June 23, 2013 by Craig Sutherland
12 Angry Men is the 1957 courtroom drama directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Henry Fonda & Martin Balsam. The film is 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.
Here are some interesting facts about the production…
- As shooting of the film went on, director Sidney Lumet gradually changed to lenses of longer focal lengths, so that the backgrounds seemed to close in on the characters, creating a greater feeling of claustrophobia.
- Henry Fonda disliked watching himself on film, so he did not watch the whole film in the projection room. But before he walked out he said quietly to director Sidney Lumet, “Sidney, it’s magnificent.”
- All but three minutes of the film was shot inside the bare and confining, sixteen by twenty-four foot “jury room”.
- [June 2008] Ranked #2 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “Courtroom Drama“.
- Nominated for 3 Oscars, the film lost out in all its categories to The Bridge on the River Kwai.
- Sidney Lumet had the actors all stay in the same room for hours on end and do their lines over and over without taping them. This was to give them a real taste of what it would be like to be cooped up in a room with the same people.
- As the film failed to make a profit, Henry Fonda never received his deferred salary. Despite this setback, Fonda always regarded 12 Angry Men as one of the three best films he ever made, the other two being The Grapes of Wrath and The Ox-Bow Incident.
Trivia from IMDB
- 12 Angry Men (1957) (movierob.wordpress.com)
- 12 Angry Movies (lebeauleblog.com)
- Steven Spielberg ready for a ’12 Angry Men’ situation at the Cannes Film Festival (foxnews.com)
- Henry Fonda: An Appreciation (ccoleman3.wordpress.com)
- The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) (movierob.wordpress.com)