12 Angry Men-50th Anniversary Edition

Directed By: Sidney Lumet Starring: Lee J. Cobb Henry Fonda

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I Could Watch Over and Over

on 5/6/2012

I've seen this movie at least seven times and I'm still not remotely tired of it. Henry Fonda turns in one of his best performances as a stubbon jury member who thinks the man they're trying for the murder of his father may be innocent, despite seemingly overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Despite initial disagreement from the other 11 members of the jury, Fonda shows that the case isn't as open and shut as everyone thought. He also reveals that prejudice is playing a major role in the way the men are making their decisions. Lee J. Cobb is fantastic as a prejudice guy taking out the anger he feals over fights he has with his son on the young man being tried. E.G. Marshall stands out as an inteligent and logical man fighting against Fonda until the end, and Ed Beggley excels as a common bigot who believes all the poor are bums and crooks (a speach he gives at the end of the film to that effect is quite powerful. As he speaks, each of the jurors turn away, and by the end, no one is listening and Beggley breaks). Rounding out this supurb cast is Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, and a very young Jack Klugman. Director Sidney Lumet takes almost nothing (a cast of about 12, one room, no special effects) and transforms it into a rich, provocative, and moving story about America and the men who live there. If only today's directors could do the same.

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Product Overview

Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley and Jack Klugman lead in this tense, courtroom drama -- nominated for three Oscars including Best Picture -- about one juror determined to sway the opinions of eleven others.


