Director Otto Preminger's classic courtroom drama crime film stars James Stewart, Lee Remick, and Ben Gazzara, and was controversial at the time of its release for its addressing of sex and rape. The film's jazz score is by Duke Ellington, who also appears briefly in the film. The music was composed by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, and performed by an orchestra prominently featuring Johnny Hodges (alto sax), Paul Gonsalves (tenor sax), and Ray Nance (violin) While the music is used rather sparingly in the film, it's fantastic, and the Grammy-winning soundtrack album is now considered among Ellington's finest works.
"Rarely has such sumptuous jazz been married to a film soundtrack. Written in 1959 for director Otto Preminger's courtroom drama of sex and jealousy, the burnished glow of Ellington's score is undeniably erotic - indeed, the powerfully charged, slow burn of the second track here, Flirtibird, is among Ellington's most sensual recordings. The Ellington orchestra sounded exquisite in the early summer sessions that produced this soundtrack. . . [the] tightly woven soundtrack took on a life independent of its original context. In doing so, it became one of Duke's most satisfying albums." - JAZZIZ Magazine