"12 Angry Men" is a compelling jury room drama with an outstanding cast. A boy of 18 is on trial for murder and Juror No. 8 (Henry Fonda) is the only one in the room to declare a verdict of "not guilty" while all the other 11 jurors vote "guilty". Fonda then has the unenviable task of trying to persuade the rest of the jurors to reconsider their verdicts. They go over the evidence carefully and Fonda points out some discrepancies in the prosecution case but will he get support from any of the others? Juror No. 3 (Lee J. Cobb) and Juror No. 10 (Ed Begley) are determined to see that the boy is found guilty and they do not intend to give in easily to Fonda's assessment of the case. This is a marvellous film with an impressive list of players. Just take a look at the cast for this film:- Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, Jack Klugman, Ed Begley, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden, John Fielder, Robert Webber and Edward Binns. What a line up!! They all gave impeccable performances - particularly Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb. Several of the other players were unknown at the time but have since gone on to become fine character actors. Expertly directed by Sidney Lumet the entire film takes place in a jury room in a New York court. Although mainly restricted to this one set the tension never lets up. Unfortunately, the film was not very successful at the box office upon its release but has since become a classic and is on many "top ten" lists. Henry Fonda regarded this as one of the best three films he had ever made. The film was shot in less than three weeks for a budget of only $350,000.
"12 Angry Men" was remade as a TV movie in colour in 1997 with Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott but for me this cannot compare in any way with the original.
Martin Balsam: "Eleven guilty - one not guilty. Well, now we know where we are".
Ed Begley: "Oh boy, there's always one".
Henry Fonda: "Well, there were eleven votes for guilty. It's not easy to raise my hand and send a boy off to die without talking about it first".
Lee J. Cobb: "When I was a kid I used to call my father "Sir". That's right - "Sir". You ever hear a kid call his father that anymore?".
Fonda (to Lee. J. Cobb): "Ever since you walked into this room you've been acting like a self appointed avenger".