86. 12 Angry Men (1957)

12 Angry Men

*The Warlock opens the door to his lair. He’s wearing a black wife-beater, blue jeans, white sneakers and black gargoyle shades. He’s holding a stein of pepsi*

Warlock: Welcome to my lair….welcome I don’t think so, but enter. Enter my lair if you dare. I’m your host The Warlock.

*The Warlock simply walks inside, no magic*

Warlock: After the misfire known as Punch, I promised Neyzor Blades I’d make it up to her. Now I deliver on that promise. Today’s movie is 12 Angry Men.

*Neyzor Blades is in the recliner wearing standard attire*

Neyz: What is that?

Warlock: A movie from 1957 where 12 jurors go over a murder trial and only one of them think the person is innocent.

Neyz: 1957? Oh god…black and white?

*Warlock takes his seat in the middle of the couch*

Warlock: Oh shut up, so without further adieu its time for 12 Angry Men.

 

*The Warlock reads the tag-line*

Warlock: “A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.”

Neyz: Gorilla Monsoon would like this.

 

*Movie opens outside a courthouse, we then get a shot of inside the lobby*

Warlock: The bet part about this movie is it had a budget of like 20 bucks and was still a classic.

 

*We go inside to the actual court where the Judge (Rudy Bond) says murder 1 is the charge and the penalty is death*

Warlock: They didn’t fuck around back then.

Neyz: Nope, not at all.

 

*We get a shot of the 12 jurors. The judge gives them their marching orders and dismisses the alternate jurors*

Warlock: Yeah, imagine being those guys and not have to sit there for four hours. They probably ran out of the courthouse celebrating.

 

*The court guard (James Kelly) leads the jurors out as the court clerk (Billy Nelson) looks on. Before they all leave we get a shot of the suspect (John Savoca) looking sad*

Neyz: He’s just a kid.

Warlock: That’s the point.

 

*The next scene is in the deliberating room where we get the opening credits. We’re introduced to our 12 jurors. Number 1 is the foreman (Martin Balsam). Two (John Fiedler), Three (Lee J Cobb), Four (EG Marshall), Five (Jack Klugman), Six (Edward Binns), Seven (Jack Warden), Eight (Henry Fonda), Nine (Josesph Sweeney), Ten (Ed Begley), Eleven (George Voskovec) and Twelve (Robert Webber)*

Warlock: What a crew. So many amazing actors.

Neyz: Isn’t that the grandfather from Problem Child?

Warlock: Seven? Yes.

 

*Seven opens a window and complains of the heat. He offers Eight gum but he declines. Six and Seven open the window together. Six says this is the hottest day of the year*

Neyz: No air conditioning, they must be dying.

Warlock: Plus they all had to wear decent clothes to court, and it was 1957 where t-shirt and jeans weren’t normal yet.

 

*The guard takes attendance and everyone is there. If there’s anything they want, just ask*

Warlock: I’ll have 3 burgers, 3 fries and what you guys want to drink?

 

*Five asks if they locked the door, Ten sarcastically tells him yeah*

Warlock: You can always jump out the window Jack.

 

*Ten asks what One is doing, he says they’ll vote by ballot to make it easier. Ten says great, they can elect him senator to a chorus of laughs*

Warlock: Har de har har.

 

*Three establishes himself as the bully to Two*

Neyz: Two reminds me of Radar.

 

*Twelve asks Eight what he thought of the case. Eight doesn’t answer. Seven goes over some of the case as Ten blows his nose. Seven “So your horn works”

Warlock: Hahahahaha

 

*Seven wants to get started as Three wants to look at the newspaper Four is reading. Four is checking the stocks because he’s a broker. Three babbles on*

Neyz: They’re all smoking.

Warlock: Yeah, nobody knew the dangers yet.

 

*Seven wants to get this over quick because he’s got tickets to the Yankees and Indians*

Warlock: Yankees went to the world series in 1957, lost to the Braves.

 

*Twelve tells Eleven that the prosecutor did very well*

Warlock: He has to.

 

*Seven asks Five if he’s a Yankees fan, Five says he’s a Baltimore Orioles fan. Seven says that’s like getting hit with a crowbar twice a day*

Warlock: Baltimore wouldn’t win the world series until 1966.

