12 Angry Men (1957)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama


12 Angry Men (1957) Poster

A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.

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8.9/10
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  • Henry Fonda and Jack Warden in 12 Angry Men (1957)
  • 12 Angry Men (1957)
  • E.G. Marshall in 12 Angry Men (1957)
  • Henry Fonda and Jack Warden in 12 Angry Men (1957)
  • Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men (1957)
  • Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men (1957)

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Reviews & Commentary

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8 June 2002 | tfrizzell
What a Character-Study Is Meant to Be.
Intense courtroom drama which has 12 very different people, all males, struggling with a murder case involving a young Puerto Rican boy that seems cut-and-dried. However, juror Henry Fonda does not believe it to be as sure-fire as it appears. He votes not guilty and what follows is a chain of events that will test the views, beliefs and thoughts of the other 11 members. Fonda is great, but Lee J. Cobb steals every scene (and that is not easy to do in a film like this). Ed Begley, Martin Balsam, Jack Warden, Jack Klugman, Joseph Sweeney, E.G. Marshall and John Fiedler are among the other individuals caught in a situation that is much more difficult than it appears on the surface. An excellent character-study that should be studied and embraced by all present and future film-makers. 5 stars out of 5.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

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).


Quotes

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 ...


Goofs

At the end of the film there is a shot from inside the cloakroom as Henry Fonda removes a coat from the hanger rod. As the camera tracks forward into the jury room, the hanger rod rises up out of the shot; the crew must have been lifting it out of the way to let the camera pass through.


Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

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

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