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12 Angry Men

  • Drama
  • Crime/detective
  • 1957
  • Sidney Lumet
  • 96 mins
  • U

Summary

Classic courtroom drama, director Sidney Lumet's feature film debut, starring Henry Fonda. A jury retires to an oppressive New York courtroom to reach a verdict on a teenager accused of killing his father. But their deliberations take longer than expected and tensions soon begin to boil over.

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Review

A star rating of 5 out of 5.

Based on a television play by Reginald Rose about a lone juror holding out for a not guilty verdict with the remaining 11 ready to convict, this marvellous movie has become part of life's currency: there's no courtroom in the world where 12 Angry Men is not either invoked or recalled. Henry Fonda stars as juror eight, and he also co-produced the movie. Although acclaimed as an instant classic, the film made no money on release and Fonda wasn't able to pay himself his deferred acting fee. Fonda's integrity illuminates the film, which benefits immeasurably from debut director Sidney Lumet's masterly sense of cinema: the action takes place on a single claustrophobic set (an actual New York jury room), yet Lumet finds an infinite variety of visual set-ups and angles within the confines. It was Oscar-nominated for best picture, direction and screenplay, but won nothing in the year that Bridge on the River Kwai took most of the major awards. Few films can genuinely be called brilliant, but this is certainly one of them.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Juror eightHenry Fonda
Juror threeLee J Cobb
Juror tenEd Begley
Juror fourE G Marshall
Juror sevenJack Warden
Juror oneMartin Balsam
Juror twoJohn Fiedler
Juror fiveJack Klugman
Juror sixEdward Binns
Juror nineJoseph Sweeney
Juror elevenGeorge Voskovec
Juror twelveRobert Webber
JudgeRudy Bond
GuardJames A Kelly
Court clerkBill Nelson
DefendantJohn Savoca

Crew

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DirectorSidney Lumet

Details

Theatrical distributor
United Artists Corp. Ltd
Languages
English
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Black and white
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