During the hottest day of the year, a jury made up of 12 men has to decide the fate of a teenage boy who is accused of killing his father. What seems like an open-and-shut case turns into a first-degree murder trial, lasting six days, and one which requires a unanimous verdict for the accused to get sentenced to the electric chair. Sidney Lumet’s feature directorial debut is a brilliant courtroom drama, that stresses the importance of taking into account the question of ‘reasonable doubt’. On the first ballot it is 11 to 1 for a conviction. Henry Fonda , the lone holdout, spends the remainder of the film trying to convince his 11 colleagues to reconsider their decision and give the troubled slum-dwelling boy a chance. Based on the play by Reginald Rose (who also wrote the screenplay), 12 Angry Men is a brilliant courtroom drama whose strength lies within the power of Rose’s words and Sidney Lumet’s direction. Here is perhaps the film’s best scene. Enjoy!
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