Director: Sydney Lumet
Writers: Reginald Rose, Reginald Rose
Cast: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam
Strengths: Camera works, acting, story
Plot: “12 Angry Men” revolves around the jury's pondering in a capital murder case. An 18 year old boy from a local slum was arrested for the murder of his own father. All apparent witnesses and evidences indicate that the boy is guilty. After the closing arguments were made, the judge then asks the jury of 12 people to make a final verdict. The juries then move to the backroom to make a conformed decision. But what appeared to be a quick open-and-shut case, made a quick turn when all of the jurors except juror 8, Mr. Davies (Henry Fonda), voted not guilty. Predictably, the other jurors get mad at Mr. Davies because the proof suggests that the boy is guilty and a “not guilty” vote would cost the state more money and take up more of the jurors' time. But juror 8 calls into question the precision and dependability of the only two witnesses to the murder- the murder weapon and the witness who heard the boy scream. As the discussions unfurl, the story quickly becomes a study of the jurors' multifaceted characteristics- from shrewd, intelligent and compassionate to arrogant, bigoted and unforgiving.
Review: Sydney Lumet used a very unique technique to shoot this cinema. He gradually changed the lens of the camera from a wider focal length to a narrower one, so that the room seems smaller in relation to the characters playing. This created an immersive feeling towards the movie and allowed the audience to really get into every character in the story. The acting in the movie is spectacular, with the scripts written very well. The movie takes a cramped, almost completely prosaic real-world location and makes it completely lively, using incredibly dexterous camera movements to establish character immersion and premise. This classic movie has been nominated for 3 Oscars and has won 16 separate awards and 8 nominations.
Reviewed by Araf Zahin