12 Angry Men (1997)


12-angry-men-1997-39235“Facts may be coated by the personalities of the people who present them. Let’s not forget that. ” – Juror #11

Number of Times Seen – 2 (Cable in ’97 and 11 Sep 2016)

Brief Synopsis – The inner workings of the US judicial process is examined when a group of 12 jurist must debate and decide the fate of an accused murderer.

My Take on it – I have always been a fan of the original movie from 1957, but they do an amazing job here with the way they adapted and updated this play to slightly more modern times.

The cast is superb and I personally recognize each and every one of the twelve actor chosen for this adaptation.

Courtney B. Vance, Ossie Davis, George C. Scott, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Darion Harewood, James Gandolfini, Tony Danza, Jack Lemmon, Hume Cronyn, Mykelti Williamson, Edward James Olmos and William Petersen all play their respective roles exceptionally well.

Scott won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe as Best Supporting actor for this role and Lemmon was nominated for both as the lead actor but lost each of them.

In a historic and emotional moment, the winner of the Golden Glob that year, Ving Rhames called Lemmon up onto the stage and gave him his statue because he felt that Lemmon deserved it more than he did.

You don’t see that kind of thing often and I can proudly say that I watched that happen live back in 1998.

The dialogue here is so rich that we are really able to visualize the courtroom scenes and the crime based solely on the descriptive dialogue between all of the characters.

Some may claim (myself included) that there isn’t really a reason to remake such a classic, but the fact that they did and were able to update and adapt it slightly shows how timeless such a story really is.

It may not be as good as the original, but it comes awfully close.

Bottom Line – Excellent adaptation of the original play that proves how timely such a story really is. Amazing cast of actors tackle this drama and each and everyone of them does a superb job. Scott won and Emmy and Globe fir this and Lemmon was nominated for both.  Having watched the Lemmon and Rhames live was really an emotional high point in the movie-making industry.  This remake wasn’t necessary but it still was able to flourish and bring life into such an amazing and complex storyline. I still prefer the original which is still slightly better. Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Screenwriter Reginald Rose updated his own 43-year-old teleplay, racially integrating the cast of jurors for the first time. When asked in an interview why he didn’t cast some of the jurors as women, he jokingly (but accurately) quipped, “Then the title would have to be changed to ’12 Angry Persons,’ and it wouldn’t be as effective.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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10 thoughts on “12 Angry Men (1997)

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