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12 Angry Men (1957)

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message 1: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10722 comments cool!

i've never seen this classic of american cinema. i did see his new film, which was pretty well done, i thought. i seem to remember having one contention with it, but otherwise was very impressed, because, yeah: he's made a LOT of films, right?

message 2: by Rachel (new)

Rachel this is SUCH a fantastic movie - you have to watch it, phillip. it is so well made and very thought-provoking. you will love it, for sure.

for whatever reason, it reminds me of "all the president's men" with dustin hoffman and robert redford. it's about the journalists that uncovered watergate. so excellent - another must-see.

message 3: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments One of my Top ten films of all time! I work for the local DA so I know a bit about Criminal Justice...and the injustice to victims.

12 ANGRY MEN (Sidney Lumet, 1957, USA) Sidney Lumet makes a stunning directorial debut with this gritty, sweaty, emotionally charged drama about 12 jurors deciding the fate of an eighteen year old defendant charged with 1st degree murder; they carry the legal burden of deciding guilt or innocence but understand a conviction could lead to the death sentence. An exceptional cast of now legendary actors fall into character (we never even know their names, only juror number) and don’t miss a beat of dialogue or a camera cue…this film is nearly perfect in its direction. Most of the film takes place in the cramped juror’s quarters; Lumet is able to get his camera into these tight spaces and bring us up close and personal to the characters and feel their intellectual and emotional turmoil as they debate the facts and presentation of the trial. This important duty is influenced by their deep-rooted prejudices such as racism, feelings on immigrants and the poor, and their own family skeletons. Henry Fonda advocates for Justice and Reason and for all to consider the facts…not to just make a quick decision so they can make the Yankee game because a boy’s life hangs in the balance. I work in the local District Attorney’s Office and have experience in homicide trials so consider this: a jury is only supposed to consider facts and veracity of testimony presented at trial, not their own research and supposition. Did they mistakenly let a guilty man walk? Think about it. (A+)

message 4: by Tom (last edited Nov 18, 2008 06:56AM) (new)

Tom | 5439 comments As much as I like the film and appreciate the message and story, I always find myself wanting Lee J. Cobb to kick Henry Fonda's smug saintly ass.

message 5: by Tom (last edited Nov 18, 2008 07:51AM) (new)

Tom | 5439 comments NETWORK is really good, lots of good mean fun. I'm a big fan of DOG DAY AFTERNOON, probably my favorite Lumet film and easily Pacino's best performance. THE VERDICT is worth seeing too.

Lumet can be frustrating. SERPICO never really takes off, for me, and neither does PRINCE OF THE CITY. But at his best he's as good as anyone out there.

message 6: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments His latest BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD was fantastic: not the best of his career but a very good epilogue.

message 7: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5439 comments I was thinking of seeing BEFORE THE DEVIL, but I have a severe case of Philipseymourhoffmanitis that kept me from going. It'll keep me from seeing DOUBT, too.

message 8: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments I loved "Twelve Angry Men", unfortunately it spoiled the whole jury duty process for me.

Ive been called for jury duty twice, once even for murder. It was nothing like the movie.

I was prepared to be Henry Fonda, up against my fellow jury member's prejudices and foibles. In actuality, we were all open minded and eager for discussion. We didnt fall into a group think mentality and we reached a decision. It was dull!!!!!.............I guess that is how it should be.

message 9: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments Manuel, I wish you'd come to my county and sit on one of our juries:) I had a jury aquitt a defendant of attempted homicide when he shot the victim in the back then pistol whipped him while he (the victim) was unconscious. The jury said afterwards they felt sympathy for the defendant so they wouldn't convict and send him to prison.

But this is a whole seperate discussion:)

message 10: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 469 comments I have often said
the best and worst thing about the American judicial system is the jury.

Its the same process the British used to fill the ranks of their navy in the 18th century. Just grab who ever was unfortunate to be on the street on that particular day.........Congratulations! You are now serving on His Majesty's Navy!!!

message 11: by Phillip (last edited Nov 18, 2008 03:40PM) (new)

Phillip | 10722 comments i didn't know we had a justice system. i just assumed, like angela davis, that the whole contraption known as the prison-industrial complex was a very well-disguised ploy to keep slavery in place.

message 12: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments Sounds like a Lars von Trier film!

message 13: by Carrie (new)

Carrie (slayerfan1975) I was happy to finally watch this film a few months ago. It was also interesting to think on what other movies were made similar (but came no where near the film) over the years. It's been a goal I started last year on working with the AFI's top 100 films :)

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