Classic Film Guide

12 Angry Men (1957)

A fantastic courtroom drama, that plays out in real-time, which chronicles the deliberations of a jury initially convinced that the accused is guilty; it's anxious to convict him in time to get home for dinner. However, Juror #8 (Henry Fonda, AFI’s #28 hero) is not so sure and, playing devil's advocate, he plants the seeds of reasonable doubt in his fellow jurors' minds. An outstanding film by director Sidney Lumet (his feature film debut!) with an all star cast that includes Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Ed Begley, Jack Klugman, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, and George Voskovec (among others). Co-produced by Fonda and Reginald Rose, who wrote its story and screenplay, this essential film received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium. #88 on AFI’s 100 Most Heart-Pounding Movies list. #42 on AFI's 100 Most Inspiring Movies list.

Added to the National Film Registry in 2007.

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