“Bright? He’s a common ignorant slob. He don’t even speak good English.” – Juror #10
“[who has a foreign accent] He *doesn’t* speak good English.” – Juror #11
Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (Video, DVD, 28 May 2013, 20 Aug 2015 and 20 Aug 2019)
Brief Synopsis – 12 members of a Jury are deadlocked as to whether the defendant inn their case is guilty or not of murder after one of them believes the possibility that he could be innocent.
My Take on it – This is one of my all time favorite films and I’ve seen it too many times to try and count.
It works so well on numerous levels and they find a way to dive deeply into the psychology of people and how they perceive things.
Here we are given 12 people who each have different opinions and personalities and they are all placed in a room in order to debate the facts of a crime and its trial and their discussions lead to even more debates over the veracity of the evidence and testimonies.
This film works so well due to the amazing script that is able to thoroughly dissect the events of a trial that we never get to see and must recreate in our minds based solely on the dialogue spoken by these characters.
The story is shown from various angles and even after so much discussions about the events as presented things never seem to repeat themselves at all which is amazing.
The cats of the film is superbly chosen and each is able to give their character a distinct personality and use distinct gestures, inflection in their voices or even just by their movements, but any seasoned actor could portray these characters and it would work because the characters and story are written so thoroughly.
The fact that the 12 men chosen for these characters are all famous helps make the story feel even more impactful because of their presence alone.
The movie is able to leave the viewer with so much to ponder for days after watching since the debates and discussions about right and wring here are so poignant yet they also never give us any concrete evidence that these men are right or wrong in their interpretations of the events described.
The overall premise of this film has been copied so many times in the 62 years since it was made yet none of them have been able to achieve the high impact level that this film is able to in the way it’s presented to us.
The story itself is timeless and this same debate could take place in 2019 as it could in 1957 without any changes which makes it so relevant as a character study and a look at the judicial system.
Bottom Line – Amazing film that finds a way to go deep into the psychology of people and gives us such a thrilling debate that is presented as a discussion or debate. The main reason that this film works so well is due to the amazing script that is able to give us such a thorough look at the story from so many different angles without the feeling that it is being repetitious at all. The cast is superbly chosen, but as numerous remakes of this film have proven, it definitely helps to have talented actors portray these characters, but it’s the script that essentially makes things work so superbly. The 12 actors chosen to portray these characters in this version are all amazing here and the fact that they are all famous actors helps make things even more impactful because they each create a perfect persona for their particular character whether is be via gestures or inflections or perhaps just due to their presence. This film leaves the viewer with so much to debate about right and wring and essentially whether the actions of these men are right or wrong because we know the debate that they deal with is all about the possibility yet we never are given concrete proof either way. This film’s premise has been copied often over the years, but none of them are able to come close to matching the story presented to us here. It’s such a timeless story that even after more than 60 years, the story still feels relevant and works as if it were taking place right now. Highly Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – This film is commonly used in business schools and workshops to illustrate team dynamics and conflict resolution techniques. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)
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