12 Angry Men [Criterion Collection]

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aec.crrn2092dvd 11/22/11 New
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Synopsis

A Puerto Rican youth is on trial for murder, accused of knifing his father to death. The twelve jurors retire to the jury room, having been admonished that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Eleven of the jurors vote for conviction, each for reasons of his own. The sole holdout is Juror #8, played by Henry Fonda. As Fonda persuades the weary jurors to re-examine the evidence, we learn the backstory of each man. Juror #3 (Lee J. Cobb), a bullying self-made man, has estranged himself from his own son. Juror #7 (Jack Warden) has an ingrained mistrust of foreigners; so, to a lesser extent, does Juror #6 (Edward Binns). Jurors #10 (Ed Begley) and #11 (George Voskovec), so certain of the infallibility of the Law, assume that if the boy was arrested, he must be guilty. Juror #4 (E.G. Marshall) is an advocate of dispassionate deductive reasoning. Juror #5 (Jack Klugman), like the defendant a product of "the streets," hopes that his guilty vote will distance himself from his past. Juror #12 (Robert Webber), an advertising man, doesn't understand anything that he can't package and market. And Jurors #1 (Martin Balsam), #2 (John Fiedler) and #9 (Joseph Sweeney), anxious not to make waves, "go with the flow." The excruciatingly hot day drags into an even hotter night; still, Fonda chips away at the guilty verdict, insisting that his fellow jurors bear in mind those words "reasonable doubt." A pet project of Henry Fonda's, Twelve Angry Men was his only foray into film production; the actor's partner in this venture was Reginald Rose, who wrote the 1954 television play on which the film was based. Carried over from the TV version was director Sidney Lumet, here making his feature-film debut. A flop when it first came out (surprisingly, since it cost almost nothing to make), Twelve Angry Men holds up beautifully when seen today. It was remade for television in 1997 by director William Friedkin with Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Product Details

Release Date
11/22/11 
Studio
MGM
MPAA Rating
NR -- Not rated
Length
1 hour, 36 minutes
Sound
  • Dolby Digital Mono
Region
  • USA & territories, Canada
Video Features
  • Frank Schaffner's 1955 television version, with an introduction by Ron Simon, curator at the Paley Center for Media
  • Production history of 12 Angry Men, from teleplay to big-screen classic
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Archival interviews with director Sidney Lament
  • New interview with screenwriter Walter Bernstein about Lumet
  • New interview with Simon about writer Reginal Rose
  • Tragedy in a Temporary Town (1956), a teleplay directed by Lumet and written by Rose
  • New interview with cinematographer John Bailey about director of photography Boris Kaufman
  • A booklet featuring an essay by writer and law professor Thane Rosenbaum
Number of Discs
2

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