12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men is a 1957 film about a dissenting juror in a murder trial who slowly manages to convince the others that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court.

Genre: Crime, Drama
Production: Criterion Collection
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 8 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.9
Metacritic:
96
Rotten Tomatoes:
100%
APPROVED
Year:
1957
96
Website
15,504 Views

Juror #10:
[the vote has become 9-3, enraging Juror #10] I don't understand you people! I mean all these picky little points you keep bringing up. They don't mean nothing! You saw this kid just like I did. You're not gonna tell me you believe that phony story about losing the knife, and that business about being at the movies. Look, you know how these people *lie!* It's *born* in them! I mean, what the heck? I don't have to tell you! They don't know what the truth *is!* And lemme tell ya: they don't need any real big reason to kill someone, either! No *sir!*

[#5 slams the paper down, gets up from his seat]

Juror #10:
They get drunk! Oh, they're real big drinkers, all of 'em - you know that - and bang: someone's lyin' in the gutter! Oh, nobody's blaming them for it. That's the way they are, by nature! You know what I mean? *Violent!*

Juror #10:
[#9 rises and crosses to the window] Where're you going? Human life don't mean as much to them as it does to us!

[#11 gets up and walks to the other window]

Juror #10:
Look, they're lushing it up and fighting all the time and if somebody gets killed, so somebody gets killed! They don't care! Oh, sure, there are some good things about 'em, too! Look, I'm the first one to say that!

Juror #10:
[#8 gets up and walks to the nearest wall] I've known a couple who were OK, but that's the exception, y'know what I mean? Most of 'em, it's like they have no feelings! They can do anything!

[#2 and #6 get up from the table. Everyone's back is to #10]

Juror #10:
[looking around, starting to decline in volume] What's goin' on here? I'm trying to tell ya... You're makin' a big mistake, you people! This kid is a liar! I know it, I know all about them! Listen to me... They're no good! There's not a one of 'em who is any good! I mean, what's happening in here? I'm speaking my piece, and you...

[the Foreman gets up and walks away. So does #12]

Juror #10:
Listen to me. We're... This kid on trial here... his type, well, don't you know about them? There's a, there's a danger here. These people are dangerous. They're wild. Listen to me. Listen.

Juror #4:
[quietly and firmly] I have. Now sit down and don't open your mouth again.

[beat]

Juror #10:
[the shock of being ignored and silenced sinking in] I'm jus' tryin'-a... tell ya...

Juror #8:
[after conducting an experiment to see if the old man could have reached his door in 15 seconds] Here's what I think happened: the old man heard the fight between the boy and his father a few hours earlier. Then, when he's lying in his bed, he heard a body hit the floor in the boy's apartment, heard the woman scream from across the street, got to his front door as fast as he could, heard somebody racing down the stairs and *assumed* it was the boy!

Juror #6:
I think that's possible!

Juror #3:
[from the other side of the room] *"Assumed"?*

[Everyone looks at #3 as he chuckles]

Juror #3:
Brother, I've seen all kinds of dishonesty in my day, but this little display takes the cake. Y'all come in here with your hearts bleedin' all over the floor about slum kids and injustice, you listen to some fairy tales... Suddenly, you start gettin' through to some of these old ladies. Well, you're not getting through to me, I've had enough.

[starts shouting]

Juror #3:
What's the *matter* with you guys? You all *know* he's guilty! He's *got* to burn! You're letting him slip through our fingers!

Juror #8:
[brow furrowing] "Slip through our fingers"? Are you his executioner?

Juror #3:
I'm one of 'em!

Juror #8:
...Perhaps you'd like to pull the switch?

Juror #3:
For this kid? You bet I would!

Juror #8:
[baiting him] I feel sorry for you. What it must feel like to want to pull the switch! Ever since you walked into this room, you've been acting like a self-appointed public avenger. You want to see this boy die because you *personally* want it, not because of the facts! You're a sadist!

[#3 lunges wildly at #8, who holds his ground. Several jurors hold #3 back]

Juror #3:
I'll kill him! I'll - *kill him!*

Juror #8:
[calmly] You don't *really* mean you'll kill me, do you?

