Saturday, May 2, 2009

12 Angry Men - My All Time Favorites #2

A timeless classic - the kind of movie which has a powerful message. Sidney Lumet's debut movie. Probably Henry Fonda and Lee J Cobb's greatest performances. Almost the entire film takes place in the juror room. 12 ordinary people coming from different backgrounds having different interests need to decide on the fate of a teenage boy from the slum, accused of murdering his abusive father.

All of the jury members feel the same disregard towards the boy as the lawyers who defended him did. All but one, Henry Fonda who reminds the others that they are deciding the fate of a young man who is just a step away from capital punishment. Even if there was a speck of reasonable doubt available, it should be given in favor of the boy.

He slowly gains the support of a few other members and the case is actually trialed in the jury room. Witnesses and their sanctity is discussed in detail, despite the displeasure of a few. One of them has other important things like a baseball game to attend to. Another one is prejudiced inside out. Lee J Cobb plays a father who is hurting over the betrayal of his son and feels the same against the boy now in trial.

The movie never really proves the innocence of the kid. But only proves that there is enough room for doubt. It proves that the members of the jury have their own personal likes and dislikes that made them take their decision on the case. 

With some great intelligent dialogs the movie moves at a really good pace and in a very involving manner. The greatest thing about the screenplay is it would try to cover everything that would come up in your mind. A real classic and a great movie

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