12 Angry Men, a film based off of a teleplay, takes place almost exclusively in a single room. Since it’s very obvious it was meant to be a play, there is little action, and the entire plot centers around 12 men talking and arguing. It might be called the Angry Dozen. It’s the kind of film that could not be made today with modern man’s focus on explosions or violence. No one would pay today’s ticket prices to see such a simply made film. (Few people did when it was released in 1957. The movie failed miserably.)
Yet it is a classic with brilliant performances from its dozen actors and deductive dialogue that would make Sherlock Holmes proud. Its claustrophobic use of camera angles and use of close-up scenes, with the actor staring into the camera (long before Jonathan Demme earned acclaim for this technique), allow its relatively boring plot to remain interesting. The stakes of a young man’s life are never forgotten and help with the tension as well. This is what I call a Triple A movie because it is All About the Acting. It’s not the kind of film I like to watch regularly, but there’s no denying its status as a true film classic.
Best line: (speaking of the young man) “Bright? He’s a common, ignorant slob. He don’t even speak good English.”Artistry: 8 Characters/Actors: 9 Entertainment: 4 Visual Effects: N/A Originality: 5 Watchability: 2 TOTAL: 28 out of 60
Tomorrow: #349: Dinosaur
© 2014 S. G. Liput