving as a private at Fort Dix. The focus is on
McCarthy and Cohn behind the hearing room's massive
staff tables, and Secretary of the Army Robert Stephens,
Army counselor John G. Adams, and special counsel
Joseph Welch behind the more modest witness table.
McCarthy's fellow committee members become
increasingly uneasy with his personal and reckless
attacks on anyone who would question his motives, but
it is the memorable exchange between McCarthy and
Welch, concluding with the counsel admonishing the senator for having no sense of
shame that proved to be the highlight of the proceedings. Because the hearings were on
national television, it was a moment that also served to undermine McCarthy's support
by the White House, his own party, and the American public. As strong as some of
director Emile de Antonio's subsequent work was (In the Year of the Pig, Painters
Painting), this is the film for which he will be remembered. ~ Tom Wiener, All Movie
Directed by: Emile De Antonio, Dan Talbot. Cast: Senator Joseph R McCarthy,
Roy M. Cohn, G. David Schine, Robert T. Stevens
warning or previous agreement to do so:
"Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your
recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard Law School and
came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us...(L)ittle
did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad. It is
true that he will continue to be with Hale and Dorr (Welch's law firm). It is, I regret to
say, equally true that I fear he shall always bear a scar needlessly inflicted by you. If it
were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so. I like to think
that I am a gentle man, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other
When McCarthy tried to go on the attack once more, Welch stepped in again and
"Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild...Let us
not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of
decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
McCarthy tried to ask Welch another question about Fisher, and Welch cut him off:
"Mr. McCarthy, I will not discuss this with you further. You have sat within six feet of
me and could have asked about Fred Fisher. You have brought it out. If there is a God
in Heaven it will do neither you nor your cause any good. I will not discuss it further. I
will not ask Mr. Cohn any more questions. You, Mr. Chairman, may, if you will, call
the next witness."
At that point, the gallery erupted in applause. These proceedings have been recorded in
the documentary film Point of Order! (1964). The title is taken from a phrase that was
repeated often by McCarthy during the hearings.
His wife, Judith Lydon, died in 1956, and he remarried in 1957. Welch was a partner at
Hale and Dorr, a Boston law firm, and lived in nearby Walpole, Massachusetts for over
two decades. Welch played a criminal court judge in northern Michigan in Otto
Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder (1959). He took the part "because it looked like that
was the only way I'd ever get to be a judge." He received a Golden Globe nomination
for Best Supporting Actor for the role. He also narrated the television shows Omnibus
and Dow Hour of Great Mysteries.
The title is taken from a
phrase that was repeated
often by McCarthy during
|I solved this week’s photo quiz by keying in on
the clues. The clue that helped me was the
reference to the 1959 movie. The key words I
entered into Google were “1959 movie court
case” and a reference to the movie “Anatomy of
a Murder” came up. I followed up on this lead
by keying in on the movie itself and it was from
a site on this movie that I came up with the
information to answer the quiz.
I googled "criminal court judge" movie 1959.
The second result is: forensic genealogy book
contest. The sixth result is: Joseph N. Welch -
Information from answers.com. Googled
"joseph n. welch" on images: the fourth image
result is contest photo. He was in a movie called
Anatomy of a Murder. I then went imbd movie
website and to both his name and that of the
movie. The movie webpage supporting cast
names comes up with Mrs. Joseph N. Welch,
juror. In 1959, movie release date: Agnes
Rodgers Brown, the second wife of Joseph N.
Welch, was in the movie Anatomy of a Murder
with her husband as a trial juror.
|How Norm and Mike Solved the Puzzle
Joseph Nye Welch was the head counsel for the
United States Army while it was under investigation
by Joseph McCarthy's Senate Permanent
Subcommittee on Investigations for Communist
activities. This investigation, which was known as
the Army-McCarthy Hearings, was underway when
television was first becoming a common fixture in
United States households. This was the first time
many Americans were able to see McCarthy.
On June 9, 1954, the 30th day of the hearings,
McCarthy accused Fred Fisher, one of the junior
attorneys at Welch's firm, of association (while in
law school) with the National Lawyers Guild
(NLG), a group which J. Edgar Hoover sought to
have the U.S. Attorney General designate as a
Communist front organization (see Army-McCarthy
hearings). Welch wrote off Fisher's association with
the NLG as a youthful indiscretion and went after
McCarthy for dragging the young man's name
before a nationwide television audience with no prior
|If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at CFitzp@aol.com. If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
your picture. You will also receive a free Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10%
discount towards the purchase of the Forensic Genealogy book.
Joseph Raymond McCarthy was an
American politician who served as a
Republican U.S. Senator from the state of
Wisconsin from 1947 until his death in
1957. Beginning in 1950, McCarthy
became the most visible public face of a
period in which Cold War tensions fueled
fears of widespread Communist
subversion. He was noted for making
claims that there were large numbers of
Communists and Soviet spies and
sympathizers inside the United States
federal government and elsewhere.
