12 Angry Men

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12 Angry Men is a 1957 film which tells the story of one lone juror who holds out against the other eleven members of the jury; he is not convinced that the defendant, a young Hispanic man, is guilty of murder. It stars Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley and E.G. Marshall. It is highly regarded from both a critical and popular standpoint; Roger Ebert lists it as one of his "Great Movies", and it has consistenly ranked in the top 30 on the IMDB Top 250 List.

The movie begins with a judge addressing the jury at the conclusion of the prosecution and defense arguments. The judge tells the twelve men to determine whether the accused boy is guilty of murder. The jury then moves to the jury room, where they take a preliminary vote. The first vote is 11-1 and the 11 jurors are angry at Henry Fonda's character for being the lone holdout. He says that it is morally wrong (and illegal) to condemn a man to death while even one juror has a reasonable doubt. Gradually, Fonda convinces every man on the jury that the defendant's guilt was not conclusively proved to convict him.

The movie was directed by Sidney Lumet and adapted by Reginald Rose from his 1954 teleplay originally broadcast on CBS. Boris Kaufman was the cinematographer.

The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

None of the characters in the film are given a name; they are all identified by juror numbers, until the very end when Fonda meets up with Joseph Sweeney's character. Fonda's character's name is Davis, Sweeney's is McCardle.

The film was shot in 19 days on a budget of $349,000. It starts with wider lenses above eye level; by the end of the film nearly everyone is shown in closeup using a long lens from a low angle. (Wider lenses give the appearance of greater distance between objects; longer lenses give the appearance of "shortening" distance, while at the same time decreasing depth of field.) Lumet states that his intention was to cause a nearly palpable claustrophobia; and by most accounts he succeeded.

The film was parodied on BBC television in an episode of Hancock's Half Hour, starring Tony Hancock and Sid James.

The screenplay had first been produced on television, on the program Studio One, in 1954. A complete kinescope of that performance was discovered, after previously being thought lost, in 2003.

12 Angry Men was remade for television in 1997, starring George C. Scott, James Gandolfini, Tony Danza, and Jack Lemmon. In this remake, the judge is female, and three of the jurors are African-American; the action and dialogue of the film are otherwise virtually identical to the original.

12 Angry Men is sometimes studied as literature. Some of the screenplays have been published and Rose wrote several stage adaptations of the story. In 1964 Leo Genn appeared in it on the London stage. Other theatrical adaptations in which female actors are cast as jurors are called 12 Angry Jurors or 12 Angry Women.

Juror # Character 1957 actor 1997 actor
1 Jury foreman Martin Balsam Courtney B. Vance
2 Quiet bank clerk John Fiedler Ossie Davis
3 Angry father Lee J. Cobb George C. Scott
4 Rational stockbroker E.G. Marshall Armin Mueller-Stahl
5 Young man from the slums Jack Klugman Dorian Harewood
6 Painter Ed Binns James Gandolfini
7 Indifferent sports fan Jack Warden Tony Danza
8 Davis - Architect, Dissenter Henry Fonda Jack Lemmon
9 Observant old man Joseph Sweeney Hume Cronyn
10 Racist Ed Begley Mykelti Williamson
11 Immigrant watchmaker George Voskovec Edward James Olmos
12 Advertising executive Robert Webber William L. Petersen

References

fr:Douze hommes en colre (film) ja:十二人の怒れる男

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