Studio Fox Home Entertainment
SKU 206615571
UPC 027616097101
UPC 14 00027616097101
Format DVD
Release Date 1/14/2014
Rating NR
Essential Cinema
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Sidney Lumet's directorial debut is a snapshot of the American judicial system in action. Twelve average New York males convene in a very small jury room on a very hot day in order to reach a verdict in a murder trial. Almost everyone wants to vote guilty and get on with their lives except for Juror No. 8 (Henry Fonda), a conscientious citizen who insists on establishing reasonable doubt. Arguments are made, cigarettes are smoked, murder weapons examined, diagrams drawn, and prejudices revealed. Firm opinions weaken and reverse; voices get raised, the clock ticks, and a ghetto kid's life hangs in the balance.^Lumet's direction and camerawork steadily builds pressure into the plot. Things start out casual, but wind up so close and tight you can count the pores on the actors' noses. Fonda is good in a role well-suited to his extra-large sense of human dignity but the stealth giant in this actors dozen is the ferocious Lee J. Cobb. Jack Klugman, E.G. Marshall, Martin Balsam, Ed Begley, and Jack Warden play some of the other jurors, and a better assemblage of grizzled method actors shouting at each other won't likely come again. 12 ANGRY MEN was originally written for television, it is a true classic of the anti-McCarthy message era, and is not to be missed.
Memorable Quotes
Quote "Well, I'm not used to supposin'. I'm just a workin' man. My boss does all the supposin' but I'll try one. Supposin' you talk us all out of this and, uh, the kid really did knife his father?"--Juror #6 (Edward Binns)
Premiere "Best Courtroom Drama of All Time" 06/01/1994 p.119
Chicago Sun-Times "...This is a film where tension comes from personality conflict, dialogue and body language....The movie plays like a textbook for directors interested in how lens choices affect mood..." 09/29/2002 p.6
USA Today "...As the juror dead-set against a murder conviction, Henry Fonda had one of his greatest roles..." 03/23/2001 p.6E
Entertainment Weekly "Fonda shines -- almost literally in a white suit -- as the soft-spoken, merciful Juror No. 8." -- Grade: A- 03/07/2008 p.75
Sight and Sound "[T]he textures of the film actively transform this righteous template into a bristly, suspenseful, heroic firefight..." 01/01/2012
Sidney Lumet
Lee J. Cobb
Henry Fonda
Cast & Crew
Boris Kaufman - Cinematographer
Carl Lerner - Editor
E.G. Marshall - Actor
Ed Begley, Sr. - Actor
Henry Fonda - Actor
Henry Fonda, et. al. - Producer
Kenyon Hopkins - Original Music By
Lee J. Cobb - Actor
Reginald Rose - Writer
Robert Markel - Art Director
Sidney Lumet - Director
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1957
Catalog ID 109710
UPC 00027616097101
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 96 minutes
Color B&W
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English, French Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.66:1
Winner (1958) British Academy Awards, Henry Fonda, Best Foreign Actor
Nominee (1958) British Academy Awards, 12 Angry Men, Best Film from any Source,Golden Globe, 12 Angry Men, Best Motion Picture - Drama,Golden Globe, Henry Fonda, Best Motion Picture Actor - Drama,Golden Globe, Sidney Lumet, Best Motion Picture Director,Golden Globe, Lee J. Cobb, Best Supporting Actor,Oscar, Sidney Lumet, Best Director,Oscar, Henry Fonda, Reginald Rose, Best Picture,Oscar, Reginald Rose, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
ReviewSource FilmsGraded.com
Review "12 Angry Men" was Henry Fonda's sole foray into film production. Unable to get the studios to purchase the script, which he liked considerably, he funded the production himself. It was, after all, an inexpensive film to make: no sets or costumes were required. The entire film was shot on location in New York City, with nearly all of it taking place in an actual jury room...Although critically praised, the film failed at the box office. There was no action, no romance, and little suspense, as Fonda's moral superiority was certain to overcome. The film's themes, which included racial and class discrimination, were not of dramatic interest to most filmgoers...Fonda could at least bask in the critical acclaim. It was nominated for Best Director (Sidney Lumet), Best Adapted Screenplay (Reginald Rose), and Best Picture. While Fonda was not nominated for Best Actor, he was nominated as co-producer..."12 Angry Men" is surprisingly good, considering that the film consists of twelve men arguing in a room for ninety minutes. The quality of the cast and script helps, as does the dramatic storyline (the defendant's life is at state). The biggest complaint is with the characters: Cobb rants and rages as if he was back on the waterfront, while Fonda is almost smug in the certainty of his moral position.
Reviewer Brian Koller
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review In form, "12 Angry Men" is a courtroom drama. In purpose, it's a crash course in those passages of the Constitution that promise defendants a fair trial and the presumption of innocence. It has a kind of stark simplicity: Apart from a brief setup and a briefer epilogue, the entire film takes place within a small New York City jury room, on "the hottest day of the year," as 12 men debate the fate of a young defendant charged with murdering his father...The film shows us nothing of the trial itself except for the judge's perfunctory, almost bored, charge to the jury. His tone of voice indicates the verdict is a foregone conclusion. We hear neither prosecutor nor defense attorney, and learn of the evidence only second-hand, as the jurors debate it. Most courtroom movies feel it necessary to end with a clear-cut verdict. But "12 Angry Men" never states whether the defendant is innocent or guilty. It is about whether the jury has a reasonable doubt about his guilt...The cast included only one bankable star, Fonda, but the other 11 actors were among the best then working in New York, including Martin Balsam, Lee J. Cobb, E. G. Marshall, Jack Klugman, Jack Warden, Ed Begley and Robert Webber. They smoke, they sweat, they swear, they sprawl, they stalk, they get angry.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 10
DVD, Widescreen, Sensormatic, English, Spanish, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Fonda,Henry
Label Mgm Entertainment
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com ...a brilliant courtroom drama about the American jury system that deservedly was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.
Ian Waldron-Mantgani, UK Critic An intense concentration of power, and my all-time favourite film.
John A. Nesbit, ToxicUniverse.com ...the tautest courtroom drama you'll ever see, surpassing Lumet's very good 1982 drama, The Verdict.
Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star A masterful work of debate and dialogue; of shifting momentum and the ideal of sticking to your scruples in the face of antagonistic groupthink.
Urban Cinefile A film with texture, humour and relevance at all times. All in 91 minutes.

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I Could Watch Over and Over on May 06, 2012