This 1957 film is one of the earliest psychological movies that explores human behaviour under stress and the effects of persuasion and manipulation.
Essentially a courtroom drama, 12 Angry Men sees 12 jurors who are debating whether to send a young offender to die.
It is based on the principle of reasonable doubt and innocent until proven guilty in which one juror convinces all the others, initially against him, to eventually side with him.
12 Angry Men is only 95 minutes long and takes place in an enclosed room in which the jurors are to decide whether the defendant will live or die, and all the drama is centered around their conflicting personalities, backgrounds, occupations, prejudices and emotions coming into the trial.
Very meticulous as it explains all the evidence, we are drawn into that jury room and know as much as the jurors about the case, who are keeping us on our toes as they have a tough time coming to an unanimous decision on such a grave matter.
The actors in the film include Henry Fonda, a famous film star at the time, and another 11 actors who were among the best that New York City had to offer.
The film is certainly not about solving a crime. It is about sending or not sending a man to die who might or might not be innocent, and the people who are set to come to the conclusion couldn’t be more different and conflicting in their opinions. Intelligent and on point, 12 Angry Men is a textbook case of how a film should explore its characters.