Sunday, May 30, 2010

#8 - 12 Angry Men (1957)

Beth: So, for a film from 1957, I was seriously impressed. We watched Amelia after this movie and it made 12 Angry Men (which takes place in 1 room) look like an action movie. We had some fun with the language of the era and some trouble understanding what was going on sometimes because of cultural implications. In one scene someone says "them" like it's "us" against "them" but we couldn't figure out what "them" was. By the end of the movie, we figure out it's slum dwellers. What do you call someone who's prejudice against someone's poverty level?

There was also an odd bit at the end when this one juror freaks out and we had NO idea why. He tears up at a photo and changes his vote but without an explanation. I looked it up on wikipedia and they said that "is is revealed that he's separated from his son and he tore up a photo of him." When the hell did we learn that? All in all, it was a pretty good movie and it was only 97 minutes so it didn't take half the day to watch like some other movies. I also think it put jury duty in new light and maybe all potential jurors should watch this movie to understand what their role as a juror is.

Alf: This was a really great movie, it shows the importance of what "reasonable doubt" is supposed to mean in our judicial system. I would probably be one of the "of course they did it!" people in the movie, but if I were on the other side (the accused) and was innocent, I'd want someone fighting for me in the jury room.

The movie is basically about how one of the jurors wants to do the "right thing" and try to open up discussion about the accused person's guilt or innocence. On the surface it seems that the accused is definitely guilty, but as the discussion evolves they start to poke holes into the prosecution's argument. Personal bias/prejudice comes into play, which would definitely still happen today.

Anyway, I definitely recommend it. It is in black and white, so if you can get past that, you're good to go.

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