12 Angry Men (1957)





Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Jack Warden, Joseph Sweeney, Ed Begley, George Voskovec, Robert Webber


A Puerto Rican youth is on trial for murder, accused of knifing his father to death. The twelve jurors retire to the jury room, having been admonished that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Eleven of the jurors vote for conviction, each for reasons of his own. The sole holdout, Juror #8 (Henry Fonda), will try to convince the others that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court.


12 Angry Men is a masterpiece. It is unbelievable how a film, shooted almost 60 years ago, that takes place in just one room, and entirely built on the characters dialogues, manages to satisfy a modern audience. Furthermore, it is the proof that a film does not need elaborate scenery or costumes or special effects to be great.
I have not seen the original teleplay, but I know for sure that Sidney Lumet could not do a better job: this film is flawless. The camera movements and angles achieve their goal, that is adding suspense. The dialogues are just brilliant.
Excellent casting. Henry Fonda, who plays Juror #8, and Lee J. Cobb, who plays Juror #3, give incredibly realistic performances.


Juror #8: Ever since you walked into this room, you've been acting like a self-appointed public avenger! You want to see this boy die because you personally want it, not because of the facts! You're a sadist!
Juror #3: I'll kill him! I'LL KILL HIM!
Juror #8: You don't *really* mean you'll kill me, do you?

Juror #8: Prejudice always obscures the truth.



1 comment :

  1. You darn tootin' right it's a masterpiece! Love this film. One of the all-time greats.