Conclusion: I think that this European release of director Sydney Lumet's iconic film 12 Angry Men is a very good alternative for folks residing in Region-B territories who could not take advantage of Criterion's release. Indeed, the film looks and sounds very good. I would also like to recommend the Blu-ray to those of you who do not have the R1 50th Anniversary DVD release of the film which has supplemental features that are not included on the Criterion release.
Excerpt: Sidney Lumet's staggering courtroom drama 12 Angry Men mostly takes place in the cramped jury room where a dozen "men with ties" decide the fate of Puerto Rican teenager accused of murdering his abusive father. Yet the prologue to their civic imprisonment, which takes place beyond these confined walls, sets the stage for Lumet's overarching concerns about the contradictions of the democratic process.
Excerpt: The most recent manner in which I experienced 12 Angry Men was as a live stage play in Toronto starring Richard Thomas as the dissenting member of a jury of white men seemingly intent on convicting a Puerto Rican teenager charged with murdering his father.
Conclusion: One of the all-time great legal dramas, '12 Angry Men' provides a fascinating look inside the jury room and remains a probing portrait of interpersonal dynamics and the destructive powers of prejudice and apathy. A fine ensemble cast led by Henry Fonda and expert direction from the young Sidney Lumet enhance this riveting tale that hasn't lost its bite more than 50 years after its initial release.
Excerpt: The Movie There are courtroom dramas by the score, but when we move down the hall to the jury room, there's 1957's 12 Angry Men and then there's just generations of imitators. Originally written by Reginald Rose for the TV series Westinghouse Presents Studio One as a live teleplay, and later produced for the stage, it builds an archetypal drama from a dozen disparate pieces.
Conclusion: Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry Men is one of the greatest American films of all time. Superbly executed, it offers a fascinating look at the strengths and weaknesses of the American legal system that remains unmatched. As expected, Criterion's presentation of the film is of exceptionally high quality. The Blu-ray also contains a wealth of insightful supplemental features, as well as Franklin J. Schaffner's television play that inspired the film. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.