ft podcast episode: criterion #591: 12 angry men

November 27, 2013 § 2 Comments


In the latest Criterion discussion, Paul, Cameron and Dave get all hot and bothered for Sidney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men (1957).

Listen to this episode.

“Mack the Knife”
Michael Buble


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§ 2 Responses to ft podcast episode: criterion #591: 12 angry men

  • gruts4t says:

    Thanks for an interesting podcast on 12 Angry Men. Just to play devil’s advocate for a moment I would like to offer a brief “J’accuse!” to Juror number 8, Henry Fonda.
    I put it to you, members of the jury that Mr. Fonda didn’t care about the result, only winning. If the jury had been on the verge of aquitting, he would have argued the other way. You talked about the various venalities of the jurors but ignored his; pride. Halfway through the trial he, not for the first time in his life, looked at another man and thought “i”m better than him” In this case it was the Defence Council. He thought about how he would conduct the case and when he got into the jury room decided that was just what he was going to do. How else do you explain the way he withheld the knife until it could give him maximum dramatic impact? What other motive could there be than pride for the shameless gamble he took with the young man’s life when he made his pact with the jury to not vote himself and abide by their decisiion? Pure courtroom theatrics.

  • gruts4t says:

    Seriously though, I think if the film was reshot today, directors would be tempted to try a Rashamon style take on it. In the age in which we live that tends to be how lawyers see things anyway, competing narratives.
    By the way, have you seen the British comedian Tony Hancock’s take on the film? Fantastic! “Magna Carta, did she die for nothing?”
    I live in Japan, which in the last few years has introduced the jury to its legal system but only for certain types of crime and with “lay judges” on hand to help out in the deliberations. I wonder what they would have made of this case?

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