Studio One - Twelve Angry Men
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Technically, the program isn't perfect. At times the camera can't keep up with the action. A good example is the twin switchblade sequence. We miss the first knife being jabbed into the juryroom table; the camera dollies to get a clear shot as Bob Cummings drops the second blade beside it. We see only his arm movement, then a pan down to reveal both knives standing in place.
Pacing is also hurried compared to the 1957 feature film, which has an extra hour to explore the case and jurors. For a live braodcast however, this is quite impressive, flaws and all.
"12 Angry Men" is a still relevant study of what is potentially the weakest link in the American justice system: the jury. Although charged by a judge to retire for deliberations with an open mind, as this broadcast shows, most enter that jury room already decided on a defendant's guilt or innocence. As we see here, an individual's background, history and prejudices often hinder the ability to consider any evidence but those pieces supporting his own preconceived conclusions.
Thus, once the door is locked behind them, eleven men on this "unbiased" panel immediately declare a young minority defendant guilty of murdering his father. One lone juror holds out, believing that some discussion is necessary before sending a man to his death.Read more ›
Henry Fonda's version.
Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, a veteran of STUDIO ONE who would subsequently carve out a film career, this TWELVE ANGRY MEN brings out the claustrophobic surroundings of the jury-room. All twelve jurors are cooped up in a confined space on a hot evening, unable to escape until they have made a decision. They do not know one another, but they are expected to work as a team to reach a unanimous verdict. The sheer strain of reaching consensus proves too much for them; through an intelligent use of closeups focusing on the jurors' expressions, Schaffner makes us aware of just how stressed they actually are. Hence it comes as no surprise to find them continually moving around the confined space - sitting down, standing up, walking around in circles, moving towards and away from the camera, and finding a brief refuge at the back of the room near the door. Schaffner's camera tracks them; it's clear that he will never give the actors any respite from its penetrating lens.
The play as a whole has distinct religious echoes, with the twelve disciples of justice sitting round a long wooden table pronouncing judgment. For juror #3, excellently played by Franchot Tone, anyone voting against the decision is a Judas, as they have willfully ignored what would appear to be clear evidence to the contrary.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great movie, great message, hits on so many themes (stereotyping, prejudice, critical thinking, assumptions, judicial system, etc.). Every person should watch this film.Published 1 month ago by Charleen Earley
I ordered the wrong one. This is the original, I wantwd the one with Henry Fonda so I ended up buying that one as well :/Published 18 months ago by D. Plummer