New Release: 12 Angry Men Blu-ray and DVD

Release Date: Nov. 22, 2011
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
Studio: Criterion

12 Angry Men movie scene

The jury sweats it out in the classic 12 Angry Men.

Arguably one of the most radical big-screen courtroom dramas in cinema history, Sidney Lumet’s (Network) 12 Angry Men, a behind-closed-doors look at the American legal system, is as riveting as it is spare.

The iconic 1957 film adaptation of Reginald Rose’s (The Wild Geese) teleplay stars Henry Fonda (Once Upon a Time in the West) as the initially dissenting member of a jury of white men ready to pass judgment on a Puerto Rican teenager charged with murdering his father. What results is a saga of epic proportions that plays out in real time over 90 minutes in one sweltering room.

Also starring Lee J. Cobb (The Exorcist), Jack Klugman (TV’s The Odd Couple), Jack Warden (Escape From Zahrain) and Martin Balsam (Psycho), Lumet’s electrifying snapshot of 1950s America on the verge of change is one of the great feature-film debuts.

Criterion’s Blu-ray and DVD offer a new high-definition digital restoration of the classic movie (with uncom­pressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition) and the following bonus features:

  • Frank Schaffner’s 1955 television version, with an introduction by Ron Simon, director of the Paley Center for Media Studies
  • “Twelve Angry Men”: From Television to the Big Screen, video essay by film scholar Vance Kapley comparing the Sidney Lumet and Schaffner versions
  • archival interviews with Lumet
  • new interview about the director with writer Walter Bernstein
  • new interview with Simon about television writer Reginald Rose
  • new interview with cinematographer John Bailey in which he discusses cinematographer Boris Kaufman
  • Tragedy in a Temporary Town (1956), a teleplay directed by Lumet and written by Rose
  • original theatrical trailer
  • booklet featuring an essay by writer and law professor Thane Rosenbaum


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.