ming movie reviews

in about 100 words or less

12 Angry Men (1957)

US 96m, B&W
Director: Sidney Lumet; Cast: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E. G. Marshall, Martin Balsam, Jack Warden, John Fiedler, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Joseph Sweeney, Ed Begley, George Voskovec, Robert Webber

Set almost exclusively in a single room, 12 Angry Men is a remarkably efficient dramatic film which follows the deliberations of a jury composed of twelve men who debate the case of a young man who is accused of killing his father. If they decide on a guilty verdict, the young man is to be executed. While the decision is initially presented as an open and shut case for the prosecution, a lone dissenting voice – Henry Fonda’s thoughtful character, slowly begins to cast doubt in the minds of the other jurors. The resulting discussions also reveal personal prejudices, which raise tempers and heighten the dramatic tension of the film. Brilliantly written and performed, 12 Angry Men is a gripping and provocative human drama with a story which reaches far beyond the overheated and claustrophobic setting of the jury room (Klaus Ming April 2011).

7 comments on “12 Angry Men (1957)

  1. teknophilia
    04/06/2011

    Easily one of, if not my number one favorite movie of all time.

  2. Dave Becker
    04/07/2011

    A great movie! Each and every member of this cast is excellent. Aside from Fonda, I was also impressed with Cobb, who plays the perfect foil for Fonda’s lone voice of reason.

  3. joem18b
    04/07/2011

    I’ve always been interested by the fact that the jury room was so small, Lumet shot everything on one side of the table and then everything on the other. Which means that the actors weren’t saying their lines in response to anything they had just heard.

  4. Klaus
    04/07/2011

    It’s a remarkable film – so little can go a long way.

    I can only imagine it being re-shot in 3D! [edit: this comment was meant for The Outlaw 😉 ]

  5. Anthony Lee Collins
    04/09/2011

    You heard the news I assume. It’s good to remember what a great film this is (and what a crew of actors — almost all of whom had long and successful careers). I remember somebody mentioned to Orson Welles that there was an opinion that movies that were really focused on dialog weren’t “cinematic.”

    Nonsense, he said, anything that works is “cinematic.” And here’s a movie with a lot of talking, basically a filmed play, that works just fine.

    • Klaus
      04/10/2011

      Yes, sad news indeed! An amazing cast of actors for sure.

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This entry was posted on 04/06/2011 by in 1001 List, 1950s, All and tagged .
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