The first vote is 11-1 and boy, is everyone mad at Henry Fonda's character for being the lone holdout. He says that it is morally wrong (and illegal to, boot) to condemn a man to death while even one juror has a "reasonable doubt". Gradually, Fonda convinces every man on the jury of the defendant's innocence.
The movie was adapted by Reginald Rose from his story, and directed by Sidney Lumet; Boris Kaufman was the cinematographer.
The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Director, Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.
None of the characters in the film are given a name. They are all identified by juror numbers.
The film was shot in 19 days on a budget of $349,000. It starts with wider lenses above eye level; by the end of the film nearly everyone is shown in closeup using a long lens from a low angle. (Wider lenses give the appearance of greater distance between objects; longer lenses give the appearance of "shortening" distance, while at the same time decreasing depth of field.) Lumet states that his intention was to cause a nearly palpable claustrophobia; and by most accounts he succeeded.
The film was parodied on BBC television in an episode of Hancock's Half Hour, starring Tony Hancock and Sid James.
The screenplay had first been produced on television, on the program Studio One, in 1954. No complete kinescope of that performance has been found.
12 Angry Men was remade for television in 1997, starring George C. Scott, James Gandolfini, Tony Danza, and Jack Lemmon. In this remake, the accused is an Hispanic, while the judge is a woman.
|Juror #1, the jury foreman||Martin Balsam||Courtney B. Vance|
|Juror #2, the quiet bank clerk||John Fiedler||Ossie Davis|
|Juror #3, the angry father||Lee J. Cobb||George C. Scott|
|Juror #4, the rational stockbroker||E.G. Marshall||Armin Mueller-Stahl|
|Juror #5, the young man from the slums||Jack Klugman||Dorian Harewood|
|Juror #6, the painter||Ed Binns||James Gandolfini|
|Juror #7, the indifferent sports fan||Jack Warden||Tony Danza|
|Juror #8, the dissenter||Henry Fonda||Jack Lemmon|
|Juror #9, the observant old man||Joseph Sweeney||Hume Cronyn|
|Juror #10, the racist||Ed Begley||Mykelti Williamson|
|Juror #11, the immigrant watchmaker||George Voskovec||Edward James Olmos|
|Juror #12, the advertising executive||Robert Webber||William L. Petersen|