Ultimately, McCarthy's tactics and his
|As a former Michigander, I recognized the movie instantly from your hint.
This was the most famous movie filmed in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (an
economic backwater at the time, supported by the lumbering and copper
mining industries). It was primarliy filmed in Ishpeming and Marquette and
local residents were used as extras and many of the scenes were filmed in the
Ishpeming courthouse and the Thunder Bay Inn (down the road in Big Bay,
Based on the film name, I was able to gather the remaining facts from
wikipedia.org and imdb.com
Some "Yooper" trivia.
The Ishpeming Chamber of Commerce worked to spiff up the downtown
with fresh paint and building repairs. Otto Preminger had to repaint many
buildings to make them look authentically run down (the way they actually
looked when he first visited the site).
One scene in the movie shows Jimmy Stewart entering the courthouse law
library through a door on the stairway landing. The door he went through
actually was the door to the men's restroom. The library shots were in the
Ishpeming Public Library down the street. It's amazing what magic a film
editor can perform.
I went to college in at Michigan Tech University in Houghton, Michigan.
Only a hundred miles up the road - The U.P. was, and is, primarly forests.
In case you can't tell from my comments above, I really liked this movie.
1. Joseph Nye Welch
2. Anatomy of a Murder
3. His wife played a juror in the movie.
|Click here to see results of
5th occasional photoquiz survey.
inability to substantiate his claims led him to be discredited and censured by the United
States Senate. The term "McCarthyism," coined in 1950 in reference to McCarthy's
practices, was soon applied to similar anti-communist pursuits. Today the term is used
more generally to describe demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as
well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents.
Born and raised on a Wisconsin farm, McCarthy earned a law degree at Marquette
University in 1935 and was elected as a circuit judge in 1939, the youngest in state
history. At age 33, McCarthy volunteered for the United States Marine Corps and
served during World War II. He successfully ran for the United States Senate in 1946,
defeating Robert M. La Follette, Jr. After several largely undistinguished years in the
Senate, McCarthy rose suddenly to national fame in February 1950 when he asserted in
a speech that he had a list of "members of the Communist Party and members of a spy
ring" who were employed in the State Department. McCarthy was never able to prove
his sensational charge.
In succeeding years, McCarthy made additional accusations of Communist infiltration
|Answer to Quiz #217 - July 12, 2009
into the State Department, the
administration of President Truman,
Voice of America, and the United States
Army. He also used charges of
communism, communist sympathies, or
disloyalty to attack a number of politicians
and other individuals inside and outside of
government. With the highly publicized
Army- McCarthy hearings of 1954,
McCarthy's support and popularity began
to fade. On December 2, 1954, the Senate
voted to censure Senator McCarthy by a
vote of 67 to 22, making him one of the
few senators ever to be disciplined in this
fashion. McCarthy died in Bethesda Naval
Hospital on May 2, 1957, at the age of 48.
The official cause of death was acute
hepatitis; it is widely accepted that this
was brought on by alcoholism.
|Comments from George Wright
a Proud Michigander
|If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
Anatomy of a Murder (1959) is an American trial court
drama film directed by Otto Preminger and written by
Wendell Mayes based on the best-selling novel of the
same name written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice
John D. Voelker under the pen name Robert Traver.
Traver based the novel on a 1952 murder case in which
he was the defense attorney. The picture stars James
Stewart, George C. Scott, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara,
Arthur O'Connell, Eve Arden, Kathryn Grant, Brooks
West (Arden's real-life husband), Orson Bean, and
The film examines the apparent fallibility of the human
factor in jurisprudence. In various ways all of the
human components – the counsels for defense and
Agnes Rodgers Brown Welch was the second wife of Joseph N. Welch. Joseph Welch
made his mark in history as the head attorney for the United States Army in the
Army-McCarthy hearings. Mr. Welch's first wife, Judith Lydon, died in 1956. He
remarried Agnes Rodgers Brown one year later and remained married to her until his
death in 1960. In 1959 Welch was asked to portray Judge Weaver in the acclaimed film
Anatomy of a Murder (1959) Having been an acquaintance of the author of the book on
which the movie was based -- Michigan Supreme Court Justice John Voelker, aka.
Robert Traver -- he accepted, remarking "because it looked like that was the only way
I'd ever get to be a judge." One stipulation for being in the film was that his wife, Agnes
Welch, play a part in the film. Consequently she portrayed one of the jurors and was
able to be near her husband on shooting days. Anatomy of a Murder (1959) is the only
film appearance for both Joseph and Agnes Welch.
prosecution, the defendant and his wife, and the witnesses – have different positions on
what is right or wrong, and varying perspectives of what constitutes: integrity and
justice; moral and immoral; ethical and not.
It is to be noted that the reliance on credibility of witnesses, and the "finding of facts"
based upon those determinations, is the 'Achilles heel' of the judicial process.
