12 Angry Men
Going through the IMDb Top 250 list a couple of weeks ago, as you do, and this film was at number 5 or 6.
It’s from 1957, and is set almost entirely in a jury’s chamber, as one man tries to convince the rest of the jury that a murder case isn’t quite as cut and dry as they believe.
This is probably something that won’t get me a lot of views, but I had to just put out there how brilliant I thought it was so that other people might see this and watch the film.
I loved this film. It is so simple in how it’s set out. There are 12 men, cooped up in one room on a warm day, deciding whether or not a young man is to be sent to the chair.
The fan is broken, so everyone starts to get hot and flustered. Then Henry Fonda comes in saying that this apparently obvious case might not be so clear, and we see each man unravel to varying degrees as he keeps them there to convince them the man may not be guilty.
The camera angles used throughout the film get lower down and closer in as the film goes on, enhancing the effect of claustrophobia that is setting in on the men.
The thing I like best about this film is the fact it doesn’t try a huge swervey twist to trick us. It’s nice to sit through a film not thinking about whether everything you’re being made to feel and see is a way of throwing you off the actual meaning of the film.
Huge twists are one of my least favourite plot devices. I’m sure people disagree, but I can’t enjoy a film if I’m trying to second guess myself all the way through it.
Anyway, the cast of 12 Angry Men are all brilliant, a truly diverse group of people from all ends of the tracks, which makes for an entertaining array of dynamics.
Great film, dramatic and tense without huge set pieces and wild story swings.
Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack