Fellow Film Club Members and Movie Buffs:
It has been a long three weeks since our last screening, our tribute to Paul Newman. Summer has made a comeback and an exit several times in the interim. This Friday, October 2, 2009, we are very excited about showing 12 ANGRY MEN (1957). It was directed by Sidney Lumet, in his feature film debut. He was yet another of the successful television directors from TV’s Golden Age in the 50’s. He had been an actor for over 20 years, loved the rehearsal process, and always managed to get the best performances from his cast. Even though his first film is considered to be one of the most auspicious director debuts in film history, Lumet continued to direct television for several more years. In his over 60 years directing career, and he is still working today, he gave us THE FUGITIVE KIND (1960), LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT (1962), THE PAWNBROKER (1964), FAIL SAFE (1964), SERPICO (1973), DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975), NETWORK (1976), PRINCE OF THE CITY (1981), and THE VERDICT (1982). Roger Ebert said of Lumet, “Few filmmakers have been so consistently respectful of the audience’s intelligence.”
The cinematography was done by Boris Kaufman, a veteran lenser, who had just won the Oscar for shooting ON THE WATERFRONT (1954). He and Lumet used the camera very creatively; shooting above the cast, at eye level, and below eye level, heightening the human drama. Lumet used Kaufman on six of his later films. The screenplay was written by Reginald Rose, adapted from his own television play. He was a good friend of Lumet’s, and he too continued to write for that golden age of television drama way up into the 60’s. He gave us STUDS LONIGAN (1979), and WHOSE LIFE IS IT ANYWAY? (1981). Roger Ebert wrote, “This is a lean and mean movie. It is a masterpiece of stylized realism—the style coming from the way the photography and editing comment on the bare bones of the content.”
12 ANGRY MEN (1957) Directed by Sidney Lumet @ 96 minutes.
This film stars Henry Fonda, in one of his greatest roles, supported by Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Martin Balsam, Jack Klugman, Jack Warden, Ed Begley, and Robert Webber. Synopsis: During a murder trial a Hispanic teenager is accused of killing his father, and there is only one dissenting juror—who feels that even though the young man was probably guilty, the facts of the case needed to be reviewed. Based on a television play, this film crackles with energy, anger, and human drama. Juror #8 stands his ground, and after a time begins to convince some of the others that there might be room for doubt within the body of the evidence. This film is superbly acted and directed, not to be missed, listed as #9 on the IMDb’s poll of the greatest films ever made. Tagline: “Life is in their hands—Death is in their minds.”
So come and join us this Friday, October 2, 2009, and see what Variety calls, “the 23rd best movie ever filmed” 12 ANGRY MEN (1957), and marvel at some of the best acting ever done by Henry Fonda and an all-star cast of character actors. The screening will be held at the Center for Spiritual Learning, located at 206 N. J Street, on the corner of J & Division, in Tacoma. Many of us gather early to enjoy some fellowship downstairs in the kitchen. The Phantom Director and Farishta will have prepared a terrific meal, and it will be served about 6:10pm. We are always grateful to those of you who bring extra goodies, like bread, cheese, wine, and desserts; please continue to do so. We will offer the TFC Raffle for those who want to take a chance on winning some cash or a neat DVD. There will be a short film shown promptly at 7pm, followed immediately by 12 ANGRY MEN. The feature is only a hour and a half long, so we should be completed by 9pm. See you at the movies!