Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
12 Angry Men
Life is in their hands. Death is on their minds.
The defense and the prosecution have rested and the jury is filing into the jury room to decide if a young Spanish-American is guilty or innocent of murdering his father. What begins as an open and shut case soon becomes a mini-drama of each of the jurors' prejudices and preconceptions about the trial, the accused, and each other.
12 reasons why 12 Angry Men is the best film of the 1950s:
1. It’s a high concept film that delivers beyond the unique hook to create compelling and flawed human characters.
2. The performances are sensational from Henry Fonda (empathetic and unwavering) attempting to change the minds of the other jurors, to the rest of the cast led by Lee J. Cobb. Considering it has such a sizeable main cast it is amazing how well developed each and everyone of them is with the lean script giving each of the perfectly cast actors a moment to shine.
3. It uses the claustrophobic single location to great effect, accentuating the sweltering heat and tense atmosphere amongst the conflicted men.
How do you ever begin to top a directorial debut such as this? Well Sidney Lumet certainly gave it is best shot over the years that followed creating an enviable filmography packed with cinematic gems. That he can turn a simplistic set-up of twelve men stuck together in a steaming hot room, into such a in-depth social, intellectual and thrilling 90 minutes speaks volumes for the man.
What does remain a mystery is how the creator of the screenplay Reginald Rose never even came close to this sort of standard again. His next project was 1957's Dino and then it was mostly back to the food and drink of TV scripts for the rest of his career. Whilst Lumet deserves…
12 Angry Men is definitely one of the most astonishing dramas I've seen. It has a simple premise, but all the discussions between the jurors were just so captivating and revealing. I liked how they always went back and forth with the case, gathering as many details as possible to find out if there was any room for doubt with the facts presented. Not only director Sidney Lumet masterfully orchestrated an intriguing story filled with little twists, but he also investigated very thoroughly how prejudice and preconceived notions could be in the way of realizing the level of uncertainty of the facts.
The performances here were truly remarkable, being another strength of the film. Each juror had unique personality traits…
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I was sceptic at first, thinking 12 Angry Men is over-hyped and that it wouldn't be as amazing as everyone says it is; which is how I felt with synonymous films like No Country For Old Men and North By Northwest, but right from the start, it captivated me. It starts off with the audience knowing very little of the situation aside from the fact that these men were appointed to decide whether or not the young boy accused on trial is guilty. Sidney Lumet's, the film's director, choice of having us know nothing of the trial is a smart approach that keeps our judgement pure, and also he wanted the…
There is a certain predictable inevitability when watching a classic when you're a bit older than the first time you watched it. You up the rating to reflect its classic status. I'm glad to say that this is also the case for 12 Angry Men.
The always underwatched Sidney Lumet's first feature film proves to be the first promise he made for all the marvellous films he has made after it. 12 Angry Men is a dialogue driven cross section of male America in the fifties and it is unflinching in how it dares portray the pettiness and weaker sides of us humans. Weaknesses that are still present some 50 years after this was…
12 Angry Men's biggest advantage is its agelessness. It could have been filmed last year and it still wouldn't be any more modern than it already is. It never once seems constrained by the time period it was filmed in. Its issues are as pertinent today as they have always been. And its lack of theatricality makes it completely timeless.
The film has a simple premise: a jury of twelve gets together to decide whether or not to send an accused youth to the electric chair. It seems like an open and shut case - all the evidence is against the boy, and nobody feels otherwise. Except for the one man who votes not guilty. It's never quite clear why…
An undeniable masterpiece; intriguing, suspenseful, thrilling and important, 12 Angry Men is Lumet's greatest work and one of the best films of the 1950's. With an all-star cast led by the great Henry Fonda, the tension is brilliantly maintained for an hour and half despite taking place in one room for the vast majority of the film. A true classic and an amazing film.
Best Film of the Year 1957
Who can say, "I have made my heart pure;
I am clean from my sin"? -Pv 20.9
This film was riveting from opening to ending. It exposed twelve distinct types of putting forth an argument. Yes, everybody loves Henry Fonda, but the reason why you need to watch this movie is because you (and I) probably don't argue like Henry Fonda. Chances are good that we make many moral decisions based off of irrational, selfish motives (as long as we're not on the judgment seat), and that is a very scary thing.
Unequal weights and unequal measures
are both alike an abomination to the LORD. -Pv 20.10
If we're not divorcing logic and emotion, we must not also ignore diplomacy.…
great film with a script and acting so good that you barely notice that most of the movie is set in a single small room
What fantastic film-making. An excellent performance from Henry Fonda, an excellent plot and excellent cinematography make for, unsurprisingly, an excellent film
An 18 year old is charged with murder. 12 men get to decide his fate. Although the majority of the film's setting is in the jury room and the focus is on dialogue, I was hooked until the end. I was simultaneously proud and fearful of our justice system. A great watch.
12 Angry Men is undoubtedly a courtroom drama masterpiece. Boldly led by Henry Fonda, the film features only a small ensemble of dynamic characters whose prior perspectives and prejudices shape their jury vote. Thanks to the superb screenwriting, these twelve men duke out their personality conflicts with such realism that this film remains as gripping and provocative today as it was upon release.
Both timeless and spellbinding, 12 Angry Men is a cinematic treat as well as a successful directorial debut by Sidney Lumet.
The dialog flows like music, every performance is a rich character study, and the concept is as immediate today as 45 years ago. It perhaps says as much about American government as any film ever made. Script by Reginald Rose (Wild Geese)
5760 segundos de absoluta perfección cinematográfica. ¿Cómo es posible que a alguien le salga así su primera película? El guión, la dirección, las actuaciones, la fotografía, el arte, la edición, todo, todo es perfecto. Todo habla, todo cuenta una historia, cada movimiento de cámara, cada corte, cada close up extremo cuenta cosas; cada mirada, cada plano está ahí para hacer que nos adentremos en el conflicto; no hay una sola cosa que esté de más, que sea gratuita. Cada gota de sudor que cae en la frente del jurado, cada gota de lluvia que resbala por la ventana tiene más motivo que películas completas de hoy.
De las cosas más emocionantes que he visto y voy a ver en la vida.
So after meaning to watch this movie for a long time, i finally got around to checking it out. I almost immediately felt stabs of regret. Regret that i didn't watch this film the first time i heard about it. This movie is such an underrated classic. There's so much to it. The small cast and one room setting just goes to prove that movies can be good without sex, violence and a big CGI budget.
The plot of this film was superb. At the beginning i sided with the majority, deciding that based on what i'd heard, the verdict was simple. I assumed that there was a good chance i'd have changed my mind by the end, but i…
- 12 Angry Men
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- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
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- The Godfather: Part II
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