 

*Nine finally makes his seat as One gives a speech on what to do. Seven says to have a vote right now. They all vote guilty….except Eight. Ten scoffs and says “There’s always one.”

Warlock: Wouldn’t be a movie if he voted guilty.

 

*Eight wants to talk about it. Three calmly asks if he thinks he’s innocent. Eight says he doesn’t know and Three calmly tells him he’s a dangerous killer. Eight says he wants to talk. Ten and Seven ask why. Eight says he doesn’t know what to believe. Eight says he can’t just raise his hand and easily say guilty because someone’s life is at stake. Eight wants an hour and Seven cracks a smile when Eight says the game isn’t until 8 PM*

Warlock: Late start, even for that era.

 

*Nine says he’ll be willing to listen. Eight gives the kid’s life story and says they owe him a few words. Ten says they don’t owe him anything. Ten establishes himself as a racist and Nine calls him out for it. One tells them to calm down*

Neyz: What a dick.

 

*Twelve doodles and he establishes himself as an advertising specialist. One tells him to cut it out*

Warlock: Wonderful, I’m sold.

 

*Twelve says they need to convince him the kid is guilty. Two says he’s guilty and can’t really explain why. Three calmly goes over the facts, the old man says he heard the fight go down and the kid yell out “I’m going to kill you” he gets to the door and sees the kid running down the stairs. Four says the kid’s defense is flimsy as he claimed he was at the movies yet couldn’t name the movies he saw or who was in them. Nobody saw him go in or out of the theater. Ten gets up and says a woman saw him through a passing L train do it at the time of the killing. Eight asks Ten coldly why she believes her since she’s one of “them” too. Ten “You’re a pretty smart fella aren’t you.”

Warlock: Ruh roh.

Neyz: Yeah, what a jerk.

 

*Five wants to pass and we’re on to Six. Six bases his decision on motive and the kid had all the reason in the world to kill his father. Eight says he’s been slapped around all his life, why turn to murder. Four says “Could have been two too many, everyone has a breaking point*

Warlock: Good point.

 

*Seven says he’s been a punk his whole life. He says the kid is real handy with a knife. Eight says violence is all the kid knows. Three goes on a rant saying kids today suck. Three says when his son was 9 he ran away from a fight and was embarrassed. When the son was 16 they fought and the kid won. He hasn’t seen them for two years*

Warlock: Great development.

 

*Four tries to make the factual statement that children from slums are more prone to crime and Ten excitedly joins in and says they’re all trash. Five chimes in that he came from the slums and he objects to Ten. Eleven sides with Five as One tries to calm them down. One says Eight is next and Eight asks why is it his turn since they have to convince him*

Warlock: Hahahaha

 

*Ten objects to One as Seven fixes the fan. One yells at Ten and Twelve calms him down*

Warlock: See, all angry.

 

*Eight starts to poke holes in the testimony and complains that the public defender didn’t do a good job. He says the prosecution was based on the two witnesses. If he was the attorney he would have ripped them to shreds because they could be wrong*

Warlock: Not exactly Vinny Gambini.

 

*Three wants to talk about the knife itself and tells Two to be quiet. One asks the guard for the knife so they can look at it. Four gives the calm facts about the boy admitting to purchasing the knife and that the dealer said it was a very rare knife. The friends of the defendant say the murder weapon looks exactly like the knife the kid bought. The kid says his knife fell through his pocket. Four doesn’t believe it as the knife is brought in. Four flicks it open and says “Are we to believe that the kid dropped it and someone else picked it up and stabbed his father to test its sharpness?”

Warlock: Stab someone to test its sharpness, why didn’t I think of that?

Neyz: Pleassseeee.

 

*Eight says no, it could be possible that there are similar knives out there. Four says the storekeeper said its the only one of its kind. Eight says its possible that there’s similar knives and Four doesn’t believe it. Eight then flicks a switchblade and slams it down right next to the murder weapon, its the exact same knife. Everyone goes berserk except Four who stares a hole in him*

Warlock: Love how Four is so calm and collected no matter what.

