Why it’s famous:
The film resonates as a dynamic, compelling, and absorbing drama about 12 jurors deciding the fate of an alleged murderer. In addition, the film offers a well-crafted and neatly presented commentary on prejudice, perception, and the unpredictability of the law. It offers a witty critique of the legal system, and a touching reminder of how an individual’s past can often affect their judgment and their perception more than you can imagine.
Juror #10: Bright? He’s a common ignorant slob. He don’t even speak good English.
Juror #11: He doesn’t even speak good English.
Juror #7: You a Yankee fan?
Juror #5: No, Baltimore.
Juror #7: Baltimore? That’s like being hit in the head with a crowbar once a day.
Why you haven’t seen it:
You started it, but figured you could probably predict the end five minutes into it, so you opted for a shameless afternoon binge-watching House of Cards.
Why it might be tough to get through:
The screen adaptation of 12 Angry Men is not one of those movies that will keep you awake with explosions and bright lights. Chances are you will probably snooze through part of it the first time, watch it again, and end up just getting really annoyed by bickering jury members.
Why you should see it anyway:
Halfway through the movie, you will realize what you snoozed through in the slow half is actually pretty important. As you rewind through the film trying to understand what happened while you zoned out to check BuzzFeed, you will find yourself suddenly hooked. As a matter of fact, you will be sitting at the edge of your seat shushing your fellow house-dwellers, because suddenly the annoying jurors became interesting.
This movie is commonly used in business schools and workshops to illustrate team dynamics and conflict resolution techniques. Due to the film’s low budget, there were certain filming techniques that had to stay the same. For example, if the lighting was set up for a shot that took place from one particular angle, all the shots from that same angle had to be filmed then and there. This meant that different sides of the same conversation were sometimes shot several weeks apart.