Juror #8:
[taking a cough drop that Juror #2 offered him] There's something else I'd like to talk about for a minute. Thanks. I think we've proved that the old man couldn't have heard the boy say "I'm gonna kill you", but supposing he did...

Juror #10:
[interrupting] You didn't prove it at all. What're you talking about?

Juror #8:
But supposing he really *did* hear it. This phrase, how many times have all of us used it? Probably thousands. "I could kill you for that, darling." "Junior, you do that once more and I'm gonna kill you." "Get in there, Rocky, and kill him!"... See, we say it every day. That doesn't mean we're gonna kill anyone.

Juror #3:
Wait a minute, what are you trying to give us here? The phrase was "I'm gonna kill you"; the kid yelled it at the top of his lungs... Don't tell me he didn't mean it! Anybody says a thing like that the way he said it, they mean it!

Juror #2:
Well, gee now, I don't know. [Everyone looks at #2] I remember I was arguing with the guy I work next to at the bank a couple of weeks ago. He called me an idiot, so I yelled at him.

Juror #3:
[pointing at #8] Now listen, this guy's tryin' to make you believe things that aren't so! The kid said he was gonna kill him, and he *did* kill him!

Juror #8:
Let me ask you this: do you really think the kid would shout out a thing like that so the whole neighborhood could hear him? I don't think so; he's much to bright for that.

Juror #10:
Bright? He's a common, ignorant slob. He don't even speak good English.

Juror #11:
[looking up] He *doesn't* even speak good English.

[Juror 8 has convinced everyone to change their votes to "not guilty" - except for Juror 3]

Juror #7:
Well, what do we do now?

Juror #8:
[to #3] You're alone.

Juror #3:
I don't care whether I'm alone or not! It's my right.

Juror #8:
[nods] It's your right. [beat]

Juror #3:
Well, what do you want? I say he's guilty.

Juror #8:
We want to hear your arguments.

Juror #3:
I *gave* you my arguments!

Juror #8:
We're not convinced. We want to hear them again. We have as much time as it takes.

Juror #3:
[another pause, seething with anger] Everything - *every single thing* that took place in that courtroom, but I mean everything - says he's guilty. What d'ya think, I'm an idiot or somethin'? [gets out of his seat] Why don'tcha take that stuff about the old man - the old man who *lived* there and heard *every*thing? Or this business about the knife! What, 'cause we found one exactly like it? The old man *saw* him! Right there on the stairs! What's the difference how many seconds it was? Every single thing... The knife falling through a hole in his pocket... You can't *prove* he didn't get to the door! Sure, you can take all the time, hobblin' around the room, but you can't prove it! And what about this business with the El? And the movies! There's a phony deal if I ever heard one. I betcha five thousand dollars I'd remember the movies I saw! I'm tellin' ya, every thing that's gone on has been twisted... and turned! [points at Juror #8] This business with the glasses? How do *you* know she didn't have 'em on? This woman testified in open court! And what about hearin' the kid yell? Huh? I'm tellin' ya, I've got all the facts here...

Juror #3:
[struggles with his notebook] Here... Ah. [He throws it on the table. The photo of him with his son is on top] Well, that's it - that's the whole case!

[He turns towards the window as the other jurors stare at him; he turns back to them]

Juror #3:
Well? *Say* something! [No one obliges; everyone is focused on him] You lousy bunch of bleedin' 'earts... You're not goin' to intimidate me - I'm *entitled* to my opinion!

[He sees the picture of his son on the table]

Juror #3:
Rotten kids, you work your life out...!

[He grabs the picture and tears it to pieces. He suddenly realizes what he's doing and breaks down]

Juror #3:
...no. Not guilty. Not guilty.

[Juror #9 has pointed out that the witness across the street had marks on her nose, indicating that she normally wore glasses]

Juror #8:
[to Juror #4] Do you wear glasses when you go to bed?

Juror #4:
No. I don't. No one wears eyeglasses to bed.

