12 Angry Men

The Top 63 Marathon, part 57 (#7)

Title: 12 Angry Men
Year: 1957
Length: 96 minutes
Director: Sidney Lumet
Writer: Reginald Rose
Starring: Henry Fonda, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Jack Warden, Joseph Sweeney, Ed Begley, George Voskovec, Robert Webber
Music: Kenyon Hopkins
Distinctions: Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay; currently #8 on the IMDb’s Top 250

My reaction
Synopsis: jurors deliberate on a murder trial with mandatory death penalty
How I saw it: on video (rented from Netflix), yesterday
Concept: Great.
Story: Great.
Characters: Great.
Dialog: Great.
Pacing: Great. Nothing but a bunch of guys talking to each other, and you’re on the edge of your seat.
Cinematography: Great.
Special effects/design: Good.
Acting: Great.
Music: Indifferent. It’s good music, but every time it cuts in (which is not often) is an unwelcome intrusion.
Subjective Rating: 8/10 (Great). I say “nothing but a bunch of guys talking to each other,” but honestly, I can’t think of anything I’d rather see in a movie than really gripping conversation. I don’t know if it’s hard to pull off, or if it’s just hard to sell, but it’s a shame there aren’t more movies like this.
Objective Rating: 3.7/4 (Great).


4 Responses to 12 Angry Men

  1. Dave Bailey says:

    Really interesting way of reviewing films – I like it!

    I have to say, 12 Angry Men was my favourite film for a long time. I held off watching because the premise sounded a bit…dull, but when I finally watched it, I was completely gripped. Great movie.

    I don’t know if you know, but Sidney Lumet also directed Dog Day Afternoon, a really good Al Pacino bank heist movie. It’s really good, I think you’d like it.

  2. Dave Bailey says:

    In that case, you should definitely check out Serpico. Not sure what year it was, but I think it was 73. Another Pacino one, where he plays an undercover cop who is under pressure because you refuses to take bribes – cops and criminals won’t trust him etc. Maybe not to the level of the three you’ve mentioned, but definitely worth checking out.

    • JOnKEnna says:

      What?!!!! Serpico is most certainly on a level with those movies. I think it is actually better than Dog Day… It is an astonishing film and one of my faves of all time. Basically, we all agree that Lumet is the best.