12 Angry Men

D: Sidney Lumet
United Artists/Orion-Nova (Henry Fonda & Reginald Rose)
US 1957
95 mins


W: Reginald Rose [based on his play]
DP: Boris Kaufman
Ed: Carl Lerner
Mus: Kenyon Hopkins

Henry Fonda (Juror #8), Martin Balsam (#1), John Fiedler (#2), Lee J. Cobb (#3), E.G. Marshall (#4), Jack Klugman (#5), Edward Binns (#6), Jack Warden (#7), Joseph Sweeney (#9), Ed Begley (#10), George Vaskovec (#11), Robert Webber (#12)

Based on the stage play of the same name, this is quite easily the finest courtroom drama ever made. 
In a deliberation room, the dozen (unnamed) members of a jury are about to give a guilty verdict in a murder case, but are one-by-one convinced otherwise by a doubting jury member, who goes through each piece of evidence to prove reasonable doubt and save the defendant from being handed a death sentence.
It's clear that the story had stage play roots, bound to a single set this is very much an actor's piece, with each member of the ensemble delivering a solid performance, especially Henry Fonda as the juror making his lone stand and Lee J. Cobb as a bigoted jury member gunning for some vengeance for his personal issues.
A remake was made for TV with Jack Lemmon in the lead, and despite having some good performances, it can't compare to this original- a true classic of cinema.

12 Angry Men
12 Angry Men