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Download 12 Angry Men 1957 Movie Legally
Crime, Drama, Mystery
IMDB rating:
Sidney Lumet


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Martin Balsam as Juror #12
John Fiedler as Juror #12
Lee J. Cobb as Juror #12
E.G. Marshall as Juror #12
Jack Klugman as Juror #12
Edward Binns as Juror #12
Jack Warden as Juror #12
Henry Fonda as Juror #12
Joseph Sweeney as Juror #12
Ed Begley as Juror #12
George Voskovec as Juror #12
Robert Webber as Juror #12
12 Angry Men Storyline: The defense and the prosecution have rested and the jury is filing into the jury room to decide if a young man is guilty or innocent of murdering his father. What begins as an open-and-shut case of murder soon becomes a detective story that presents a succession of clues creating doubt, and a mini-drama of each of the jurors' prejudices and preconceptions about the trial, the accused, and each other. Based on the play, all of the action takes place on the stage of the jury room.
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A Contrarian View
I've always have had problems with this movie. Seeing it listed so highly made me re-watch it and give it another assessment. It has never struck me as a "movie". It's a closed set drama of twelve men talking in a closed room. That presents a pretty high bar to get over to turn it into a movie. Unfortunately it doesn't even seem to try to get over it.

This movie is a turd sitting there. A highly polished sincere turd, but a turd nonetheless.

First the setup. A young man is on trial for murdering his father, stabbing him with a switchblade, apparently as a result of an argument. From statements in the movie, it seems that he is a member of a despised, slum-dwelling minority. The boy is shown to be dark but 'white'. The actor who plays the juror that is his compatriot is Jack Klugman, of Russian Jewish heritage. Was an audience meant to take seriously, even in the '50s that assimilated Jews were on such a low social rung? Were they meant to be some other swarthy European? Italian, Greek, perhaps? To me the only folks likely to be identified that way in '50s NY would be blacks or Puerto Ricans. I know that Hollywood at the time had a real problem casting actors of color, but this whitewashing takes me out of any willing suspension of disbelief.

Then the jurors themselves. They almost all seem one dimensional tropes. Let's go in order:

1) The foreman, a High School Football coach. Just trying to keep the process rolling, without a high degree of insight into the issues.

2) The mousy accountant. Not assertive or expecting to be listened to if he did assert himself.

3) Likely the most interesting, a self-made business man, who has issues with a man needing to be 'manly'; assertive to the point of bullying. He has a failed relationship with his own son that is the key to his behavior on the jury.

4) A stockbroker. A bland technocrat who never sweats. He seems almost the post-war Nazi stereotype of 'only following orders'.

5) The representative of the under-class. So scared of appearing to favor 'one of his own kind', that he compensates by going with the prevailing social order.

6) The common man. At Passover he'd be the son that 'knows not how to ask'.

7) The salesman. Approaches this as a sales pitch, and wants to get it over with to be able to get to tonight's Yankees game.

8) Our beloved identification figure. Wants to avoid the rush to judgment. An architect he (possibly along with his antithesis the stockbroker) is the best educated and well spoken of the bunch. Literally 'the man in the white suit'. Congratulations to you Mr. audience member for smugly identifying with him.

9) The old man. Given to pearls of insight that derive from his experience and wisdom.

10) The racist. Even if the kid isn't guilty, his kind are troublemakers and deserve what they get.

11) The good immigrant. A watchmaker, quiet, polite, well spoken.

12) The ad man. Got to have one of these in any '50s NY set story. Send his gray flannel suit up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes it.

Are any of these, with the possible exception of #3, real human beings?

The argument. The bulk of this exercise is the destruction, point by point of the prosecution's case. A highlight is when #8 presents the jury with a duplicate of the supposedly unique murder weapon, a similar one which was purchased by the by the young man. I'm not a student of the law, but I can't believe that such a introduction of such evidence into jury deliberations is acceptable procedure. Also, although the prosecution's case is sufficiently demolished to introduce the reasonable doubt necessary for an acquittal, never is a plausible alternate scenario is never offered. Why did some intruder enter the murdered man's apartment and kill him? Robbery? Never suggested. Another gang-banger looking for the son? Why was the man stabbed in a non-experienced way? Why is the murder weapon clean of fingerprints?

So, well acted, competently shot, but to my mind a failed drama, and still a non-movie.

Finally, with over 900 member reviews I expect that this will be buried. And, why do we need a spoiler tag on a nearly sixty year old movie?
Beyond a reasonable doubt
Having seen the film before, we decided to take another look recently when it showed up on a cable channel. This Sidney Lumet 1957 film still packs a lot of power, even though times have changed in the way our justice system works. The screen play by Reginald Rose shows his brilliant insight into human beings that are called to sit as jurors in a murder case.

