"12 Angry Men" is a remake of the 1957 Black-and-white film, and tells the story of twelve jurors bound by the acceptance of their civic duty and thrust together into a hot, humid room to determine the guilt or innocence of a boy accused of killing his father in a moment of rage. Only one juror is not certain, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the young man is guilty. With the exception of a few moments at the beginning and the end, the entire movie takes place in the room. All in all, I thought that while this movie was a great remake, it was not nearly as good as the original and could have been written more to influence the current times.
The story begins after closing arguments have been presented, as the judge is instructing the
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I admit that making Juror # 10 (Mykelti Williamson) a former Nation of Islam member was a creative choice. But why does the judge (female in this version) not set up the atmosphere of physical discomfort and indifference, which are important themes in the movie? And why does Juror # 10 describe the defendant as a "common ignorant slob"? His appearance and dress do not suggest this! Finally, and most seriously in my opinion, a mess has been made of the relationship between Jurors 2 and 3. In the original, a father/son relationship was established between Lee J. Cobb and John Fiedler. In the remake, Ossie Davis and Scott are both virtually the same age, so that whole theme is lost. In the original movie, all the actors were superb and perfect for their parts; there were no weak links.
Another problem I have with this movie is that in some places it is meticulously modern, while in others it stays stubbornly in the 1950's. Why are there two Europeans on the jury? Before I saw the movie I thought for sure that there would be a Hispanic, an Asian, or a Middle Easterner. Why does Juror # 7 (Tony Danza) still sell marmalade as in the original? Why does Juror #12 (William L. Petersen) still present the dated stereotype of the 50's advertising man? Why is the Olmos character still a watchmaker? Indeed, Reginald Rose, the writer for the 1997 version adapted