12 Angry Men
Crime, Drama, Mystery
IMDB rating:
Sidney Lumet
Martin Balsam as Juror #12
John Fiedler as Juror #12
Lee J. Cobb as Juror #12
E.G. Marshall as Juror #12
Jack Klugman as Juror #12
Edward Binns as Juror #12
Jack Warden as Juror #12
Henry Fonda as Juror #12
Joseph Sweeney as Juror #12
Ed Begley as Juror #12
George Voskovec as Juror #12
Robert Webber as Juror #12
Storyline: The defense and the prosecution have rested and the jury is filing into the jury room to decide if a young man is guilty or innocent of murdering his father. What begins as an open-and-shut case of murder soon becomes a detective story that presents a succession of clues creating doubt, and a mini-drama of each of the jurors' prejudices and preconceptions about the trial, the accused, and each other. Based on the play, all of the action takes place on the stage of the jury room.
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Just wondered...

Fonda's character was extremely well prepared for his jury meeting, he had obviously given the matter a lot of thought before the juror retired. Knowing all that he did he should be very sure that there's reasonable doubt that the boy is guilty. It's hard for me to understand how he is willing to plead guilty if all the others do so before the second vote. At this time he has very much more to say about the case, why take a gamble before he has presented all his doubts? It doesn't make sense.
I find this movie guilty of being a masterpiece.
Shot in real time, this story of a jury trying to decide whether a young man is innocent or guilty never lets the viewer's attention go. Henry Fonda plays Juror #8, who is convinced the entire time that the defendant is innocent, while everyone else has already called him guilty. Throughout the movie, we not only get to hear everyone's opinions on the matter, but also every possibility of the verdict. With "12 Angry Men", Sidney Lumet brought to the screen the same kind of "closing in" feeling that he brought to movies like "Network". In the end, the issue is not whether the defendant is innocent or guilty; the important point is the process by which the jurors reached their decision. This may be THE perfect movie.
Theatre of justice
There are some films that are acknowledged classics of one degree or another. Whether it be a technical aspect such as cinematography or something less tangible such as emotional content or a gripping narrative, some stand out. 'Twelve Angry Men' is one such film, mostly noted for the amazing acting performances from a large cast in one room. They have few props and one main set. The stage for twelve actors to show their stuff. And show it they do.

This film works as a pure stage play on the screen. All twelve actors step up to the plate. The writing is immaculate making the complex inter-relationships between the twelve work believably and never letting the pace slacken. It's tense and taut. The points being made aren't always subtle, but they're never hammered home. Keeping twelve characters involved in a story while keeping it moving along is a tough task for a writer. All of them want to have their say so you don't forget them, all of them have to show what their character is, yet none of them must be allowed to dominate. Reginald Rose deserves immense plaudits for what he achieved here.

There is a political message here. To some it may be obvious, to others it may be unpalatable. You may call it propaganda, yet unlike a lot of more modern propagandists, this doesn't solely preach to the converted. This is one to think on for everyone. It's important that even at the end, the viewer doesn't know what really happened the night of the crime. Did they save an innocent from the chair or did they let a killer walk free? It asks questions, says where its loyalties lie but doesn't claim that the issues are black and white. A truly unusual standpoint and one I would welcome more of in film.

Perhaps one of the notable aspects that isn't much commented on about 'Twelve Angry Men' is the oddly un-filmic qualities it has. As previously mentioned it moves like a stageplay rather than screenplay. The look is reminiscent of a TV production including the sans-serif credits underneath the actors faces, and the simple studio set. This hasn't prevented its strengths propelling it into a slot as one of the best and best loved movies of all time.
Great movie
The other reviews pretty much sums it up. It's a great movie, that really proves that 12 good actors is all you need to make a top notch movie. It might be old, slow and sometimes really predictable; but for a movie from 1957 it might be the first movie to ever do anything like this. If not the first; it's the first one to nail it.

If you are going to sit down and watch this movie, do not expect a movie with a lot of cool movie effects, because it doesn't have any. People nowadays seem to think that a movie is slow and not good if it goes more than 2 minutes without any action. In this movie they, as mentioned earlier, proves that if the movie has a good lineup of actors, and a good manuscript/director; and set your mind to it, you start putting yourself into the mind of the actors as real people and not actors.

That alone makes this better than most movies I've ever watched.

So Simple, So Brilliant
So simple yet so brilliant, 12 ANGRY MEN is not to be missed. It's the tale of the meticulous Mr. Davis, a juror not quite convinced of a murder suspect's guilt despite what appears to be overwhelming evidence. His questions gradually persuade his fellow jurors that things aren't always as open-and-shut as they might seem.

One of the great all-time ensemble casts highlights 12 ANGRY MEN. Henry Fonda is superb as the hardcore skeptic... but then again, everyone is superb, from Joseph Sweeney as the eldest juror to E.G. Marshall as the no-nonsense Juror #4. Anytime a film set almost exclusively at a single cramped table in a single cramped room can spellbound the viewer, you know you've got first-rate actors. The clever, colorful dialog is a treat as well.

Yet the strongest asset of 12 ANGRY MEN is the demands it makes of the viewer to think critically. Initially we are like most of the jurors, curious as to how Fonda can be so naive to think the young suspect may be innocent. But he gradually pulls us into his line of reasoning, challenging our assumptions and finding fault with the supposed facts. By the film's end, we're left wondering how we could have been so narrow-minded just 90 minutes earlier.

