Hear ye, hear ye...As blogger of this blog, I declare that Friday will officially be known in these parts as FILM FRIDAY. All herald Film Friday.
Ahem. Excuse my little pomp and ceremony this morning. But I have noticed that even though this blog is indeed named Vintage Film, and although films are probably my biggest passion, I have hardly mentioned them at all. So - to quote the legendary Mr Cooke - a change is gonna come.
Every Friday I will dedicate a little space to a "classic" film. If you already know the film, then I hope you will enjoy the discussion. If you've never heard of the movie, then get on to netflix and pop this into your queue. Many of the films I will discuss have been with me every step of the way out of childhood and into...well...the present.
Without any further ado, I present to you....Twelve Angry Men (1957).
Synopsis:- A young Spanish-American boy is on trial for the murder of his father. The jury of twelve men are sent into a room to deliberate and come to an agreement on a verdict. Eleven men are convinced he is guilty, but one man (Henry Fonda) has room for reasonable doubt. What originally appeared as an open and shut case becomes a struggle to overcome each juror's prejudices and misconceptions and record a fair verdict.
Apart from the opening and closing sequences, the entire film takes place in one room. But please, don't let this put you off. At no point during this film will you feel bored, or fidgety, or thinking about your next cup of tea. The director (Sidney Lumet) does an amazing job of keeping the drama tight and the audience riveted, and Henry Fonda plays Juror no. 8 with sincere passion and conviction. The remaining cast is made up of many big-wigs from the Hollywood of the era, including Martin Balsam, Lee J. Cobb and E.J. Marshall, and they all deserve a mention.
This film is fantastic. A fine example of the "black and white" movie which I have lent to many dubious friends and had returned with rave reviews. Each juror represents a different point of view often found in society, and all but two are identified by their juror numbers and profession: #1 High School Football Coach, #2 Bank Teller, #3 Owns Messenger Service, #4 Stock Broker, #6 Painter, #7 Salesman, #8 Architect, #10 Garage Owner, #11 Watch Maker, and #12 Advertising Exec. The script is skillful at gradually peeling away layers to reveal each juror's true feelings and prejudices, until they are left with very little evidence and a great deal of doubt.
Trivia: Henry Fonda disliked watching himself on film, so he did not watch the whole film in the projection room. But before he walked out, he said quietly to the director, Sidney Lumet, "Sidney, it's magnificent."
I recommend you see this movie and guarantee you will love it. It was remade in the nineties (what a surprise) but don't let that put you off. It's films like these which are why I love the movies.
Do you love this movie?
Do you hate this movie?
Do you want to know more about this movie?
Do you - ?
The jury wants to know.