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Plot, Details & Awards

12 Angry Men

(1957)
Not Rated In Theaters 04/13/1957 , 95min.
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Plot & Details

A Puerto Rican youth is on trial for murder, accused of knifing his father to death. The twelve jurors retire to the jury room, having been admonished that the defendant is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Eleven of the jurors vote for conviction, each for reasons of his own. The sole holdout is Juror #8, played by Henry Fonda. As Fonda persuades the weary jurors to re-examine the evidence, we learn the backstory of each man. Juror #3 (Lee J. Cobb), a bullying self-made man, has estranged himself from his own son. Juror #7 (Jack Warden) has an ingrained mistrust of foreigners; so, to a lesser extent, does Juror #6 (Edward Binns). Jurors #10 (Ed Begley) and #11 (George Voskovec), so certain of the infallibility of the Law, assume that if the boy was arrested, he must be guilty. Juror #4 (E.G. Marshall) is an advocate of dispassionate deductive reasoning. Juror #5 (Jack Klugman), like the defendant a product of "the streets," hopes that his guilty vote will distance himself from his past. Juror #12 (Robert Webber), an advertising man, doesn't understand anything that he can't package and market. And Jurors #1 (Martin Balsam), #2 (John Fiedler) and #9 (Joseph Sweeney), anxious not to make waves, "go with the flow." The excruciatingly hot day drags into an even hotter night; still, Fonda chips away at the guilty verdict, insisting that his fellow jurors bear in mind those words "reasonable doubt." A pet project of Henry Fonda's, Twelve Angry Men was his only foray into film production; the actor's partner in this venture was Reginald Rose, who wrote the 1954 television play on which the film was based. Carried over from the TV version was director Sidney Lumet, here making his feature-film debut. A flop when it first came out (surprisingly, since it cost almost nothing to make), Twelve Angry Men holds up beautifully when seen today. It was remade for television in 1997 by director William Friedkin with Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1957 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Adapted Screenplay Reginald Rose Nominated
1957 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Director Sidney Lumet Nominated
1957 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture Reginald Rose Nominated
1957 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture Henry Fonda Nominated

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1957 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Foreign Actor Henry Fonda Won
1957 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Film - Any Source Sidney Lumet Nominated

Golden Globes

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1957 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture Lee J. Cobb Nominated
1957 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Picture - Drama Nominated
1957 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Director Sidney Lumet Nominated
1957 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama Henry Fonda Nominated

Berlin International Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1957 Berlin International Film Festival Golden Bear Won

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1957 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Foreign Actor Henry Fonda Won
1957 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Film - Any Source Sidney Lumet Nominated

Directors Guild of America

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1957 Directors Guild of America Best Director Sidney Lumet Nominated

Edgar Allan Poe Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1957 Edgar Allan Poe Awards Best Screenplay Reginald Rose Won

National Board of Review

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1957 National Board of Review Best Picture Nominated
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