The presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, the events of Vietnam, Watergate, and other historical events unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75, whose only desire is to be reunited with his childhood sweetheart.
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
Twelve Angry Men was a 1954 teleplay by Reginald Rose for the Studio One anthology American television series. Initially staged as a CBS live production on September 20, 1954, the drama was re-written for the 1957 film, "12 Angry Men."
The story takes place in New York City as the Woolworth Building is mentioned by a juror while looking out of a window in the jury room, and also the opening shot is of the New York Supreme Court Building in Manhattan.
The "El" (elevated train) is an important factor in the film as one witness testified that she saw the murder as the El train was passing. This would be accurate for the 1954 teleplay, but not for the 1957 film, as the last El train made its final run in New York City on May 12, 1955. As this film is a remake/adaptation of the 1954 teleplay, it's likely this version, despite its 1957 release, is meant to be set in 1954, during which time the El train would still be in operation. See more »
Man in corridor:
You did a wonderful job, wonderful job!
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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At the end of the film, the actors are billed in order of their juror numbers; thus Henry Fonda, although the star of the film, appears 8th. See more »
No bombs, no car chases but edge of the seat stuff none the less
This film is superb, in fact as Shakespeare once said "Its the bees' knees". The film captivates the audience from the beginning. Each of the twelve jurors are introduced to us as they are introduced to themselves. The characters are well draw out and individual, each with his own personality.
The tension of the characters draws the audience in from the start. We imagine that the case is open and shut, 11 me saying guilty and 1 not. We feel the discomfort of Henry Fonda as the other characters belittle and mock how he can see any reasonable doubt in the case. But we also share his victories and the enthusiasm as he proceeds to refute or add doubt to the arguments for guilty and are captivated and draw in as other jurors begin to see doubt in the proceedings.
The audience can also see the arguments for guilty and wonder if Fonda's character is correct in saying that he doubts. Yet they also feel the shame of the characters as he disproves that a previously sound theory is iron tight, joining his side as members of the jury do.
On top of this they are wonderfully woven in human elements such as the misconceptions that influence people and the growing tension between different characters. This is brought to life even more by the amazing performances, Fonda, Lee J Cobb and Joseph Sweeney are of particular note.
I started watching this film on a bored relaxed laying about day but by the end i was on the edge of the seat with my hands on my knees feeling more tense than a politician on results day.
How a film should be made. Modern directors take note(thats ur telling off for the day) 10/10
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