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12 Angry Men (Criterion) (Blu-Ray)

Ed Begley , Henry Fonda , Sidney Lumet    Unrated   Blu-ray
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 42.99
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Product Description

Product Description

12 Angry Men, by Sidney Lumet (Network), may be the most radical big-screen courtroom drama in cinema history. A behind-closed-doors look at the American legal system as riveting as it is spare, the iconic adaptation of Reginald Rose’s teleplay stars Henry Fonda (Young Mr. Lincoln) as the initially dissenting foreman on a jury of white men ready to pass judgment on a Puerto Rican teenager charged with murdering his father. What results is a saga of epic proportions that plays out in real time over ninety minutes in one sweltering room. Lumet’s electrifying snapshot of 1950s America on the verge of change is one of the great feature-film debuts.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• Frank Schaffner’s 1955 television version, with an introduction by Ron Simon, director of the Paley Center for Media Studies
• “12 Angry Men”: From Television to the Big Screen, a video essay by film scholar Vance Kapley comparing the Sidney Lumet and Schaffner versions
• Archival interviews with Lumet
• New interview about the director with writer Walter Bernstein
• New interview with Simon about television writer Reginald Rose
• New interview with cinematographer John Bailey in which he discusses cinematographer Boris Kaufman
• Tragedy in a Temporary Town (1956), a teleplay directed by Lumet and written by Rose
• Original theatrical trailer
• PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by writer and law professor Thane Rosenbaum



Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping courtroom drama June 15 2006
Format:DVD
This is a courtroom drama with a difference. Apart from a very brief scene in the courtroom itself, the film takes place in the jury's deliberation room. The whole film revolves around the deliberations of a jury in a murder case in which a guilty verdict will lead to the death penalty for the accused. Initially it all seems very clear-cut with an all male jury having decided on a the young mans guilt before they have even sat down, all that is except for one man (Henry Fonda). Although he believes the accused may have possibly committed the murder, his values and ethics won't allow him to agree with his fellow jurors without thrashing out all of the evidence. Gradually he forces the other men to confront the evidence in front of them and to admit the situation is not as clear cut as it seemed. At the same time they are brought face to face with their own prejudices.

Filmed in black and white and shot almost entirely in one room, this film allows the viewer to concentrate entirely on the dialogue with nothing to distract from the story. It is a credit to the acting skills of the cast and to the direction of Sidney Lument (in his directorial debut) that the film remains gripping throughout. This is drama at its best and still one of the finest, if not the finest, courtroom dramas to be found.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece June 27 2004
By Michael
Format:VHS Tape
What can I possibly say about this masterpiece? It is surely one of the greatest movies, a work full of layers of meaning, of symbolism, of psychological and artistic subtleties. You can wach this movie an infinite number of times, because each time you discover something new. I would just like to bring up one often neglected point. For me, this movie shows the shift in acting styles after World War II - a shift towards more naturalistic approach close to "method" acting. Many of the younger members of the cast - such as Martin Balsam and Jack Klugman - seem to belong to this new school. Just watch such things as Klugman's slow reaction when it dawns on him that Cobb is yelling at him, or the foreman (Balsam) as he "gives up" and sulks in the corner. The movie is full of wonderful and telling details such as these. I also think that the style of this film bears some relation to Italian Neo-Realism of the 40's and 50's (eg. stark setting, realistic dialogue, and filming in "real time", including seemingly mundane actions). And has anybody noticed that this movie obeys the "unities" of classical Greek drama (of time, place, etc.)?
And to those cynics who think that this is a movie about a clever man who manages to convince eleven men that a guilty youth is innocent - think again. I have actually lain awake at night worrying that the young man probably is, after all, guilty! But for the purpose of the film it doesn't matter. This is not a whodunnit; it is about human character and human behavior, the law, how our backgrounds color our attitudes, and countless other themes. And of course it is a showcase for twelve SUPERB actors.
(But please, who wrote the text on the back of the video cover? "Eleven jurors are convinced that the defendant is guilty of murder. The twelfth has no doubt of his innocence." WHAT?!! Did this person even watch the movie?!)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie about epistemology May 5 2004
Format:DVD
It always pisses me off when people give The Matrix as a philosophical movie, when there are so many much more rich sources of artistic exploration. 12 Angry Men is one such example, a great movie about epistemology.
During an unseen trial, a young man of a negatively-seen ethnicity (which is never specified) is accused of the murder of his father. It is an "open and shut case", and all the jurors agree that he is guilty, except juror #8, played by Henry Fonda.
In 95 minutes, almost shot in real-time, we observe as the jurors' prejudices and emotions churn and crash in mighty waves, as each piece of evidence is examined and examined again, as every actor plays against the others. In the process, we witness an object-lesson in epistemology : what is doubt, what is evidence, how do we prove or disprove a proposition, and how people in groups act in group dynamics that sometimes are not conductive to the truth.
Politically speaking, 12 Angry Men is a testimony against juries and capital punishment, but that is not the point of the movie. It is a movie about how we judge events and how we filter the truth. And that's something that you won't get from any action movie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great movie about epistemology May 5 2004
Format:DVD
It always pisses me off when people give The Matrix as a philosophical movie, when there are so many much more rich sources of artistic exploration. 12 Angry Men is one such example, a great movie about epistemology.
During an unseen trial, a young man of a negatively-seen ethnicity (which is never specified) is accused of the murder of his father. It is an "open and shut case", and all the jurors agree that he is guilty, except juror #8, played by Henry Fonda.
In 95 minutes, almost shot in real-time, we observe as the jurors' prejudices and emotions churn and crash in mighty waves, as each piece of evidence is examined and examined again, as every actor plays against the others. In the process, we witness an object-lesson in epistemology : what is doubt, what is evidence, how do we prove or disprove a proposition, and how people in groups act in group dynamics that sometimes are not conductive to the truth.
Politically speaking, 12 Angry Men is a testimony against juries and capital punishment, but that is not the point of the movie. It is a movie about how we judge events and how we filter the truth. And that's something that you won't get from any action movie.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very satisfied
Great movie. Received in excellent condition
Published 10 days ago by Lorraine Sconci
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fast service..... The dvd was in mint condition. I'll surely be buying again...... Cheers
Published 20 days ago by Asha Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars THE movie of the 50's
Unbelievably this didn't win any oscars. It is original, dynamic, and can easily be related to today's social issues. Acting is also lightyears ahead of other noir films. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Anthony Chauvin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to my collection
This films was an excellent addition to those "must have" films you keep on DVD in your collection. Plus, the packaging is excellent.
Published 8 months ago by Jonathan
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely in the top 10!
This movie should be mandatory for a jury to watch! Great cast! Henry Fonda's greatest film! I've seen this countless times, it's THAT good!
Published 12 months ago by DavewhammybarMac
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling Dialogue
12 Angry Men (1957)
Drama, 96 minutes
Directed by Sidney Lumet
Starring Henry Fonda, Lee J. Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2012 by Steven Aldersley
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 Angry Men Review
An excellent classic movie. Seen it several times and now own it. Great film and bought it on the strength of demonstrating persuasive talking to my wife who is a teacher. Read more
Published on Feb. 21 2012 by Andy
5.0 out of 5 stars The best drama movie ever made
The all star cast of this original movie version does the subject justice. It has compassion, anger, despair, hope and empathy in abundance.
Published on Feb. 4 2012 by tomycanuck
5.0 out of 5 stars Addendum
Here are two subtleties in 12 ANGRY MEN which I don't know if anyone else has remarked on. At the end of the movie, as Henry Fonda leaves the empty jury room, he looks back at the... Read more
Published on July 16 2004 by Michael
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