|12 ANGRY MEN (1957)|
Lee J. Cobb
|"Well I think that testimony that can put a boy into the electric chair SHOULD be that accurate."|
|Time: 96 mins.|
Rating: Not Rated
Academy Award nominations for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.
SYNOPSIS: Henry Fonda leads an all-star male cast in this gripping drama about a dissenting jury trying to come to a unanimous decision regarding the fate of a young man who faces the death penalty.
BOTTOM LINE:The highly talented cast makes this brilliant war of words an entrancing cinema experience. Most of the group can't understand why Juror #8 (Fonda) is unsure about the verdict. Except for him, they all believe the prosecution made the young man's guilt quite clear and are all desperate to be freed of this unwanted duty. However, with a life in his hands, #8 feels they should at least take an hour to discuss whether this 18-year-old boy will live or die. What begins, for him, as an act of decency becomes a mini-crusade to see if the evidence convicts the accused beyond a reasonable doubt. As he challenges the testimony given by each of the supposed witnesses, tempers flair, prejudices are revealed, eyes are opened and votes begin to swing over to the "non-guilty" side. Each man is forced to look inside himself and face the reasons why he was so easily swayed into believing something time and a little extra thought reveals to be untrue. What begins as a dialogue about justice slowly turns into an exposé about human nature. Fonda is the film's conscience, leading the other men on a path to self-discovery they'd rather not endure. Director Lumet creates energy and movement through quick editing and varying camera angles, which makes the film pulse with power and emotion despite it's one set location. A classic film that deserves your attention.