If you haven't seen the film, perhaps you don't want to read any further.

It's 1957 when this case goes to court. We watch the accused man staring toward the panel in whose hands his fate rests. The jury is all male. We get to know that a public defendant was appointed to defend the accused man. We realize he hasn't done a great job, as most of the men in the jury room are convinced this boy is guilty before he has been proved innocent.

We watch as the men are settling into their chairs around the deliberating table, and how a juror is standing by the window looking toward the streets below, lost in thought. It's stifling in the room. Those were the days of not having air conditioned all over, so these men are sweating in the uncomfortable room during one of the worst days of the summer.

As the men proceed to have a preliminary vote, juror number eight casts a 'not guilty' vote that shocks the room. How dare he go against the majority? Who is he to stand in the way of what seems to be an open and shut case? This guy is guilty! Thus begins the deliberations in which all these men bring their own prejudices and biases to determine if the boy will go to the electric chair, which by all appearances, seems to be the case here. It's because of one decent man that doesn't mind facing the rest that we get to know why the accused couldn't have done the murder the authorities say he committed. In the process the jurors will get to understand the meaning of justice.

This drama owes Henry Fonda a debt of gratitude. We can't think of any other actor playing this juror. Mr. Fonda exudes kindness and he is the only person in the room that is not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt the boy has killed his own father. Not only did he make a contribution as an actor, but also helped produced the movie.

Lee J. Cobb, one of the great American actors of the last century, is seen as a juror that sees in the accused young man his own estranged son, who he hasn't seen in a couple of years, having left home because of the conflict with the old man. Mr. Cobb is just the opposite of Mr. Fonda, and he gives an intense performance to show us this man in turmoil. The rest of the cast is wonderful. Each one has his own moment to shine.

There is not a single moment that rings false in the movie. In reading a couple of comments about "12 Angry Men", some people marvel there were no women in the jury, or that the accused man's case hasn't been presented by the defense attorney in a more effective way. We have to remember first of all, the times in which the action takes place, and the fact that being a poor man, the accused man has been given an attorney who was obviously not interested in his defense. The young man being from a minority migrant group didn't elicit sympathy from these jurors, at all, which might have been the prosecution's goal in going along with the selection.

This is a movie that should be seen by anyone serving in a jury in a court of justice. Mr. Lumet and Mr. Rose have created a timeless film that will be the standard in which everything else is judged.
Wow, just wow.A brilliant film set in the right tone, no unnecessary scenes or waste of time. It is is a simple plot that will ultimately blow your mind. I watched this film recently and it was difficult in the beginning to adjust to it as it is in black and white. But soon the movie just caught my attention and I completely forgot about it being in black and white.

A very well written script focusing on every detail and there is almost no sign of it being fictional. It is wonderful how the entire movie was set in just one room and doesn't bore the audience or one minute. The acting was phenomenal from everyone and they knew that the movie was going to be special in their career.

A must watch for everyone.
Great actors; somewhat preachy script; still worth watching
I won't repeat the details of the plot as many comments above summarize the plot and even the 12 jurors in depth...

Briefly, Fonda's character challenges the rest of the 12 man jury to take time to reexamine the evidence before they send a very young man to the mandatory death sentence.

A fair challenge. Even tho the case (as one juror argues ) seem so "open and shut".

Here, the best thing about the film (to me) is the use of logic. Why? As the 12 men examine each bit of proof, they discover several possible logical flaws or false assumptions. Sound too dry? Not the way it is presented.

My criticism is that Fonda's character is just too perfect, too right and (for most of the movie) too free from perspiration, unlike the rest in that hot jury room.

Fonda early questions some jurors as to whether there's any possibility for error. If he said "It's possible" one more time, I was going to scream. (I remember various evil characters getting off on slim technicalities...! ) But fortunately, his questioning leads others to question evidence and to find REAL doubt that the testimony, etc. is valid.

Their use of logic to pick out the evidentiary flaws is fascinating. Thus, this is still an excellent movie worth watching!
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win
12 Angry man, you will be the 13th, Yes I am true. One man stands against the rest and argues that the boy may not be guilty.

Henry Fonda plays one of juror who does not feel the boy was guilty with the evidence provided. The movie revolves around the scenario of his reasonable doubts with the evidences and that makes other jurors to get convinced. At first the other men were demanding, impatient and rude. But Henry stands still with his doubts and put them on to the other jurors.

12 Angry Man is one of the greatest films ever made. It will grab your attention from the start and make you sit down and think long after you finish watching.

My rating 10/10. Will appear in my Top 100.