 

*Four asks where he got it. Eight says he got it at a pawn shop near where the kid lives. Four says that’s illegal and Eight says he broke the law, so what*

Warlock: Breakin the law, breakin the law.

 

*We get zoomed in shots of people complaining, Two says that’s interesting. Seven says what are we going to do now. Ten says the knife doesn’t matter and Eleven yells at him. Twelve says to stay on track. Eight says to take another vote, if nobody changes their mind then he’ll vote guilty with them to end it*

Neyz: Awwwww.

 

*Everyone is in on that as sad music plays. Everyone votes and hands their ballots in. One goes over them, ten guilty….one not guilty. Seven “Another angel flaps his wings!” Ten wants to know who changed his vote and Eleven says it was anonymous.  Three gets mad and points the finger at Five. Three yells at him and Five says it wasn’t him. Three screams and shouts and Nine says he changed his vote. Nine wants to explain as Seven and Ten protest, but Six says to let him talk.*

Neyz: Respect your elders.

 

*Nine says he changed his vote because he wants to listen to what Eight says. Seven walks out as Eleven yells at him. One gives the knife back to the guard as Twelve babbles on to Eleven. Eleven says he’s a watchmaker*

Warlock: Wonderful.

 

*Three tries to apologize to Five but he won’t listen. Eight goes to hit the head as Six says he can’t get the fan started. In the bathroom Seven asks Eight why he’s doing this. Seven runs him down and leaves. Six walks in and he’s a lot nicer. He drops a bomb when he says “Suppose you talk us all out of it and the kid really did knife his father?”

Warlock: So now he HAS to prove the kid is not guilty.

Neyz: That’s tough.

 

*Back to business, Three says to talk about the old man witness. Eight asks how clearly the old man could have heard the voices and that it may not have been the kid’s. Four says the woman saw him to do it too. Eight goes to make a point but stops because Three and Twelve are in an epic game of tic-tac-toe with One and Two looking on. Eight rips up the paper and says “This isn’t a game!” Three protests*

Neyz: Yeah really, this is murder.

Warlock: Awwww man, I was hoping Robert Webber would win.

Neyz: Who?

Warlock: Twelve.

 

*Eight pokes holes in the L train story. Six says he was near the tracks and it was noisy. Eight says there was no way the old man heard the correct voices with the train roaring by. Five and Six start going on about it and Nine chimes in. Three yells at him and Six yells as Three. He threatens him with violence and tells Nine to go ahead. Nine says he identifies with the old man as he’s old himself. He says the man could be lying just for attention. Nine says the old man wasn’t lying on purpose but made himself believe it to be important again*

Neyz: Awww that’s sad.

 

*Eight says “I’m gonna kill em” is hyperbole. Two agrees and Eight says its a common phrase. Ten makes another racist statement and Eleven corrects him*

Warlock: Yeah, take that.

 

*Five says he wants to change his vote to not guilty. The others protest*

Warlock: One by one.

 

*Seven “Well if this isn’t the living end!” Seven says the kid’s lawyer knew he didn’t stand a chance. Eight says the PD didn’t try his hardest. Seven is pissed because of the time as Eleven wants to make some points. Eleven asks if the murder happened at 12:10 and he was captured at 3 AM. Why would he return to the scene of the crime? Twelve says he went back to get his knife since its not nice leaving knives in other people. Seven “Especally relatives.” Twelve laughs but Four says that’s not funny and says more firmly what Twelve just said, he went back to get the knife. Eleven asks why didn’t he bring the knife with him? Four says he panicked. Eleven says the kid was calm enough to wipe the fingerprints off the knife so how panicky was he?

Warlock: All great points.

 

*Three asks what side he’s on, Eleven says he’s just asking questions. Twelve says the kid didn’t think he’d get caught. Eleven says the female witnessed screamed and he must have heard it. Eight says there’s a doubt the kid was there or not. Ten goes on a rant and Eight stops him by taking another vote. Everyone votes guilty except Nine, Five and Eight….until Eleven raises his hand. Ten and Seven whine*

Neyz: Wow, little late with that hand raise.

