Film of the Day: 12 Angry Men (1957)

12 Angry Men
Fonda stands strong against Lee J Cobb, wielding a knife. Photo: United Artists

The timeless jury-room drama in which Henry Fonda’s juror #8 attempts to convince a room of 11 to reassess their judgment on a defendant: a judgment that without Fonda, would guarantee the execution of the 18 year old boy at the bench.

Sidney Lumet’s film version of Reginald Rose’s stage play only occurs in one room, but it never gets boring. The performances of the star-studded ensemble remain some of the best pictures of greed, selfishness, indifference, and compassion ever put to film.

Rose, Lumet and the ensemble work together expertly, so that the viewer becomes intimately familiar with the 12 men, despite not knowing any of their names. It will shock, intrigue and leave you thinking long after the credits roll. 12 Angry Men simply does not age – catch it and you’ll never let it go.

92mins

12 Angry Men – Monday at 2.50pm on Film4

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