Monday, November 23, 2009

Capsule Review: 12 Angry Men (1957)

Previously filmed as a televised play in 1954, Sidney Lumet was able to bring some unique cinematic technique to the story of 12 jurors coming to a decision on the guilt or innocence of a youth accused of murder. His camera slowly zooms in, creating a claustrophobic, sweltering atmosphere ably assisted by the heat-wave hitting the city in the story. Henry Fonda is Juror #8, who stands up to overwhelming scrutiny in defending the young boy, but begins to tear the defense apart when the group begins to examine the evidence a little more closely. Packed with memorable moments, most notably Fonda pulling out a switchblade knife and embedding it in the jury room table, it also features terrific performances from a variety of recognizable faces – particularly Martin Balsam (as the foreman), E.G. Marshall (as a juror focused entirely on logic and facts), and the brilliant Lee J. Cobb as the embittered nemesis to Fonda's crusader.

1 comment:

rakeback said...

I love the movie 12 Angry Men. The way Henry Fonda convinces the other jury members 1 by 1 that the boy could be innocent is outstanding, and it ranks among the best movies Ive ever seen.