"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
aliens watch Bitter Moon movie
grapes of wrath psycho.
entertain classic movie !!.
sylvere watch 1941 movie
good suspence all trough the fim.
Goodwin watch Fraternity House movie
Great movie, Great drama. I feel this is one of the best movies from layer environment I have ever seen. It is the most known role of Jiří Voskovec (after his emigration to the US named George) - he escaped from Czechoslovakia before Nazis and did not went back to the communist Czechoslovakia after the World war II..
mgcraven watch D.A.R.Y.L. movie
if you like courtroom drama this is one of the best.
Excellent Movie.......must watch.
the word extraordinary is too mild a word for this movie. the movie is awesome.
LOVELY FILM GREAT MOVIE .
gratitudes for this great movie.
First of all, what a cast! Fonda doesn't seem like much of a New Yorker,
but the rest of the cast reads like a Who's Who in New York movies. All
them except Sweeney and Voscovek went on to lengthy careers in character
The plot comes from a TV show and is very tightly written. There's
wasted word or an unnecessary gesture. This has its drawbacks because it
imposes a dramatic frame on the characters and the development. There's
much sense of "real life" here. Everything fits together too neatly for
that. But if events follow earlier events with a logic that is a bit
obvious, it's forgivable because the screenplay is done so well. Like
"Stagecoach," it may be mechanical but it's as finely tuned as a good
Also more or less unavoidable in a short movie dealing with a dozen often
conflicting characters is the reduction in their complexity. Each is a
stereotype. They practically wear sweatshirts with logos on them. "I AM
SHALLOW AD MAN." "BORED MARMALADE SALESMAN HERE." "KICK ME, I AM AN
IGNORANT RACIST." They are capable of changing their opinions but they
only one side of their characters.
A third unfortunate quality in the script is that it is imbued with what
Wolfe referred to as "nostalgie de la bou" -- a kind of admiration for
lowbrow. Pauline Kael made the same observation back in the early 60s in
essay called "Fantasies of the Art House Audience." What it boils down
is a dislike of the middle-class. Fonda is an architect, a professional.
The other good guys in the movie are members of minority groups or
working stiffs with slum backgrounds. The two most repulsive villains
Begley and Lee J. Cobb) are self-made men who run their own successful
businesses. Begley has a line, something like, "I got ten factories
to pot while we're talkin' here." Cobb brags about how he built up his
delivery business starting out with nothing.
Okay. That gets pretty much all of the weaknesses out of the way. The
plusses outweigh the minuses by exactly two short tons. The acting is
almost impossible to improve upon, not surprisingly. It's unfair to
out Jack Warden and Martin Balsam for their performances but I'll do it
The photography, by Boris Kaufman, is perceptive and adds to the tension,
the feeling of claustrophobia. Especially memorable is the scene in
most of the jurors are standing together, there is a rumble of thunder,
a shadow falls gloomily over the group. It's a small touch but palpable.
Lumet manages to suggest New York City effectively in this crowded room,
practically the only set. (There is a shot at the end that is done on
steps of the real Courthouse.) Lumet's direction makes the most of his
actors' talents. The pauses in their arguments last just long enough for
to take a few breaths.
Rose's script avoids an easy ending. Yes, there is reasonable doubt
for the verdict to turn out as it does, but there is no dramatic
introduction of crucial evidence to demonstrate that the defendant is
innocent. Did he do it? We don't know. Suppose the kid actually did it
and gets away with it? Fonda is twice challenged on that point -- once
the table and once in the men's room -- and in neither instance does he
Overall, it's a marvelous movie, a lesson in acting, directing, writing,
shooting. The recent updated version has been made politically correct
is not an improvement over this original. See it if you have the chance..