12 Angry Men (1957)
"Life is in their hands--death is on their minds!"
(Roger Ebert listed this film in 33 Movies To Restore Your Faith in Humanity. I posted about the book here.)
An 18-year old boy is accused of murdering his father. The trial is over, the jury sent to deliberate. A "guilty" verdict would sentence him to death.
The initial vote: 11 (guilty) to 1 (not guilty). That one vote weighs heavily since the verdict must be unanimous. Thus proceeds arguments and re-hashed evidence as the jurors uncover (sometimes unwittingly) flaws in the prosecution's supposed open-shut case.
Almost the entire film takes place in the juror's room, but you put 12 men in a hot stuffy room and add personality clashes, prejudices, differing backgrounds, and you get plenty of conflict.
Juror #8 (Henry Fonda) does not claim the defendant is innocent, but insists there is reasonable doubt to his guilt. One person giving someone the benefit of the doubt can go a long way. I want him in my corner!
Notes on content:
- Infrequent mild swearing
- No nudity or sexual situations
- Heated debate, arguments, contention