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12 Angry Men (1957) [VHS]

Henry Fonda , Lee J. Cobb , Sidney Lumet    Universal, suitable for all   VHS Tape
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Actors: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, E.G. Marshall
  • Directors: Sidney Lumet
  • Writers: Reginald Rose
  • Producers: Henry Fonda, George Justin, Reginald Rose
  • Format: PAL, Black & White
  • Language: English
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: MGM
  • VHS Release Date: 2 Jan 2001
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RQN8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 305,231 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

Sidney Lumet's directorial debut remains a tense, atmospheric (though slightly manipulative and stagy) courtroom thriller, in which the viewer never sees a trial and the only action is verbal. As he does in his later corruption commentaries such as Serpico or Q & A, Lumet focuses on the lonely one-man battles of a protagonist whose ethics alienate him from the rest of jaded society. As the film opens, the seemingly open-and-shut trial of a young Puerto Rican accused of murdering his father with a knife has just concluded and the 12-man jury retires to their microscopic, sweltering quarters to decide the verdict. When the votes are counted, 11 men rule guilty, while one--played by Henry Fonda, again typecast as another liberal, truth-seeking hero--doubts the obvious. Stressing the idea of "reasonable doubt," Fonda slowly chips away at the jury, who represent a microcosm of white, male society--exposing the prejudices and preconceptions that directly influence the other jurors' snap judgments. The tight script by Reginald Rose (based on his own teleplay) presents each juror vividly using detailed soliloquies, all which are expertly performed by the film's flawless cast. Still, it's Lumet's claustrophobic direction--all sweaty close-ups and cramped compositions within a one-room setting--that really transforms this contrived story into an explosive and compelling nail-biter. --Dave McCoy, Amazon.com

Product Description

Adapted from Reginald Rose's television play, this film marked the directing debut of Sidney Lumet. At the end of a murder trial in New York City, the twelve jurors retire to consider the verdict. The man in the dock is a young Puerto Rican accused of killing his father, and eleven of the twelve jurors do not hesitate in finding him guilty. However, one of the jurors (Henry Fonda), reluctant to send the youngster to his death without any debate, returns a vote of not guilty. From this single event, the jurors begin to re-evaluate the case, as they look at the murder - and themselves - in a fresh light.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Film Ever Made 17 Aug 2006
Format:VHS Tape
Produced by Henry Fonda and Reginald Rose (screenwriter and the author of the original play) and directed by the great Sidney Lumet (in this his cinematic debut) this mainly jury room centred film, is quite simply the greatest film ever made. Lumet, who cut his teeth in television, brought a lot of unknown television acting talent with him to this unique piece of work. Seasoned film actors, Fonda, Lee J Cobb, Ed Begley, Robert Preston and E G Marshall dovetail seamlessly with the other players, among them Martin Balsam, Jack Warden, Jack Klugman and Edward Binns.

The plot is ridiculously simple. A young Hispanic man is on trial for murdering his father, and in what appears to the majority of the jury, an open and shut case of guilty.

One man, Henry Fonda, as juror number 8, stands alone as the dissenting voice against the prejudice and preconceived ideas of the other 11. Though bit by bit, the evidence is broken down and what initially appeared so certain becomes a reasonable doubt in enough of the jurors minds as to expose the bigoted notions of a couple of them.

The essence of this film is in it's refreshing simplicity in terms of staging, dialogue and delivery. The actors are all on top of their game, working with first class material. Other films rely on epic sets and or clever camera techniques to hold the audiences attention. (I discount Citizen Kane from that as it was a true landmark achievement) This film, above all others, proves that that is not necessary. Twelve Angry Men rewards the viewer even after the 30th watch (certainly in my case! I could play the parts myself, although not quite as good!). Simply the best!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY FAVOURITE FILM 13 Jun 2013
Blu Ray picture has a fine layer of grain, but is still better than my DVD version12 Angry Men [DVD] [1957].Also the picture fills the whole screen(DVD doesn't).Audio on BLU is better than the DVD version(using normal TV speakers). There are no extras or a menu.
Worth upgrading if you want the best picture/sound available for region/zone B players.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peddlers of the Common Blockbuster Take Note 2 Aug 2006
12 Angry Men is a forgotten classic. When talking about the greatest films of all time, it rarely comes up. Yet EVERY single person I have met who has seen the film has adored it.