 

*Three goes on a rant and demands Eleven say why. Three picks up Eight’s knife and says “The kid was seen ramming this into his father!” Nine “That’s not the knife.” Three rolls his eyes “Oh…brilliant”. Seven asks about the old man and says the old man took 15 seconds to get to the door. Five gets up and says the old man says he ran. Four calmly says he went from the bedroom to the door. Eight asks for the building blueprint and even Four snaps at that one. Eight says he wants to see an old man with a limp get to his bedroom to the door in 15 seconds. Three rants but digs his own grave and sits down*

Neyz: Yeah sit down.

 

*Seven insults Eight and Six tells him to shut up. Eight goes over the old man’s apartment blue print. He says the old man went to the door and saw the kid run down the stairs in 15 seconds. Eight mimics the old man’s speed as Three, Seven and Ten insult him. Eight demonstrates the old man’s speed to the door, opens and asks for the time….Two says 41 seconds. Eight tells Four that the old man saw someone and assumed it was the boy. Three protests again*

Neyz: Why doesn’t he shut up?

 

*Three continues to rant and yells at everyone. Eight “Are you his executioner?” Three “I’m one of them.” Eight calls him a sadist and Three lunges for him, held back by others “I’ll kill him!” Eight “You don’t really mean that, do you?” Three calms down as One gives the guard the blueprint to take away. Everyone takes their seats again*

Warlock: Well that was fun.

 

*Eleven says not to fight but to be gentleman. Twelve cracks the room up with a joke as Seven says its gonna rain. Five says its really hot and asks if Four ever sweats, he says he doesn’t. Six calls for another vote. One says sure and Ten wants an open ballot. One – Guilty, Two – Not Guilty, Three – Guilty, Four – Guilty, Five – Not Guilty, Six – Not Guilty, Seven – Guilty, Eight – Not Guilty, Nine – Not Guilty, Ten – Guilty, Eleven – Not Guilty, Twelve – Guilty.  6 to 6*

Warlock All tied up now.

 

*Seven “And we got into extra innings here. Ten goes on a rant and Nine goes to yell at him but can’t. “I’d like to be a few years younger.”

Neyz: Oh the poor old man.

 

*Seven and Two say its gonna rain. Seven asks why Two changed and Two says the doubt is reasonable. Two calls Ten a loudmouth*

Warlock: Great acting.

 

*It rains outside and Five puts his head on the table. One turns on a lightswitch as Seven and Eight close the windows. One tells Eight a story of how he was a football coach and his best runner plowed through in the rain*

Warlock: Gotta love old school football.

 

*Seven turns the fan on and realizes the fan was on the same switch as the light. He crumples a piece of paper and throws it at the fan and it ricochets off Nine. Nine “That’s a stupid thing to do!”

Warlock: Yeah, try sticking your hand in next time Jack.

 

*Three confers with Four by the water cooler. Three says Eight was just trying to bait him. Four “He did an excellent job”

Warlock: Burn.

 

*Ten says they should be a hung jury and Seven agrees. Eleven chastises him and One says enough arguing. Eight asks about the kid’s testimony and asks Four to put himself in the kid’s shoes and remember details under great emotional stress. Four calmly tells him that the boy later said what movies he saw when he had 3 months to figure out what played on what night and he’d rather go by the police statement taken the night of the murder. Eight argues his father was lying dead in the next room and he’d been beaten up earlier. Eight asks Four what he did the past week and once he gets to Monday, he can’t really remember. He claims he saw The Remarkable Ms. Brainridge with his wife and Two says its called The AMAZING Mrs. Brainridge. Four can’t remember who was in it and tries to backtrack saying it was an inexpensive second feature. Eight hammers the point home by saying “And you weren’t under any emotional stress.” Four gets his point and begins to sweat. Twelve says Seven’s game is rained out and Seven says don’t worry about it, its a passing shower*

Warlock: The tarp’s on the field.

 

*Two wants to make a point. He takes Eight’s knife and wonders how the wound was created. He says the boy was 5’7 and the father was 6’2 and says why would he stab DOWN if his father is that much taller. Three takes the knife and says he’ll demonstrate and he uses Eight as a volunteer. He goes to stab and everyone yells out, but Three calms down and completes the demonstration saying the height difference would cause a downward thrust*

Neyz: He was gonna kill him.

