In the movie, a Spanish-American teenage boy is brought to trial for the killing of his father. The story picks up as the jurors begin their deliberations on a hot a sweaty day in the city. If he is found guilty, the boy will be sentenced to death. From the beginning the entire group of jurors believe the boy to be guilty except for one, Juror #8 (Henry Fonda). Juror #8 believes that the group should take their time going through the facts before rushing to judgement, especially when a life is in their hands. He is met with indifference, prejudice, and anger but manages to use reason and logic to help find flaws in the prosecution's case.
As I started watching this movie again almost 6 years later, I began to remember much of the story line and certain critical moments of the movie. However, I did not remember this scene in the movie, which I feel is one of the more powerful. The father was stabbed with what was said to have been a very rare knife, a make which his son just happened to own. In an attempt to prove reasonable doubt, Juror #8 explains that there could be more than one of the knife with the same design. When he is met with resistance from the group, he pulls out a similar one from him pocket and slams into the table. I think after he did it I actually said "served".
Another interesting concept that we discussed was what would have been done to the movie had it been remade today. (Everywhere you look movies are being resurrected and redone, often poorly.) As the jurors were describing what allegedly took place on the night of the murder, there were no "flashbacks" depicting the different scenarios. When they describe the old man downstairs hearing the kid scream "I am going to kill you!" and then a thud on the floor, the screen didn't suddenly become like a water droplet and fade into a scene showing a man lying in bed, running to his door to see the commotion. The viewer had to actually, bear with me here, use their imagination and visualize what transpired in their own minds. Terrifying isn't it? That would never happen in a movie today. Nothing is left to the imagination, and flashbacks occur in almost every movie. Granted, some are necessary, but often I sometimes feel like saying "Really? With a brief and detailed description, you don't think the audience is able to imagine what took place in the past between the characters?" I feel that when you leave more up to the imagination, it makes the movie all that more relatable, because parts of it are being created in the audience's own mind. They become writers in the movie. This led Sarah and I to discuss this topic when related to violence and thriller movies, which is a whole other ball of wax.
Overall, I really like this movie. It is definitely one you need to be in the right mood for. I would say if you are feeling like a smart and sophisticated person one day, who wants to expand their mind a bit, pop in 12 Angry Men and it will make you feel like you are right there in the deliberation room with them.