UCLA law professor, Michael Asimow, calls the picture "probably the finest pure trial
movie ever made." It is noteworthy that some law school professors use it as a
teaching tool, as it encompasses (from the defense standpoint) all of the basic stages in
the U.S. criminal justice system, from client interview and arraignment through trial
Read more. Click here.
|Lumberjack Tavern, Big Bay, MI
Scene of the crime on which Anatomy of a Murder is based
*New York Film Critics Circle Awards: NYFCC Award Best Actor, James Stewart,
Best Screenplay, Wendell Mayes; 1959.
*Venice Film Festival: Volpi Cup; Best Actor, James Stewart; 1959.
*Two Grammy Awards: Grammy; Best Soundtrack Album, Background Score from
Motion Picture or Television, Duke Ellington; 1959.
*Laurel Awards: Golden Laurel; Top Drama; Top Male Dramatic Performance, James
Stewart; Top Male Supporting Performance, Arthur O'Connell; 1960.
*Michigan Product of the Year
*Academy Awards: Oscar; Best Actor in a Leading Role, James Stewart; Best Actor in
a Supporting Role, Arthur O'Connell; Best Actor in a Supporting Role, George C. Scott;
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, Sam Leavitt; Best Film Editing, Louis R.
Loeffler; Best Picture Otto Preminger; Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from
Another Medium, Wendell Mayes; 1960.
*British Academy of Film and Television Arts: BAFTA Film Award, Best Film from
any Source, Otto Preminger, USA; Best Foreign Actor, James Stewart, USA; Most
Promising Newcomer, Joseph N. Welch, USA; 1960.
*Directors Guild of America: DGA Award Outstanding Directorial Achievement in
Motion Pictures, Otto Preminger; 1960.
*Golden Globe Award: Golden Globe; Best Motion Picture - Drama; Best Motion
Picture Actress - Drama, Lee Remick; Best Motion Picture Director, Otto Preminger;
Best Supporting Actor, Joseph N. Welch; 1960.
|Comments from Our Readers
|Congratulations to Our Winners
Robert W. Steinmann, Jr. Stephen Conner
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Marilyn Hamill Karen Kay Bunting
Milene Rawlinson Alan Lemm
It is a very small world. When attending college in Boston in the mid-60s I had a part-
time job (in the file room) at Hale and Dorr and I remember Fred Fisher.
My mother (who turned 83 on Friday) was here and helped me with the puzzle this
week. She remembers watching the McCarthy hearings and together we watched the
video of Joseph Welch's famous banter with Joe McCarthy. My mother also
remembers visiting the bar in Big Bay where the murder, depicted in the movie, actually
took place. Now I'm going to have to rent the video and watch the movie. I'd
forgotten it took place here in Michigan. Great puzzle. Mary Osmar
This one was a bit of a challenge for me, but I learned alot during the research. I think I
had a bonafide mental block, probably having something to do with the ("alleged")
classic relationship that law enforcement has with lawyers, attorneys, barristers, etc.
(or what ever you choose to call them). LOL !!!!!. Robert W. Steinmann Jr.
I very much enjoyed watching the video of his beautifully delivered withering attack on
Sen. Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings. His statements in defense
of Fred Fisher contributed to the discrediting of Sen. McCarthy. Carolyn Cornelius
Personally, I remember taking a leadership training program during the 1970’s and a
section of the movie, showing deliberations of the jury, was used to promote
discussions of group problem solving. Anatomy of a Murder has to be one of the great
court room films of all time, in my opinion. The court room scene in To Kill a Mocking
Bird is my very favourite! Don Draper
What's interesting is that I recorded this movie to watch but I haven't yet. I recorded it
because Jimmy Stewart was in it. Delores Martin
Once again, I have been challenged to think and have discovered additional surprising
facts such as the identity of the source of that quote. Thanks. Jim Baker
I did a Google search for "movie", 1959, and "criminal court judge" and homed in on
the link to Answers.com for Joseph N. Welch. I found the information about his wife
being in the movie from the Wikipedia article on "Anatomy of a Murder."
For anyone old enough to remember, he also narrated the old Omnibus show, which
was a favorite of mine. Paula Harris
And I used to be married to Jimmy Stewart. (well.......it WAS my ex's name . . .)
This quiz took a while to solve. I finally searched 1959 movie "criminal court judge"
and found Mr Welch's name. Finding his relationship to one of the jurors was also a
challenge. This was a good quiz. Thanks. Milene Rawlinson
|I defended a junior member of my
firm in a Federal trial that was shown
live on television. After I retired, I
acted in a movie in 1959 playing a
criminal court judge.
1. Who am I?
2. What was the name of the movie?
3. What was my real-life relationship
to a person acting as a juror in that
|Suggested by Robert Edward McKenna, Quiz Poet Laureate
|Anatomy of a Murder–The "Lecture"
By Michael Asimow, UCLA Law School