Strongly recommended.
Is "12 Angry Men" a GREAT or NON GREAT movie? Gentlemen of the jury, your verdict ...
Juror #1, the foreman (Martin Balsam, football coach): "Well, I won't be too technical, or make a long speech … it's just that it's a one-set film, so it's new and risky, because you know, dialogs are not enough, we need …uh … the thrills … and it goes slowly in the beginning but progressively, it's like the jury room becomes smaller, and the faces bigger. I really felt the tense and suffocating atmosphere ... And what an explosive climax, I could hardly breathe … I know it's strange, but the direction, well, the movie is one hell of a thriller … I, well, my verdict is clear: GREAT MOVIE"

Juror #2 (John Fiedler, bank clerk): "I don't know. It's an excellent film, served by great performances. Every character was convincing, so were their interactions. I can't find any flaw, for me, there's nothing to add, and nothing to remove. It is a GREAT MOVIE"

Juror #3 (Lee J. Cobb, businessman): "I told you why this movie is great, it's just … thought provoking, everything and I mean everything looked like it would have been this kind of preachy film with a good-hearted hero and simple-minded antagonists who just want to be vindictive. But this is an intelligent film which, even at the end, makes you question if the kid is guilty or not. Because it has nothing to do with punishment, it's about justice ... without any prejudice, and that deserves respect, yes sir! No doubt for me … GREAT MOVIE"

Juror #4 (E.G. Marshall, stockbroker): "First of all, it's an excellent examination of all the subtle nuances that enrich a male adult demography, played with such believability every one could identify with one of the jurors. Secondly, the writing was intellectually gripping and emotionally engaging and I would add: respectful of the viewer's intelligence. The direction was excellent and created a feeling of growing claustrophobia guided by a very clever use of focal lenses, a credit to Sidney Lumet. Last but not least, it's about the noble concept of justice and presumption of innocence: "12 Angry Men" delivers a brilliant, intelligent, and universally inspiring message. To conclude, I can say I had the privilege to watch a GREAT MOVIE"

Juror #5 (Jack Klugman, the man from the slum): "What else to say? I second the idea that it's a powerful drama demonstrating how prejudices poison the heart of our civilization, and I believe this is one of the few films that should be screened everywhere in the world as a powerful lesson for tolerance. My verdict is: GREAT MOVIE"

Juror #6 (Edward Binns, painter): "A movie that younger and future generations should watch and respect. These are movies with no special effects, no big-star cast, no big explosions, no flashy cars and no sexy girls. You have a honest, simple movie featuring ordinary men, but the result is so impacting it should be appreciated by any movie lover, regardless of his or her age. Anyway, GREAT MOVIE"

Juror #7 (Jack Warden, salesman): "Come on, everyone is using big words and noble concepts, but for me, this movie is just damn entertaining. Hey admit it, the dialogs, the way opposite characters interact, create a lot of anxiety but is also very fun to watch, sometimes, well … I think you can say anything, but without entertainment, a film is worthless, and the movie could've been a bore, just all talk and no walk, but it wasn't, it worked for me ... GREAT MOVIE"

Juror #8 (Henry Fonda, architect): "This movie invites us to explore our convictions and question the way they influence our judgments. Justice is done by men, blindly and implacably, this is why punishment must be beyond any doubt, and when you have what appears to be an open-and-shut case that progressively reveals some flaws as we go deeper in the subject, well, this says a lot about the negative impact of subjectivity when it comes to justice, and how we should be careful about the consequences of our thoughts, our words, our acts. "12 Angry Men" is a humanistic inspiration for those who have faith in justice. GREAT MOVIE"

Juror #9 (Joseph Sweeney, retired): "This is a fantastic character study illustrating how convincingness is often driven by the personality. It's an incredible illustration of the way a few people can monopolize the talk and how a silent majority is eager to follow the ones who aggressively express their thoughts, and the courage it takes to be the lone dissenter and how using a constructive, polite and logical answer can destroy something taken for granted. While watching "12 Angry Men" I understood that a consensus, when rapidly built, means that the truth must be elsewhere. And one truth for sure, this is a GREAT MOVIE"

Juror #10 (Ed Begley, garage owner): "I hate the patronizing way some left-wing good-hearted people adore this film, this has nothing to do with politics, truth or justice, it's about manipulation of your thoughts by pushing the right emotional button … you missed the point, and that's the beauty of the film, you're all easily fooled. Not for the reasons you think, but it's a GREAT MOVIE"

Juror #11 (Joseph Voskovek, watchmaker): "No need to be American to appreciate the beauty of this film, it's about our deepest convictions. It's about the humanistic concept of reasonable doubt which can save even a guilty soul ... because life is valuable and justice is not vengeance. GREAT MOVIE"

