11 January 2005 | Freddy_Levit
Should be in everyone's top ten list of greatest films of ALL TIME.....
........Films rarely get this uplifting and brilliant. I cannot think of the last time I was so intrigued by the flawless plot, dialogue and acting since 12 Angry Men. For such a simplistic story set in one jury room, it is surprising that Sidney Lumet can drain you of all your emotions and leave you on the edge of your seat with suspense, mystery, and some of the best acting your bound to ever see grace the silver screen!
When a boy is on last day of trial for killing his father in the heat of domestic arguments, 12 jury men are forced to present a verdict in which if guilty, is the one way ticket to the electric chair for the boy. When the jury men decide to quickly end the discussion and raise their hands to find out who thinks the boy is guilty, only one jury man (Henry Fonda) doesn't put his hand up. Trial and Character revelations, doubts, and possibilities follow.
So masterfully crafted is this film, that every time I watch it, only gets better. It includes some of the best character development I've ever seen. Sidney Lumet is an expert in this field and this is by far his greatest contribution to Hollywood history - one of the most important contributions to world cinema. However it was Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb who really made this film legendary, with their incredibly realistic performances. Casting was genius. And the dialogue was astoundingly riveting up until the brilliant finale. What really impressed me personally also was the camera angles and movements that made the film so suspenseful. Black and White made the film all the more powerful. And the music was minimal, which gave the film a more atmospheric experience, like you were their in the jury room with them - and you just feel that tension really built up as the movie proceeds.
This inexpensive film, with such a simple setting had the world talking, the academy awards nominations rolling and Henry Fonda at his complete best form. I have rarely been so hypnotized by a film - 'Lawrence Of Arabia' and 'It's A Wonderful Life' are other ones that come to mind. This is a definitive viewing for anyone who loves film. It sums up everything I love about film. Everything from a technical point of view to superb acting and a simple yet complex character driven story, it's platinum and is most definitely one of the greatest cinematic achievements of all time - bar none! A statue should be erected in Sydney Lumet's honor......
"Is it possible?" - Juror #8/Henry Fonda