In a movie world where big celebrities and expensive special effects seem to be what brings the money in, this film is so refreshing. In this film, there is only one star name - Henry Fonda. He plays one of only 14 speaking parts in movie. There are four sets: The courtroom (2 minutes at the start), outside the courthouse (30 seconds at the end), and then the bathroom and the jury room. No fancy effects, just 12 characters with nothing but a script in their heads to give to keep you entertained. This is how films can be done!

The plot is simple; a young boy is accused of murder. The case seems open and shut to 11 of the jurors who vote guilty. Only one (Fonda) is even unsure. When he wants to discuss further he is greeted by two bigots, desperate to put 'one of them' to the chair, a man who is only interested in going to watch his beloved Yankees and cares little for the outcome and a host of weary men, who are sick of the whole situation; very few are even prepared to listen. For the next two hours, every fact of the case is ironed out until what was black and white becomes very grey.

12 Angry Men is one of the finest films I have ever seen. Sidney Lumet's directing captures the stuffy, intense and claustrophobic atmosphere of the room while all the actors make their characters memorable. This film is a dream.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric Classic That Never Ages 4 July 2000
Format:VHS Tape
One of the best films I've ever seen. It captures the mood of both the time and the situation brilliantly. Fonda is superb but each of the actors deserves credit, including a young Jack Klugman (Quincy). Having seen the film many times with my wife, we know exactly what's coming next, but this never detracts from our viewing, indeed it suits to enhance it. Altogether, a joy to watch and an excellent example of people maintaining their values at all costs. If only all youngsters from today could look - they would only learn from it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars too good for.... 20 Nov 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
words. At least, this film is too good for my words...

I cannot conjure the magic with my words. I cannot capture the nuances, the creeping sense of...at first fear...then building tension...then hope...frustration...second wind...and finally elation!

Possibly too young too appreciate every aspect - I was 14 when I first watched this film. I walked the yards to the doorway as Fonda did, I held the flick knife and felt its weight...turned it in my hand to hack (over arm)...then stab (under arm)...thought about the best way to kill a man. I turned the arguments over in my head as they unfolded on the screen. I lived the drama.

I'm 28 now and I'm an architect. This movie is one of the reasons why I chose that particular career path. Watch the final reel and find out why...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where is his Oscar 30 May 2013
All that can be said about this movie already has been said.
All I want to say is,The best performance in this movie is that of
Lee J Cobb,an Oscar worthy performance if there ever was one.His portrayal of a man
Whose own relationship with his son forms the basis of his determination to see this
young man convicted,and the scene with the torn photo always moves me to tears,even as I type this.
A very sadly missed actor who gave many great performances but died at the relatively
young age of 64.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
A classic, not much more to say
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very pleased with film
Very pleased with film, went to see the play in London and then wanted to watch the original film. Both were very enjoyable.
Published 4 days ago by Mrs M McCausland
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very very good
Published 10 days ago by IAN DORAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
What an atmospheric piece of acting, the remake doesn't capture the same.
Published 15 days ago by ernest Porter
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Great film but screen format did not fill whole screen. Tried to change it but without much success.
Published 17 days ago by Roger
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic Fonda
Published 19 days ago by Mark C Enders
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 Angry Men
Excellent court rom movie
Published 21 days ago by frank
4.0 out of 5 stars best black & white ever !
great film , bought it as my son was discussing it in his English class , enjoyed watching it together
Published 1 month ago by STEVE MATTHEWS
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film.Fine cast.
A terrific film with a uniformly fine cast.Great perfomances especially Henry Fonda and Lee J Cobb.This film is a shining example of what can be achieved with a small setting and a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gary Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic
I was talking to our 8 year old daughter about this film and she asked if we could buy it. I found it very cheap on Amazon, but was dubious about whether she'd watch it,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by P. Haynes
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