58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
Peddlers of the Common Blockbuster Take Note,
This review is from: 12 Angry Men [DVD]  (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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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 14 Oct 2009 00:30:28 BDT
I was considering reviewing this because I saw it through to the finish only recently after liking what I'd seen of it for years but your review was so good I didnt see the point. Cheers.
Posted on 14 Aug 2010 00:02:20 BDT
Last edited by the author on 14 Aug 2010 00:03:22 BDT
OMG! It's got a plug! says:
The film is only 92 minutes long, so I'm not sure where you get the "next two hours" from. And, it is played out in real time. Nonetheless, a good review.
In reply to an earlier post on 1 May 2011 20:18:02 BDT
Allan Broadfield says:
This film is actually listed as 96 minutes in more than one scource, but let's not nit pick, I expect it's been truncated a bit over the years for whatever reason -and yes, it was an excellent review.
Posted on 15 Jul 2011 11:41:21 BDT
Mr. A. E. Hall says:
Just a thought that recently occurred to me. One of things I love the most about the film is the purity of the judicial process. We the viewers, have no way of knowing whether or not the accused is actually guilty, just as the jurors will never know.
The jurors will likely go to their graves not knowing whether they have let a dangerous and violent criminal walk the streets as a free man after stabbing his own father, or whether they have saved an innocent boy from the electric chair. All they and we have is the reasonable doubt that exists.
This simplicity makes the film even better because it makes it focus on what is important; trial by a jury of your peers. It is not a mission of mercy to save an innocent boy or condemn a dangerous killer, because we don't know which he actually is. All that matters, is the evidence.
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Apr 2013 14:59:40 BDT
R. Stadler says:
This film is listed as 96 minutes on imdb.com - which it plays in cinemas (at 24 frames per second) as well as on NTSC (R1) DVDs. On a PAL (R2) DVD, this will translate to 92 minutes due to the 4-percent PAL speedup (25 frames per second). Always bear this in mind when comparing film durations. And, I don't think this film has ever "been truncated [...] for whatever reason".
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