Juror #8:
It's logical to assume that *she* wasn't wearing them when she was in bed - tossing and turning, trying to fall asleep!

Juror #3:
How do *you* know?

Juror #8:
I don't *know* - I'm guessing! I'm also guessing that she probably didn't put her glasses on when she turned to look casually out of the window - and she herself testified the killing took place just as she looked out, the lights went off a split second later - she couldn't have had *time* to put them on then! [stops #3 from stopping him] Here's another guess: maybe she honestly thought she saw the boy kill his father - I say she only saw a blur!

Juror #3:
How do you know *what* she saw? How does he know all that? How do you know *what* kind of glasses she wore? Maybe they were sunglasses, maybe she was far-sighted! What do you *know* about her?

Juror #8:
I only know the woman's eyesight is in question now!

Juror #11:
She had to be able to identify a person sixty feet away, at night, without glasses.

Juror #2:
You can't send someone off to die on evidence like that!

Juror #3:
Oh, don't give me that.

Juror #8:
Don't you think the woman *might* have made a mistake?

Juror #3:
[stubbornly] No!

Juror #8:
It's not *possible?*

Juror #3:
No, it's not possible!

Juror #8:
[gets up and speaks to Juror #12] Is it possible?

Juror #12:
[nods] Not guilty.

Juror #8:
[goes to #10] You think he's guilty?

[#10 shakes his head "no"]

Juror #3:
*I* think he's guilty!

Juror #8:
[ignores #3; goes to #4] How about you?

Juror #4:
[looks at #8, pauses, then shakes head] No... I'm convinced. Not guilty.

Juror #3:
[shocked, having just lost all support] What's the matter with ya?

Juror #4:
I have a reasonable doubt now.

Juror #9:
Eleven to one!

Juror #10:
[when a new "not guilty" vote appears in a secret ballot] All right, who was it? I wanna know.

Juror #11:
Excuse me, this was a secret ballot. We all agreed on that. Now, if the gentleman wants it to remain secret...

Juror #3:
"Secret"? What do you mean, "secret"? There are no secrets in a jury room, I know who it was.

Juror #3:
[to Juror #5] Brother, you really are somethin'. you sit here vote guilty like the rest of us, then some golden-voiced preacher starts tearing your poor heart out about some underprivileged kid, just couldn't help becoming a murderer, and you change your vote. Well, if that isn't the most sickening - *why don't you drop a quarter in his collection box?*

Juror #5:
[astonished that #3 was accusing him, gets up] Oh, now just wait a minute! Listen, you can't talk to me that! Who do you think you are?

Juror #4:
Now calm down, calm down!

Juror #5:
No, now who do you think you are?

Juror #4:
It doesn't matter. He's very excitable. Just sit down...

Juror #3:
[exploding] "Excitable"? You bet I'm excitable! We're trying to put a guilty man in the chair where he belongs, and then someone starts telling us fairy tales and we're listening!

Juror #1:
Heya, c'mon now.

Juror #3:
[to Juror #5] What made you change your vote?

Juror #9:
He didn't change his vote - *I* did!

Juror #10:
[everyone stares] Ohhh, fine!

Juror #9:
Would you like me to tell ya why?

Juror #7:
No, I wouldn't like you to tell me why.

Juror #7:
Well, I'd like to make it clear anyways, if you don't mind.

Juror #10:
[impatient] Do we *have* to listen to this?

Juror #6:
[firmly] The man wants to talk.

Juror #9:
[to Juror #6] Thank you.

Juror #9:
[motions to Juror #8] This gentleman has been standing alone against us. Now, he doesn't say that the boy is *not* guilty; he just isn't *sure*. Well, it's not easy to stand alone against the ridicule of others, so he gambled for support... and I gave it to him. I respect his motives. The boy is probably guilty, but - eh, I want to hear more. Right now the vote is 10 to 2...

[Juror #7 gets up and heads to the bathroom]

Juror #9:
Now I'm talking here! You have no right to leave this room - !

Juror #8:
[calmly stopping him] He can't hear you, and he never will. Let's sit down.


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