Friday, May 18, 2012

1 of 1001 Movies: 12 Angry Men (1957)

  Directed by Sidney Lumet, the film is about an 18-year old boy put on trial for stabbing his father to death. His fate is left to 12 jurors to decide whether he is guilty or not.  The jury looks like they will have a quick decision until Juror #8, played by Henry Fonda, casts his vote causing a tale spin of questions.  The cast also features Ed Begley, Joseph Sweeney Jack Klugman, and Jack Warden. 

My Thoughts
  12 Angry Men was a completely unexpected surprise for so many reasons. I think one of the biggest mistakes of this generation is that many probably don't think that the same problems we deal with today were just as relevant in earlier times as they are today. This movie features everything from family to racial issues.  It also proves that maybe we haven't really solved anything. Each juror is from a different background bringing the diversity needed to cause the assumptions that keep this from being a quick decision. 

  I think the setup of how each juror has a motive for why they are voting how they are are was brilliantly done. Henry Fonda does a great job at being the juror who spirals everyone's thinking process into question. It was very enjoyable to watch. We even have the one guy who just doesn't seem to really care, he's just voting to get out of there as quick as possible, and we all know that might be one of us. I think every time Fonda's character stumped one of the juror's reasons for voting guilty you couldn't help but be in awe. 

  This movie is significant because it almost uses only one set the entire film except for a few minutes. Also, no names are ever referred to in the entire movie. Whether it's the witnesses, or the jurors, we have no idea what anyone's name is, but yet this doesn't affect our connection with anyone. This film has also been selected by the United States Nation Film Registry for preservation because of it's cultural, and historical value.  

  To sum it up, this movie should be watched by anyone who is going to serve on a jury, which is potentially most of us. It takes into the account just how major of a decision we are making each time we are chosen for the jury no matter how little, or much we despise it. You'll find yourself probably in one of these characters, and you'll be just as confused as how to decide as some of these characters were at most moments. It's definitely a great watch to get to know a little about the judicial process that Americans are apart of. 

Rating 4 of 5. 

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