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12 ANGRY MEN

SYNOPSIS:
A jury room of 12 men - angry and otherwise - debate the six days of testimony about an 18 year old boy accused of murdering his violent father, over one long, hot afternoon and the stormy night that follows. When they begin deliberations, 11 of them want to vote guilty. Only one, Juror 8 (Henry Fonda), has a reasonable doubt; quietly self confident, he won't be intimidated by the others. He wants to talk about the case and explore the evidence. A man's life is at stake.

"Writer Reg Rose's real life experience as a juror was the seed for this brilliant screenplay, a selection of character studies that involve us in the fate of the hardly glimpsed accused, an 18 year old boy of uncertain ethnic origins. This latter issue is one of the elements that provides Rose an opportunity to lash out against blind prejudice, but he also explores a menu of human weaknesses that bind this diverse group. We first meet them as the camera pans across the jury in the courtroom, but we never leave the jury room after that, except at the end. Sidney Lumet's economical direction, focused on the people that make this a riveting story, squeezes every possible dramatic construct out of the 12 men held captive by their own fears, prejudices, ignorance - and decency. The camera, like a spotlight seraching for a subject, illuminates the personalities and hidden truths behind these men, in an understated style (and B/W photography) that gives the film a noir underbelly. The performances have long been hailed as sensational, the film a classic and the performances of Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb in particular, raised to the pantheon of their profession. Cobb's heartbreaking climactic scene is a payoff that even on video resonates with pain, guilt, love and the whole damn thing. This is a film with texture, humour and relevance at all times. All in 91 minutes. Get it."
Andrew L. Urban

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

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TRAILER

12 ANGRY MEN (G) B/W
(US) (1957)

CAST: Henry Ford, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden,
Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Joseph Sweeney, George Voskovec, Robert Webber

DIRECTOR: Sidney Lumet

PRODUCER: Henry Fonda, Reginald Rose

SCRIPT: Reginald Rose

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Boris Kaufman

EDITOR: Carl Lerner

MUSIC: Kenyon Hopkins

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Robert Markel

RUNNING TIME: 92 minutes

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Home Video
VIDEO RELEASE: October 1999







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