Juror #12 (Robert Webber, advertising executive): "Wow, what I can say, it's not an exact science you know … you can find a reason A to appreciate it, a reason B or C … let's just say that the 'sigma' of these reasons, explains why it's an incredible film and as my fellow jurors said, why "12 Angry Men" is a GREAT MOVIE"
Wonderful character portrayals, but too preachy
Henry Fonda is the star here, but the other roles are filled by legendary character actors. To see Lee Cobb, Jack Klugman, Jack Warden, and Ed Begley all doing there thing at the same time is a joy. My main problem with the movie is that it is soooo preachy. The scene is painted in black and white, there are few shades of gray. Most of the character are stereotypes-- ie, the bigot, the bully, the nerd, the immigrant, the glad-handing but uncaring salesman, etc. It is a tribute to the fine actors that they bring such one-dimensional characters to life. And shining through it all is the oh so good man who has right, justice, and the American way on his side. The self-righteousness is a bit cloying, and I almost expect Fonda to have a halo over his head. That being said, it is enjoyable for the acting and a must see for those who have missed it so far.
12 Angry Men, 1 Happy Me
I rarely say a film is perfect, but this one just might. If you haven't seen it yet, turn off your laptop or whatever, go to the nearest store that sells DVDs (I have no idea if it exists in BluRay) and buy it (downloading is bad !). Then, sit on your freaking couch and watch the darn film ! (Or whatever, just see it ASAP).

This "huis-clos" is absolutely brilliant ! The acting's great, the plot is smart, the characters' portraits throughout the movie are very interesting (mostly because they're all different).

I have waited a long time before seeing it, never quite finding the motivation to do so. I really can't explain why ! Maybe partly because I was afraid it would have aged too much... but I was entirely wrong.

I had seen a play with the same plot, and loved it as well. I'm glad I finally watched the film, and I invite you to do the same !
12 Angry Men
One of the all time classics! The story is about 12 jury members in a room for about 90 minutes (real time) to decide the open and shut case of a young boy of 18 years killing his father. There are 11 votes confirming guilty and 1 for not-guilty. The whole movie is about how the 12 votes finally reach 11 confirming non-guilty and 1 for guilty, until the last one too gives in to an anonymous verdict that the boy is not guilty of his father's murder.

The movie was delicately presented. As audience we find that the case that was to be fought in the court-room was fought among the jurors. Each and every juror was aware of all the facts of the case and everyone was on the same page, except one – Juror no. 8 (Henry Ford). The movie explores the value of one life on looking minutely at the known events and unfolding them in better light for audience to understand and know that what seems truth often is not – if you look closely at it.

The movie is shot in a single room that is hot, humid and sweaty – and halfway through it starts raining outside. The enigma of the 12 jurors, the ding-dong dallying between guilty and not-guilty, the peeling of the case layer by layer with new discussions crossing personal experiences and relation to the case was fascinating to watch.

Henry Ford acts with such anxiousness that you are bitten by his conviction of not-guilty the moment he speaks his doubts by saying – I do not know, I am not sure. That starts the mastery roller-coaster to a finale that is hard to take the eyes off.

The Director Sidney Lumet does a fantastic job in I think (most probably) converting this stage drama into big screen canvass with eminent 12 actors. All of them have acted poignantly well in their well written characters and mannerisms. One can see their upbringings while they talk and that is marvelous.

Wonderful movie, normally I hesitate to give movies more than 8 stars, but for this I will give (Stars 8.25 out of 10)
"You don't really mean you'll kill me, do you?"
A pure, simple, undeniable classic. This movie is a thoughtful, well shot, amazingly scripted, fantastically acted masterpiece. Even though the word masterpiece is often over-used (like genius) it certainly, and without dispute applies in this case. Sidney Lumet's directing is top-notch, and Henry Fonda is the still turning point of this small, microcosmic little world - his role has to be one of the most finely acted ever committed to film.

Set in an actual New York jury room, it's a claustrophobic, tightly confined set, where 12 very different men deliberate over the guilt of a young boy. Their prejudices, morals and personalities are thrown together and, sometimes violently, clash. Along with a great parallel commentary from the weather (at the beginning of the film, it's a stuffy, oppressive sweatbox, which becomes sidelined by a dark, stormy maelstrom outside the jury room) this is a fantastic film. You'd never think there were so many angles you could get from one single, uncomfortably confining room. Sidney Lumet's directing is amazing, as Fonda's chain-smkoing, softly spoken moralistic character could have been played so much darker; he manages to turn everyone around, slowly but surely, almost effortlessly converting even the most staunchly opposed and stoic juror - but he's not manipulative, sly or underhanded about it. He simply presents what is - he's the pure voice of reason, and he has some cracking lines. The other jurors are great, too. I'm sure we all know someone who fidgets through something important because they've got a football game starting in ten minutes - they all highlight broad generalisations of very human characters. I defy anyone not to find a character that illustrates someone they know in this motley crue. Except maybe Fonda - I don't know anyone cooler than this guy.
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