Warlock: Yeah, two murders in one, what a special.

 

*Twelve says down and in works, but Five makes a point. He says in a real knife fight they flick the switch and swipe, not down and in. The kid was supposedly good with a knife so there was no way the kid would waste time switching from top to bottom, he would have gone for the throat underhanded*

Warlock: Huge point right there.

 

*Three and Four protests but Twelve doesn’t know. Seven says the hell with it and changes to not guilty. Three protests and Eleven says Three is right. Eleven goes on a rant because “there are baseball tickets burning a hole in your pocket?” A man’s life is worth more than that.”

Neyz: Hear hear.

 

*Eleven grills Seven and Seven stutters and says he’s not guilty. Eleven doesn’t buy it but walks away anyway. Eight wants another vote. Not guilty – Two, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Eleven, Twelve and One at the end. Three, Four and Ten still say guilty. Ten gets up and goes on a huge, racist rant and one by one everyone turns their back on him. Everyone but Four. Ten says “Listen to me, listen to me.” Four “I have, now sit down and don’t open your mouth again.” Ten sits down dejected*

Warlock: Finally. Even Three and Four are like shut up.

Neyz: About time.

 

*Eight goes on an anti-prejudice speech that turns into a speech on reasonable doubt. Eight says at this point, its up to the 3 remaining guys to explain why they still think he’s guilty. Four admits he made a lot of great points but the woman who says she saw him do it is unshakeable testimony*

Warlock: Hard to argue that.

 

*Three follows Four like a parrot and even Four is annoyed by it*

Neyz: Even he’s had enough of him.

 

*Eight has no answer for Four and Twelve changes his vote to guilty. Eleven asks why Three is taking this personally. Eight wants to go over it again and Three says there’s no point. Four “No point in getting nasty.” Four wants a time limit and takes his glasses off and rubs his nose while saying this could be a time to say they’re hung. Nine spots something and asks Four where the marks on his nose come from. Four says they’re from his glasses because they leave an indentation. Nine says the woman had the same marks. Everyone banters and Five remembers her rubbing her nose like Four just did. Nine says she purposely didn’t wear glasses in court to look younger. Nine asks Four if the marks on her nose could be made by anything other than eyeglasses. Four answers no. Three says she saw him do it. Four says nobody wears glasses in bed. Eight questions if or not she didn’t have her glasses on when she saw the murder. Three holds his ground and Eight gets up to ask around. Twelve says he’s right. Eight asks Ten if he’s guilty and Ten shakes his head no. Three says he’s guilty. Four says “No…I’m convinced. Not guilty.”

Warlock: The toughest egg just cracked.

 

*Three is the only one left. Two yells at him and Eight stares at him. Suddenly they all stare at him and he goes on one more rant. He screams and shouts before looking at the picture of him and his son. He tears it up saying kids are no good and starts crying. “Not guilty”

Neyz: Wow.

Warlock: And so it ends.

 

*One tells the guard that they’re ready. Everyone gets up to leave. Eight grabs Three’s coat and helps him with it. Three nods his head and they leave. On the table is the ripped up picture, ashtrays and Twelve’s doodle*

Warlock: Probably cost 20 dollars for the props, if that.

 

*Nine catches up with Eight outside the court. Nine asks him what his name is, Eight says Davis. Nine says he’s McCardle. They shake hands. The End*

Warlock: Classic

Neyz: That was amazing.

 

 

Neyzor Blades Assessment: That was excellent, 8 out of 10.

The Warlock’s Assessment: 10 out of 10, one of the best I’ve ever seen. It had a compelling story, amazing acting and no bullshit effects. It hasn’t aged a day really and you can watch it again and again.

Final Grade: 9 out of 10 – All-Time Classic

 

*The Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: Happy now?

Neyz: Yes, I’ll admit that was a good one.

Warlock: Good, glad you’re happy. The movie was one of the best of all time and can be watched by everyone. No nudity, no cursing, no violence, just a story to tell. That about wraps up another crap….outstanding adventure. Have a pleasant evening.

 

 

 

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