I Could Watch Over and Over
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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