Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Take 34: 12 Angry Men

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.

12 Angry Men (1957)

"Life is in their hands--death is on their minds!"

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

(Roger Ebert listed this film in 33 Movies To Restore Your Faith in Humanity. I posted about the book here.)

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