12 Angry Men (1957)
A great American classic
A true American classic, 12 Angry Men is a movie that stands the test of time. It's message of fairness and stance against prejudice is just as relevant today as it was in 1957 when the film was released. This is a film about right and wrong and Henry Fonda's Juror number 8 is one of the great heroes of film. Lee J. Cobb is also fantastic in the film, vigorously defending his belief that the defendant is guilty to the point of nearly brawling with the other jurors. Cobb's juror hits home with this reviewer. How many times have you thought somebody was guilty and then was acquitted? Cobb's juror is one of us, a regular man who gets caught up in the hype. Despite his loud mouth and menacing presence, he too is standing up for what he believes in, even though it may be morally wrong.
Sidney Lumet is one the greatest directors of all time. This is his debut film and what a debut it was. This film is perfectly crafted and is very faithful to its source material. It is a shame that Lumet never won an Academy Award, because he deserved one for this great picture. Regardless, 12 Angry Men will be still watched and talked about forever. One of the greatest films ever made.