12 Angry Men, by Sidney Lumet, may be the most radical big-screen courtroom drama in cinema history. A behind-closed-doors look at the American legal system as riveting as it is spare, the iconic adaptation of Reginald Rose’s teleplay stars Henry Fonda as the initially dissenting member of a jury of white men ready to pass judgment on a Puerto Rican teenager charged with murdering his father. What results is a saga of epic proportions that plays out in real time over ninety minutes in one sweltering room. Lumet’s electrifying snapshot of 1950s America on the verge of change is one of the great feature-film debuts. –The Criterion Collection
Sidney Lumet (born June 25, 1924) is an American film director, with over 50 films to his name, including 12 Angry Men (1957), Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976) and The Verdict (1982), all of which, except for Serpico (1973), earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Director.
According to The Encyclopedia of Hollywood, Lumet is one of the most prolific directors of the modern era making more than one movie per year on average since his directorial debut in 1957. He is especially noted for his ability to draw major actors to his projects. “Because of his visual economy, strong direction of actors, vigorous storytelling and use of the camera to accent themes,” states Turner Classic Movies. “Lumet produced a body of work that could only be defined as extraordinary.”
One of his steady themes during his career has been the “fragility of justice and the police and their corruption,” according to Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film. He can deliver… read more
The dangers of a one-location conversation-heavy film are obvious: why make a movie when something can be told in prose? Sidney Lumet and company show that cinema can make a simple concept entirely captivating by controlling how the viewer experiences each moment. Kaufman's cinematography exhibits the claustrophobia and intensity perfectly, and the changes in each character are elegantly explored.
Also: A great roundup on Ivan Zulueta and a good long chat with Francis Ford Coppola.
Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men is a testament to the power of great dialogue. Virtually the entire movie is confined to a jury room in a New York courthouse. All the action revolves around twelve men… read review
Doce hombres están encerrados en una habitación, su única responsabilidad es decidir si un adolescente es culpable o inocente de haber matado a su padre en el día más caluroso de todo el verano, ésa… read review
What a movie! A real masterpiece with an remarkable plot arch and riveting performances. This is a movie with such a richness of character that you won’t even feel that 90 minutes have passed. An impressive… read review