Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Review: 12 Angry Men (1957)

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Sometimes, I have no many movies in my mind that I want to watch all at once that I can’t decide on just one. Time is so short! One particular night, I wanted to watch something I could guarantee would be good, and so that’s when I turn to IMDB’s Top 250 list. Within moments I spotted a movie that I had read about that very day on Darren’s blog, Movie Reviews 101, and so, deciding fate led me there, I sat and watched 12 Angry Men (1957).

12 Angry Man is a courtroom drama on a tiny scale. The movie begins with the 12 members of the jury leaving the courtroom to decide a young man’s fate, and from there, the whole movie is based on how these 12 men come to a unanimous decision. If found guilty, the man will be sentenced to death. At first vote, the jury stand 11-1 in favour of guilty, and so the man’s fate relies on Juror #8 (Henry Fonda) as he attempts to convince the rest of the group to change their minds.

I have to admit, I’m feeling like a bit of a sham of a movie blogger again. This marks my 3rd black and white movie ever, and despite reading the phrase ‘star-studded cast’ in descriptions about 12 Angry Men, the only name I recognise is Henry Fonda...sorry! Sign me up to some historical movie class, please, because I’m so out of my depth here. I didn’t let this affect my enjoyment of the movie, however. In fact, if anything I got to enjoy it without having any preconceptions about any of the actors!

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I’ve had to sleep on my thoughts before writing a review, my head was so full of conflicting thoughts. This is so different to the types of movies I usually watch, and so it would be easy for me write this off. I don’t know what I was expecting in all honesty, and I initially felt disappointed that there wasn’t a more conclusive ending. But then I realised, that’s the whole point, and in fact, that’s what makes 12 Angry Men so interesting!

The performances by everyone were so great. Their heated debates were intimidating to watch, and the moment that Juror #8 and Juror #4 (was it 4? Sorry if that’s wrong) nearly fought over a fact before Juror #4 uttered that specific phrase was probably my favourite moment in the entire movie. 

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It’s quite amazing how such a simple story can hook you in. As these 12 men debated the facts presented and started picking apart each detail, I found myself switching sides constantly. In fact, one of the things I found most interesting is that message boards online even now are still debating the case! 

I’d really love to know what everyone else thinks. Guilty or not guilty? I’m still on the fence, leaning towards not guilty.


12 comments:

  1. Yes!!! Love this movie. And I'm so glad you did as well. For me, this is a movie that reaffirms my country's justice system. That we can do the right thing, if we just shut up, think, and listen. The way this film is shot is just brilliant. Black and white is the only way. Lumet does so much in such a small space and it's the light and shadow of that format that makes it work. I would love it if you read my Blind Spot piece on this one from last year. Here's the link: http://speaksinmovielines.blogspot.com/2015/05/blind-spot-2015-12-angry-men.html

    Great review!

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    1. I was just amazed at how gripping this was! Seriously so glad I watched it. I'm just about to check out your post now! :)
      - Allie

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  2. Isn't it great? I love this movie. The closed setting, the heat, the intensity, the performances - at all works together so well!

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    1. I can't even explain in words how tense I was throughout this movie, it was brilliant!
      - Allie

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    1. It's like nothing I've ever seen before, it's so simple but so effective :)
      - Allie

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  4. It's a phenomenal movie. Glad you enjoyed it. The performances are spectacular and Lumet uses his camera to claustrophobic effect. One of my all-time faves.

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    1. You know, I didn't pick up on the camera work until I read about it afterwards, and it just made perfect sense. It's up there with my all time faves too now :)
      - Allie

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  5. Great review of one of my all-time favorite films! Now, in terms of the case, the most important phrase in the American justice system is "beyond a reasonable doubt." I'm not sure if the kid in the film did the crime, but I'm certain that I have doubts that he did. And if you're a juror, and you have even the slightest shred of doubt, then, by law, you have to choose not guilty.

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    1. It was just fascinating from start to finish, I couldn't get over how hooked I was!
      - Allie

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  6. I is fantastic movie. After watching movie, you can say that "OLD is Gold".

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    1. I'm definitely starting to think that way :)
      - Allie

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