As sharp as what's on screen is, 12 ANGRY MEN is equally smart for what it does not show. Many of today's filmgoers would demand flashback sequences to depict what the characters describe. They would want to get to know the accused killer so they could judge him for themselves. They would want more action, more pizazz, and changes of scenery. Yet it's precisely the film's refusal to do any of this that makes it work so well. The viewer is effectively the 13th juror with nothing but recollections of testimony to go on. Our imaginations are free to create a picture of the alleged murder, just as we would have to as part of the jury.

12 ANGRY MEN is often cited as one of the greatest films ever. It's a verdict that is well deserved.
Great movie
I remember seeing 12 Angry Men about 10 years ago and really enjoyed it, but I watched it a bit closer last week, and realize what a great movie it really is. I love the movies of the 40's and 50's and I would have to say that 12 Angry Men is up there as one of the best 5 movies of that era for me. There are some many things happening in this movie, that it takes more than one viewing to pick it all up. The camera work is first class, starting off with full view of all 12 jurors, and as the movie progresses and the jurors re-asses their decisions, the camera show the jurors looking straight down the lens, giving the impression they are talking straight to the audience. No names are given till the very end of the movie and then it is only 2 jurors, apart from a quick scene in the courtroom and outside at the end, the rest of the movie is filmed in the jurors room on a hot stinky summers days.

Although not a long movie, the emotional turmoil felt by the jurors is explosive and the audience are drawn into the same gut wrenching feel. I highly recommend this movie.
blown away...
I just watched this for the first time, ashamed to admit that the IMDb ranking was the first I'd heard of it. My excuse is that I am not American, and not a "die-hard" classic films fan. That being said, I really prefer movies with intelligence and a good realistic plot.

Now the movie itself... I was sitting 1,5 hours captivated by a black/white feature all taking place in one room with just talking...

The reason for this was the amazing acting by everyone involved. The characters really grab you, and you hang on every word. It is clear that these actors were "forced" to be more skillful, they had no special effects to cover their shortcomings.

It was like watching a room full of Daniel Day Lewis' going full blast for 90 min... anyway, that's what I thought of it :)

(and by the way, any remake of MUST cast DDL as that last, angry juror ;))
A near perfect film
12 Angry Men may just be a perfect movie and if it isn't, then it's pretty damn close. I can't think of another film that was simply people in a room arguing for an hour and a half that captured my attention as much as this one did. If you can write a script that keeps people entertained by simply listening to what you wrote then you deserve limitless praise. Watching these men slowly examine every detail of the case they're given and watching them internally and externally debate whether or not the accused kid is guilty is some of the most riveting pieces of cinema that has ever been filmed. This very well could be in my top 10 favorite movies list and I cannot praise it enough. This film needs to be a required viewing for all film fans.
The Best Courtroom-Drama Ever Made!
To Kill a Mockingbird garner the reputation as the best courtroom drama as it ranks the highest on most lists. It is a great film, I'll admit, but 12 Angry Men blows it out of the water. Funny thing is, this takes place in one room for 98% of the whole movie. There's about one minute in the actual courtroom in the beginning and one minute outside the building at the end. The rest is in the room where the jurors decide whether or not the defendant is guilty. When a movie takes place inside one room throughout the whole movie, the script has to be extremely strong and exciting. 12 Angry Men's script is those. It follows 12 very distinctive jurors who know that a Spanish-American youth murdered his father. All evidence gathered points to him, so all think that they can reach a guilty verdict right away. But Juror #8 (Fonda) is the only one that thinks the kid is innocent. One by one, Juror #8 convinces the eleven others that the young man is not guilty as they carefully analyze the evidence they were given. Each piece of evidence that is turned around is sheer genius and very thrilling. I actually consider this to be a courtroom- thriller because of how exciting it is. I found my heart rate rising at the site of each piece f the puzzle being put together. I could only imagine how this movie would have turned out if Alfred Hitchcock directed it. Fun fact: only two jurors' names are revealed at the very end, with the audience forgetting they do not know anybody else's names. Aside from this being very thrilling and educational, and having a great script and characters, it deals with themes of racism and family, as both play important roles on why the Jurors vote "guilty" in the first place.

Scale of 1-10: 11/10!
12 Angry Men
One of the all time classics! The story is about 12 jury members in a room for about 90 minutes (real time) to decide the open and shut case of a young boy of 18 years killing his father. There are 11 votes confirming guilty and 1 for not-guilty. The whole movie is about how the 12 votes finally reach 11 confirming non-guilty and 1 for guilty, until the last one too gives in to an anonymous verdict that the boy is not guilty of his father's murder.

The movie was delicately presented. As audience we find that the case that was to be fought in the court-room was fought among the jurors. Each and every juror was aware of all the facts of the case and everyone was on the same page, except one – Juror no. 8 (Henry Ford). The movie explores the value of one life on looking minutely at the known events and unfolding them in better light for audience to understand and know that what seems truth often is not – if you look closely at it.

The movie is shot in a single room that is hot, humid and sweaty – and halfway through it starts raining outside. The enigma of the 12 jurors, the ding-dong dallying between guilty and not-guilty, the peeling of the case layer by layer with new discussions crossing personal experiences and relation to the case was fascinating to watch.

Henry Ford acts with such anxiousness that you are bitten by his conviction of not-guilty the moment he speaks his doubts by saying – I do not know, I am not sure. That starts the mastery roller-coaster to a finale that is hard to take the eyes off.

The Director Sidney Lumet does a fantastic job in I think (most probably) converting this stage drama into big screen canvass with eminent 12 actors. All of them have acted poignantly well in their well written characters and mannerisms. One can see their upbringings while they talk and that is marvelous.

Wonderful movie, normally I hesitate to give movies more than 8 stars, but for this I will give (Stars 8.25 out of 10)
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