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
Speaking at a screening of the film during the 2010 Fordham University Law School Film festival, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor stated that seeing the film while she was in college influenced her decision to pursue a career in law. She was particularly inspired by immigrant Juror #11's monologue on his reverence for the American justice system. She also told the audience of law students that, as a lower-court judge, she would sometimes instruct juries to not follow the film's example, because most of the jurors' conclusions are based on speculation, not fact. Sotomayor noted that events such as Juror #8 entering a similar knife into the proceedings, doing outside research into the case matter in the first place and ultimately the jury as a whole making broad, wide-ranging assumptions far beyond the scope of reasonable doubt (such as the inferences regarding the "Old Woman" wearing glasses) would never be allowed to occur in a real-life jury situation, and would, in fact, have resulted in a mistrial (assuming, of course, that applicable law permitted the content of jury deliberations to be revealed). See more »
Whilst the dialog indicates that it is after 6 PM when the jurors are in the jury room, when they leave the courthouse, the shadows indicate that it is clearly closer to noon. 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 »
In my opinion, 12 Angry Men is the greatest film that has ever been created. A perfect example of less is more, the simplicity of the plot, the setting of the one room, and the acting talent of the 12 main cast members is enough to conquer the dramatic genre, and ensure that it remains a timeless classic.
Whether you are a fan of the older generation of filmmaking or not, I implore you to experience this acting masterclass for yourself. More current movies such as Resevoir Dogs, which is superb in itself, have borrowed elements from 12 Angry Men, but trust me when I say there is nothing quite like this beautifully crafted drama. Watch it.
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