Saturday, May 29, 2010
#154 12 Angry Men (1957)
Director: Sidney Lumet
Cast: Henry Fonda, Lee Cobb, Jack Klugman, Joseph Sweeney, Martin Balsam, Jack Warden, George Voskovec
One dissenting jury member (Henry Fonda) of what seems to be an open-and-shut murder case sends a room full of men into fury on the hottest day of the year. The details of the murder trial slowly unravel (along with the men's tempers) over the course of the film. To even its audience, the evidence seems so stacked against the defendant, it is hard to imagine Fonda is going to have any luck convincing the hotheads in the room that he may be innocent. With a cool head, however, holes get punched in both sides' cases until a verdict is reached, chairs are overturned, rain falls, and tempers cool.
I was worried this was going to be a boring movie, and I'm feeling a bit stupid for that now. It was captivating hearing all the details unravel and solving the mystery along with the jurors. Henry Fonda is such a chill dude, and somehow, seems so trustworthy in his character. All taking place in one room, the acting and dialogue are EVERYTHING in this movie. It's incredible how the director was able to get emotions to rise and fall so rapidly in the story line. And the conclusion! Whether you saw it coming from the beginning doesn't matter-- it's the bare emotion of the way it comes to place that caught me off guard and gave me such a thrill.
Really loved this movie, and I would say it is a must-see.