365 High-Def Days of Oscar: Day 97
Release Year: 1957
Best Adapted Screenplay
THE PLOT THUS FAR
A dissenting juror in a murder trial slowly manages to convince the others that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court.
WHAT WE THOUGHT
When a boy is on last day of trial for killing his father in the heat of domestic arguments, 12 jury men are forced to present a verdict in which if guilty, is the one way ticket to the electric chair for the boy. When the jury men decide to quickly end the discussion and raise their hands to find out who thinks the boy is guilty, only one jury man (Henry Fonda) doesn’t put his hand up. Trial and Character revelations, doubts, and possibilities follow.
So masterfully crafted is this film, that every time I watch it, only gets better. It includes some of the best character development I’ve ever seen. Sidney Lumet is an expert in this field and this is by far his greatest contribution to Hollywood history – one of the most important contributions to world cinema. However it was Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb who really made this film legendary, with their incredibly realistic performances. Casting was genius. And the dialogue was astoundingly riveting up until the brilliant finale. What really impressed me personally also was the camera angles and movements that made the film so suspenseful. Black and White made the film all the more powerful. And the music was minimal, which gave the film a more atmospheric experience, like you were their in the jury room with them – and you just feel that tension really built up as the movie proceeds.
The Blu-Ray comes with interviews, featurettes, original television productions and more. The A/V Quality is supported by a robust 1080p transfer and original mono audio track. The booklet boasts a rather strong essay, but the whole package is just an embarrassment of riches. Check out the archival audio interviews with Lumet to get some extra perspective if you find the whole affair moving too slow for you. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.
RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW!