A Life In Their Hands.
When you talk about Classic Films you have to add Sidney Lumet‘s (Dog Day Afternoon, Murder on the Orient Express, The Hill, The Iceman Cometh) 12 Angry Men to that list and it has to be arguably near the top of that list. The Criterion Collection has taken this Classic and given it their star treatment, bringing you the high-definition edition of ninety minutes of a man’s life in twelve hands.
Now the jury has adjourned to deliberate on the evidence and come up with a unanimous decision of guilty or not-guilty.
It seems an open and shut case, of guilty in the first degree and Juror 3 (Lee J. Cobb,The Exorcist), a very angry man, wants to get things started, so the foreman, Juror 1 (Martin Balsam, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Psycho) puts it to a vote. The folded cards come back and he starts to read them out. Guilty after guilty until the last one, ‘not guilty‘.
Now the arguments begin. Who is the dissenter? Juror 8 (Henry Fonda, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Longest Day) has reasonable doubt about the evidence against the suspect. This causes an uproar from Juror 3 and Juror 7 (Jack Warden, All the President’s Men) who is more interested in getting to the ball game tonight.
Juror 12 (Robert Webber, The Dirty Dozen, Private Benjamin) suggests that the other eleven should convince Juror 8 of the error of his judgement. Juror 2 (John Fielder, The Odd Couple) thinks he is guilty because there was an eye witness across the road. They claim there are three facts. He was seen killing his father, seen running down the stairs immediately afterwards and his alibi doesn’t hold up. Juror 5 (Jack Klugman, Quincy M.E., Days of Wine and Roses) is a quiet man that grew up in a similar slum as the accused, so he knows a thing or two about surviving on the streets at night in a big city.
Through all this anger and shouting Juror 8 keeps the steady voice of reason, as he pulls apart the prosecution’s evidence, but can he convince eleven true men?
“Blistering post-courtroom drama.”
SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Frank Schaffner’s 1955 teleplay of 12 Angry Men, from the series.
Studio One, featuring an introduction by Ron Simon, curator at the Paley Center for Media. Production history of 12 Angry Men, from teleplay to big-screen classic.
Archival interviews with director Sidney Lumet.
New interview with screenwriter Walter Bernstein about Lumet.
New interview with Simon about writer Reginald Rose.
Tragedy in a Temporary Town (1956), a teleplay directed by Lumet and written by Rose.
New interview with cinematographer John Bailey about director of
photography Boris Kaufman.
Original theatrical trailer.
PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by writer and law professor Thane Rosenbaum.