8.9/10
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1,058 user 198 critic

12 Angry Men (1957)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | April 1957 (USA)
A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.

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(story), (screenplay)
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360 ( 125)

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Top Rated Movies #5 | Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Joseph Sweeney ...
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Storyline

The defense and the prosecution have rested and the jury is filing into the jury room to decide if a young man is guilty or innocent of murdering his father. What begins as an open-and-shut case of murder soon becomes a detective story that presents a succession of clues creating doubt, and a mini-drama of each of the jurors' prejudices and preconceptions about the trial, the accused, and each other. Based on the play, all of the action takes place on the stage of the jury room. Written by pjk <PETESID@VNET.IBM.COM>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

...it explodes like twelve sticks of dynamite! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

April 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

12 Angry Men  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$350,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical directorial debut of Sidney Lumet. See more »

Goofs

Juror 2 says he is waiting for the second hand on his watch to get to 60 before timing the walking demonstration. However, the second hand can be seen reaching the 10 seconds mark when he stamps his foot, indicating the start off. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man in corridor: You did a wonderful job, wonderful job!
Judge: To continue, you've listened to a long and complex case, murder in the first degree. Premeditated murder is the most serious charge tried in our criminal courts. You've listened to the testimony, you've had the law read to you and interpreted as it applies in this case, it's now your duty to sit down and try to separate the facts from the fancy. One man is dead, another man's life is at stake, if there's a reasonable doubt in your minds as to...
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Crazy Credits

The credits only credit the jurors. All other actors in the film (judge, bailiff, accused, etc.) go uncredited. See more »


Soundtracks

Dance of the Cuckoos
(uncredited)
Music by Marvin Hatley
Portion whistled by Jack Warden
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User Reviews

The over-used term "classic movie" really comes into its own here!
12 August 2002 | by See all my reviews

This once-in-a-generation masterpiece simply has no equal. The late 90's TV remake was quite adequate though totally unnecessary and in the upshot proved simply that updating a film for updating's sake is really an exercise in futility. Even had it BEEN as good - so what?

There could be few, if ANY film-goers reading this who are unaware of the plotline and in any event many others have re-hashed this for you. The brilliance of the film is evident in so many aspects. To begin with, the ability to not only sustain interest but to command the viewer's attention for basically its entire running time within a setting of principally just one room, borders on the inspired. Whether or not that would actually work with TODAY'S audiences is another discussion! What we have here are twelve everyday Mr Joe Blows, summoned together on a jury panel to decide a defendant's guilt or innocence with regards to a murder charge. If you were to gather unto yourselves ANY twelve jurors at random, you would most likely be able to pinpoint the Henry Fonda, Lee Cobb, E. G. Marshall, Jack Warden etc etc amongst them! Their very "ordinariness" is where the film succeeded. Everyone can identify with at least ONE of those characters. Whether or not he may WANT to is a different matter. The thinker, the sensitive man, the arrogant bully, the opportunist, the mentally challenged loudmouth, the slimeball, the emotionally withdrawn, the sheep etc - they're all here! Welcome to society folks! I dislike society in the main - doubtless a reason I found this film to be such a revelation..even when I was barely into my teens!

12 ANGRY MEN also pinpoints the shortcomings of the law, how "truth" can be so intrinsically left-field and unintentionally flawed. Lumet, working within a minimal budget here, delivers unstinting brilliance in both direction, character portrayal and script interpretation. He had of course superb acting talent at his disposal although some of the most memorable performances are from the lesser players. Some have denounced Fonda's role as being acceptable rather than awesome. I think however he was to a great degree playing himself here, not to an audience. His, is a study in deliberation and logic not show-pony stuff, but hell that never WAS Fonda was it?

This is a great great movie, as is evidenced by the extremely high user-vote worldwide. IF you haven't seen it - you really should do something about that!


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