Great Movie Moments: ’12 Angry Men’ – Turn Your Back
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. The seemingly open-and-shut first-degree murder trial, lasting six days, is one that 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’. It is soon evident that the majority of the men regard the assignment as a chore. To most of them, it is an open and shut case. The boy is guilty and they demand a quick vote. 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 the guilt of the troubled slum-dwelling Puerto Rican. 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 great direction. Here is perhaps the film’s best scene. Enjoy!