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12 Angry Men (Criterion) back to product details

Henry Fonda Looks Good Because the Defendant Had a Bad Lawyer
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written by JJones9 July 20, 2012 - 12:03 PM PDT
It's a good movie, don't get me wrong. But please understand that the Henry Fonda character makes all the points the defendant's lawyer did not. If the defendant's lawyer had given a half decent summation at the end of the trial, that jury would have voted at least 6-6 for acquittal, and probably 8-4 for acquittal. Also, please note that Fonda's bringing a new knife into the jury room was juror misconduct; if he had gone out to purchase such a knife, and then reported that he could not find one, any guilty verdict would have been tossed out, probably by the trial judge. So, enjoy the movie, but remember, Fonda looks good because someone else did a really bad job.

A Primer of the American Justice system at its best
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written by johnnyclock December 24, 2005 - 1:09 AM PST
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
This is a marvelous script with some of the finest character actors in the business. It is amazing how gripping a film can be with such an uncinematic premise: twelve men sitting in a very plain room; a jury room. I would like to believe that Americans are as civic minded today as, in their different ways, most of these twelve prove to be. This is a primer course for the best that ever existed in the American justice system; the outcome of centuries of incremental rethinkings and gains in justice, democracy, responsible citizenship. Whether it still exists today, I do not know.

Social Commentary, Far Ahead of Its' Time
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written by JMVerville October 20, 2004 - 6:43 AM PDT
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
12 Angry Men is a terrific film that reflects a lot of the past problems and the proposed solutions of immigration, youth violence, and of course, overcoming one's own background and discrimination. The film surprised me in how progressive it was, and the ending social conclusions that it reached.

In the film you can see clearly form a rift between the upper class, conservatives who are unwilling to change and the progressives who are proposing change for the better of all of us; this film, deep down, is a very class conscious and socially conscious film about discrimination and the deep lines it had in American society in 1957.

Although the film's portrayal is sometimes overly simplistic, drawing a "stubborn, pig-headed" conservative versus "righteous, just" progressive, one can find that this was very much so a necessary film for its' time. In many ways, it is a work that was socially far advanced.

Also what is interesting is the fact that it is a film that is done with great simplicity; some actors, and a room... It relies greatly upon the pure talent of the actors, and the great direction of Sidney Lumet -- this film is truly unique due to the true minimalism it embraces in its' production tactics, yet this is something that could easily go unnoticed due to the incredible quality of the film.

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(Average 8.28)
307 Votes
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