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Sidney Lumet's 1957 classic starring Henry Fonda.

Slum kid. Dead Dad. One of a kind stiletto. Eyewitnesses. Open and shut case, right? Still time to get to the ball game. But Juror #8 Henry Fonda has his doubts — he insists on being so reasonable. Sidney Lumet’s feature debut, adapted from the Reginald Rose teleplay that Lumet himself had directed live, eschews the normal “opening out” of play adaptations, carefully and subtly building up the claustrophobia in the stifling jury room, as the lighting changes to reflect the coming of evening and a passing shower outside, while the lens changes to wider angles deepen the focus, bringing the backgrounds forward, and introducing a slight distortion; and lower camera positioning introduces looming ceilings over the embattled panel, including sloganeering “Mad Man” Robert Webber, salesman/baseball nut Jack Warden, grateful immigrant George Voskovec, and embittered father Ed Begley, and with closet racist Lee J. Cobb delivering the rant of a lifetime.

Jason Diamond Editor

12 Angry Men

July 5 – 11, 2013

Film Forum (209 West Houston Street, New York, NY) Map it $12

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Picture?width=50&height=50 Added By Jason Diamond