12 Angry Men (1997 film)

12 Angry Men is a 1997 American made-for-television drama film directed by William Friedkin, adapted by Reginald Rose from his original 1954 teleplay of the same title. It is a remake of the 1957 film of the same name.

12 Angry Men
12 Angry Men 1997 film poster.jpg
DVD cover
Based onTwelve Angry Men
Written byReginald Rose
Directed byWilliam Friedkin
StarringCourtney B. Vance
Ossie Davis
George C. Scott
Armin Mueller-Stahl
Dorian Harewood
James Gandolfini
Tony Danza
Jack Lemmon
Hume Cronyn
Mykelti Williamson
Edward James Olmos
William Petersen
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
ProducerTerence A. Donnelly
Production locationsRaleigh Studios - 5300 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles
D.C. Stages, 1360 East 6th Street, Downtown, Los Angeles
CinematographyFred Schuler
EditorAugie Hess
Running time117 minutes
Production companyMGM Television
DistributorShowtime Networks
Budget$1.75 million[1]
Original networkMGM Television
Picture formatColor (Technicolor)
Audio formatDolby SR
Original releaseAugust 17, 1997 (1997-08-17)


In the murder trial of a teenaged boy from a city slum, accused of murdering his father, the judge gives her instructions to the jury: a non-unanimous verdict will force a mistrial, and a guilty verdict will be accompanied by a mandatory death sentence. The jury of twelve retires to the jury room.

An initial vote is taken and eleven jurors vote for conviction. Juror 8, the lone dissenter, states that the evidence is circumstantial and the boy deserves a fair deliberation. He questions the testimony of the two witnesses, and the fact that the switchblade used in the murder is not as unusual as the testimony indicates producing an identical knife from his pocket.

Juror 8 proposes another vote by secret ballot – if the other jurors vote guilty unanimously, he will acquiesce, but if at least one votes "not guilty" they will continue deliberating. Only Juror 9 changes his vote, respecting Juror 8’s motives and feeling his points deserve further discussion.

After deliberating whether one witness actually heard the murder take place, Juror 5, who grew up in a slum, changes his vote. Juror 11, questioning whether the defendant would have fled the scene and returned three hours later to retrieve his knife, also changes his vote. Jurors 2 and 6 also vote "not guilty", tying the verdict at 6-6, when Juror 8 demonstrates the unlikelihood that one witness actually saw the boy flee the scene. The remaining jurors are intrigued when Juror 11 proves that although a psychiatric test stated that the boy had subconscious desires to kill, such tests only offer possible actions. Juror 7, impatient to attend a baseball game that night, changes his vote, but Juror 11 chastises him for changing his vote so casually and selfishly when the boy's life is on the line. When pressed by Juror 11, Juror 7 eventually claims that he doesn't think the boy is guilty.

Jurors 12 and 1 change their votes, leaving the only dissenters: Jurors 3, 4, and 10. Outraged at the proceedings, Juror 10 goes on a bigoted diatribe against Hispanic immigrants "outbreeding" African-Americans. He attempts to leverage this with the other African-American jurors, offending the rest of the jury, and Juror 4 finally cuts him off: "Sit down. And don't open your filthy mouth again."

Juror 4 states that despite all the other evidence called into question, the testimony of the woman who saw the murder from across the street stands as solid evidence. Juror 12 changes his vote back to "guilty", making the vote 8-4 again. Juror 9, seeing Juror 4 rub his nose, irritated by his glasses, realizes that the witness had impressions on her nose, indicating that she wore glasses and likely was not wearing them when she saw the murder. Jurors 12 and 4 change their vote to "not guilty". Juror 10, who says he still thinks the defendant is guilty, bluntly admits to no longer caring about the verdict and votes for acquittal.

Undeterred, Juror 3 is forced to present his arguments again, and goes on a tirade, presenting the evidence in haphazard fashion and concluding with his disbelief that a son would kill his own father – mirroring his previous comments about his bad relationship with his own son. He begins to weep, and says he can feel the knife being plunged into his chest. Juror 8 gently points out that the boy is not his son, and Juror 4 pats his arm and says: "Let him live." Juror 3 gives in, and the final vote is unanimous for acquittal.

The jurors leave and the defendant is found not guilty off-screen, while Juror 8 helps the distraught Juror 3 with his coat. In an epilogue, the friendly Jurors 8 (Davis) and 9 (McCardle) exchange names and part ways as Juror 3 walks slowly alone.


The JuryEdit

Juror No. Character Actor 'Not guilty' order
1 Jury foreman; a high school football coach who tries to keep order amid the hostilities between the jurors. Courtney B. Vance 9
2 A meek bank teller who initially does not know what to make of the case. Ossie Davis 5
3 A businessman with a hot temper. He is estranged from his son, and is convinced that the defendant is guilty. George C. Scott 12
4 A stockbroker; he is very eloquent and considers the case through facts and not bias. Armin Mueller-Stahl 11
5 A health care worker (possibly an EMT) who grew up in the Harlem slums. Dorian Harewood 3
6 A house painter, patient and respectful of others' opinions. James Gandolfini 6
7 A salesman and baseball fanatic; unconcerned with the trial, he is impatient, rude, and wise-cracking. Tony Danza 7
8 Davis; an architect who has two children. He is the only juror to originally vote not guilty, and repeatedly questions the evidence of the case. Jack Lemmon 1
9 McCardle; a wise older man who sides with Juror 8. Hume Cronyn 2
10 A carwash owner and former Nation of Islam member, he is a loudmouthed, narrow-minded bigot. Mykelti Williamson 10
11 An immigrant watchmaker, he is observant and believes in the American justice system. Edward James Olmos 4
12 An ad executive; he is easily swayed by others' opinions, and does not have a full understanding of the life at stake. William Petersen 8


Awards and nominationsEdit

55th Golden Globe Awards (1997)
Category Nominee(s) Result
Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Terence A. Donnelly Nominated
Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television Jack Lemmon Nominated
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television George C. Scott Won
50th Primetime Emmy Awards (1998)
Category Nominee(s) Result
Outstanding Made for Television Movie Terence A. Donnelly Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie Jack Lemmon Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie George C. Scott Won
Hume Cronyn Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries or Movie William Friedkin Nominated
Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Miniseries or Movie Russell Williams II, David E. Fluhr, Adam Jenkins Won

See alsoEdit


  • Friedkin, William, The Friedkin Connection, Harper Collins 2013


  1. ^ The Friedkin Connection (Harper Collins, 2013), p 415

External linksEdit