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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Film Ever Made
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...
Published on 17 Aug 2006 by Reg Superman

versus
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 18 days ago by Roger


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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Film Ever Made, 17 Aug 2006
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
By 
Mr. A. E. Hall "brother_of_sadako" (Liverpool, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 12 Angry Men [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
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
By 
Mr. Mark S. Hargrave (Bishops Stortford, England) - See all my reviews
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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
By 
Sam Harvey - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 12 Angry Men [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
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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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Courtroom Classic, 1 Mar 2006
By 
Greg Farefield-Rose (Hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 12 Angry Men [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
Classic film set entirely in a jury room apart from the first and last couple of minutes. A Puerto Rican young man is tried for murder and the jury retire to reach their verdict. The capital case seems to be clear-cut but one juror bravely registers a not-guilty verdict and gradually convinces the others of the flaws in the prosecution, exposing their prejudices and differences in the process.

Twelve Angry Men is a brilliantly made film with some clever directional touches used to highlight the tension and claustrophobia of the jury room. Its central story is as relevant now as when it was made almost 50 years ago. Simple but effective. An absolute classic.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absurd achievement, 21 Sep 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: 12 Angry Men (1957) (Ws Sub) [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
I am so sick of watching big hollywood productions which rely on style over substance with millions spent on big names, big special effects and big propaganda. 12 angry men should be used as an educational video for the filmakers of today. The film probably cost next to nothing to produce, the cast is pretty much unknown (barring fonda), and the film is set in just one room. It's absurd to think that this film is easily one of the best i have seen.
A film should be both enlightening and entertaining. 12 Angry men is all of this. Indeed, I found myself shouting at the TV at times; the film was just so compelling and the issues and characters explored were so well handled.
it's increadible to think how brilliant a film can be with quite simply a strong script and covincing acting. Let this be a lesson to the Hollywood of today.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterclass in moviemaking, 17 Jan 2004
By 
This review is from: 12 Angry Men [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
This is the story of 12 jurors in a sweltering New York juryroom deciding the fate of a teenage boy accused of murdering his father. Not much to get exited about on the surface you may think, so why when all the great action movies and brilliant thrillers are forgotten does this stand alone as my favorite movie of all time ?
Quite simply director Sidney Lumet manages to cram more thrills and tension into every scene of this brilliant film than a whole shelfull of blockbusters.
The acting is as near perfect as it gets, with superb performances from Lee J Cob and Ed Begly in particular. The action takes place in 2 rooms, not 1 as often reported ( there is a scene in the adjacent washroom ) but the claustrophobia of the setting never limits the film in any way, and makes a mockery of the "big budget locations" many films need to sustain interest. No explosions no car-chases, just human feelings streched to breaking point in an atmosphere you would need a sharp knife to cut.
This DVD version is sadly lacking in any but the most basic extras, but the film is such a Tour-de-force it is a must buy,If you love films watch this now !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 12 Angry Men - A captivating and intense movie, 11 Feb 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 12 Angry Men [DVD] [1957] (DVD)
We are all used to courtroom dramas, but one aspect that never seems to get dramatised is the Jury deliberations. I think one of the reasons for this lack is that this excellent film did it so well that no other Jury drama will ever stand up to it.

We are never shown the court case the jury are deliberating. The film starts with the summing up of the Judge, and the jury filing into their room. What follows is an adsorbing ninety minutes as the jurors discuss the case and a verdict is reached. At first all but one (Henry Fonda) believes the defendant to be guilty, but Fonda has reasonable doubt, and a belief that as a man's life is at stake then the least they can do is talk it through properly.

Having served in a jury myself (though in a British court and where the possible penalty for the defendant was a lot less severe than death) I recognised a lot of what was shown in this film. People willing to convict out of blind prejudice, people wishing to weigh every item of evidence before reaching a verdict, people wanting to just get it over with as quickly as possible. It is a tale that really struck a chord with me.

For dramatic purposes some of the prejudices and arguments are a bit over the top, and as we have not seen the trial then the writer is free to introduce evidence and arguments out of thin air (the point about the glasses in the discussion of one witnesses testimony) in order to make a neat narrative. I can forgive these points. What I cannot, however, forgive is the lack of attention to legal detail. There are one or two instances, especially in the first discussion of the murder weapon, that are just plain illegal and would cause a juror to be dismissed. I have had to knock a star of for that.

The film is brilliantly directed by Sidney Lumet. The action all takes place in one room, we are often distracted as two or three conversations are going on at once, in a very verite manner. As the movie progresses Lumet changes the lenses on the camera and the angle of the shots to give an ever increasing feeling of claustrophobia and tension.

It is an excellent character study, as each of the 12 disparate men and their motives are examined. This is a combination of excellent writing, directing and superb acting. The twelve actors are on top form, and give convincing and moving performances.

It is not often I enjoy a film with all talking in one room and no action, but this had me adsorbed.

This DVD has a nice black and white widescreen transfer, which doesn't have any noticeable scratches or defects. The sound is pretty good. The only extra is a trailer. Four stars in total.
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12 Angry Men (1957) (Ws Sub) [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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