Tagline – Life is in their hands… Death is on their minds!
Starring – Henry Fonda (Juror 8), Lee J. Cobb (Juror 3), E. G. Marshall (Juror 4), Martin Balsam (Juror 1), Jack Warden (Juror 7), John Fielder (Juror 2), Jack Klugman (Juror 5),Edward Binns (Juror 6), Joseph Sweeney (Juror 9), Ed Begley (Juror 10),George Voskovek (Juror 11), Robert Webber (Juror 12).
Released – April, 1957
Directed By – Sidney Lumet
Produced By – Orion-Nova Productions
Distributed By – United Artists
Description – In a New York City courthouse, an eighteen-year-old boy has just been tried for the stabbing murder of his father. Closing arguments have been presented, and the judge has instructed the jury to decide, beyond any reasonable doubt, the boy’s guilt or innocence.
Should the verdict be guilty, a mandatory death sentence is required.
This is an impatient jury. One which seems to have already made up its mind that the defendant is guilty as charged. That is, except for one. Juror 8. It is his belief that most of the evidence is circumstantial, that the two key witnesses are unreliable, and he refuses to vote “guilty” without first discussing the charges and evidence in detail.
This discussion will not be orderly and calm, but rather argumentative and bigoted against “slum children.”
This is no open-and-shut case, and the actions of the jury will reveal more than just the accused’s guilt or innocence. Each juror’s prejudices and pre-conceived notions, about the accused and each other, will come to the surface. Each must be realized and dealt with before justice can be served.
After all, a young man’s life is at stake.
NOTABLE: In 2007, 12 Angry Men was selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
12 Angry Men was nominated for Academy Awards in the categories of Best Director (Sidney Lumet), Best Picture, and Best Writing of Adapted Screenplay.
Included among the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”, edited by Steven Schneider.
12 Angry Men provided the directorial debut of Sidney Lumet.
The ethnic background of the teen-aged suspect was deliberately left unstated. For the purposes of the film, the important facts were that he was NOT Caucasian and that prejudice (or lack of it) would be a major part of the deliberations process.