in about 100 words or less
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).