12 Angry Men (1957)
My favourite casts in 12 Angry Men was Juror 8, who was played by Henry Fonda. He is one brave juror who voted 'not guilty' at the start of the deliberations because of his reasonable doubt. His role was firm and persuasive, he forces the other men to slowly reconsider and review the shaky murder case and eyewitness testimony against the endangered defendant.
My favourite scene was when Juror 4 do not believe the boy’s alibi that he was at the movies while the murder was taking place as the boy could not remember the title of the movie and the actors in it. Then, Juror 8 stated that it was due to the boy being devastated that the father was murdered that caused him to forget. Next, Juror 8 did a test on Juror 4 on the events that happened on previous days and he had difficulty doing so. Juror 8 then said that Juror 4 had no reason to face difficulty as he had not ...view middle of the document...
"Juror 8: Look, this kid's been kicked around all of his life. You know, born in a slum. Mother dead since he was nine. He lived for a year and a half in an orphanage when his father was serving a jail term for forgery. That's not a very happy beginning. He's a wild, angry kid, and that's all he's ever been. And you know why, because he's been hit on the head by somebody once a day, every day. He's had a pretty miserable eighteen years. I just think we owe him a few words, that's all."
From this dialogue, it made me pity the boy and also, respect Juror 8. This is because, this dialogue shows that the boy has a poor background and his struggles in life. And after all he has been through, the other Jurors are being stereotype toward him and accusing him of a crime just because he has a poor background. Also, for Juror 8, I respect him because, he understands the boy and doesn’t judge the boy based on his background like the other jurors.
The main setting of the location in the film was in a small private room where all the jurors gathered together to decide whether the boy is guilty of murder. In addition, the set-up of cameras were in different angles and close-ups to capture the juror's discussions and arguments. Thus, the audiences would have a clearer view of discussions.
This classic, black and white film has been accused of being stagey, static and dialogue-laden. It also has no flashbacks, narration, or subtitles. The camera is essentially locked in the enclosed room with the deliberating jurors for 90 of the film's 95 minutes, and the film is basically shot in real-time in an actual jury room.
Cinematographer Boris Kaufman, who had already demonstrated his on-location film-making skill in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront (1954) in Hoboken, and Baby Doll (1956) in Mississippi, uses diverse camera angles (a few dramatic, grotesque close-ups and mostly well-composed medium-shots) to illuminate and energize the film's cramped proceedings. Except for Henry Fonda, the ensemble character actors were chosen for their experience in the burgeoning art of television.