Today’s movie of the day is 12 Angry Men (1957), A classic American courtroom film drama.
The first-degree preliminary hearing of an 18-year-old Latino accused of stabbing his father to death has begun with a 12-member jury called to begin deliberations. What a no-brainer this case seems to be: Despite the defendant’s strong alibi, a knife that he claimed to have lost was found at the site of the murder, and several witnesses heard screaming, saw the killing, or saw the boy flee. Only Juror No. 8 (Henry Fonda) votes not guilty after all eleven other jurors have already found the defendants guilty. First and foremost, Mr. Davis’ vote is driven by the urge to stoke discussion; after all, jurors must believe that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. As the jury’s deliberations advance, the story quickly transforms into a study of the members’ complex personalities, preconceptions, histories, and connections. The contention here is Mr. Davis’ attempt to convince his fellow jury members that a verdict of “not guilty” would be appropriate.
- Three Oscar winners (Henry Fonda, Ed Begley, and Martin Balsam) and two Oscar nominations (Lee J. Cobb and Jack Warden) are among the cast members.
- Following his participation on a jury in a manslaughter case, screenwriter Reginald Rose was inspired to write a drama about the jury.
- While both Hitchcock and Huston directed many movies in the 1950s, it was Lumet who directed “12 Angry Men”. Rose wrote and produced the movie.
- The picture was nominated for three Oscar Awards, but it was defeated by The Bridge on the River Kwai in all categories (1957).
- United Artists approached Henry Fonda about producing this film, and he agreed. He was, however, quite frustrated with his experience as a producer and resolved to never do so again.
- In June 2008, the American Film Institute ranked this film # 2 on their list of the ten finest films in the category “Courtroom Drama.”
- This film has a perfect score of 100% based on 50 critic reviews on the Rotten Tomatoes website.