I’ve always believed this. 12 Angry Men is unwittingly a movie about how 12 jurors’ weak will and self-congratulatory image-making lets a murderer go free. Jury duty is not narrative, its not the enactment of a myth, its a civic job. Though to be fair, when actual criminal jurors fail to be tough-minded, it needn’t be in favor of the defendant.
Gotta say that if there’s any scene better than alcoholic Dean Martin, two days on the wagon, rousting a hostile saloon for a murderer, John Wayne backing him up, I’d like to know it.
I watched this the other night. Hugely overrated. (Spoiler below.)