12 Angry Men
MGM / UA (1/1/1957)
In Collection
96 mins

Lee J. Cobb
Henry Fonda
Martin Balsam
Ed Begley
Edward Binns
John Fiedler
Jack Klugman
E.G. Marshall
Joseph Sweeney
George Voskovec
Jack Warden

Director Sidney Lumet
Producer Henry Fonda
Reginald Rose
Writer Reginald Rose

Sidney Lumet's directorial debut remains a tense, atmospheric (though slightly manipulative and stagy) courtroom thriller, in which the viewer never sees a trial and the only action is verbal. As he does in his later corruption commentaries such as Serpico or Q & A, Lumet focuses on the lonely one-man battles of a protagonist whose ethics alienate him from the rest of jaded society. As the film opens, the seemingly open-and-shut trial of a young Puerto Rican accused of murdering his father with a knife has just concluded and the 12-man jury retires to their microscopic, sweltering quarters to decide the verdict. When the votes are counted, 11 men rule guilty, while one--played by Henry Fonda, again typecast as another liberal, truth-seeking hero--doubts the obvious. Stressing the idea of "reasonable doubt," Fonda slowly chips away at the jury, who represent a microcosm of white, male society--exposing the prejudices and preconceptions that directly influence the other jurors' snap judgments. The tight script by Reginald Rose (based on his own teleplay) presents each juror vividly using detailed soliloquies, all which are expertly performed by the film's flawless cast. Still, it's Lumet's claustrophobic direction--all sweaty close-ups and cramped compositions within a one-room setting--that really transforms this contrived story into an explosive and compelling nail-biter. --Dave McCoy

Edition Details
Audience Rating NR (Not Rated)
Country USA
Language English
Barcode 027616859006
Region Region 1
Release Date 3/6/2001
Packaging Keep Case
Screen Ratio Widescreen 1.66:1 B&W
Subtitles French; Spanish
Audio Tracks ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Mono [CC]
FRENCH: Dolby Digital Mono
Layers Single Side, Single Layer
No. of Discs/Tapes 1

Black & White Closed-captioned Widescreen
Personal Details
Seen It Yes
Links Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
DVD Empire