YMMV: 12 Angry Men

  • Adaptation Displacement: Originally a 1954 teleplay for CBS' Studio One anthology series, it is now best known for its later adaptations as a stage play and film.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • The defendant - innocent man or murderer? For all of the doubt the jury casts on the prosecution's case, there's still plenty of reason for the audience to conclude that he's guilty. This was done deliberately, of course; even Juror #8 admits that he isn't sure that they aren't about to set a murderer free.
    • There have been productions that portray Juror #8 not as a noble crusader but rather as a Manipulative Bastard who's trying to get a murderer set free basically just to see if he can.
    • When Juror #4 refuses to change his vote near the end, does he honestly still think the defendant is guilty? Or is he merely doing it so that the process of proper deliberation, which Juror #8 started, is properly finished?
  • Award Snub: The 1957 version, largely overshadowed by The Bridge on the River Kwai, failed to win anything at the Oscars. Additionally, none of the actors received nominations for their work. Though Henry Fonda did end up winning a BAFTA for his performance, and both he and Lee J. Cobb earned Golden Globe nods.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: Ridiculous amounts, such as when Juror #4 states outright that the murder weapon, a switchblade knife, was one-of-a-kind, with a very distinctively carved handle, and finishes his rant by ramming it blade first into the juror table, Juror #8 pulls an identical switchblade from his pocket, flicks open the blade, and rams his knife into the table right next to the original. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: By the end of at least one of the movie adaptations, jurors 3 and 8 seem to be getting along. In a way, these two had a lot in common throughout the play; each pushed for the verdict they believed in, each believed in their respective verdicts more strongly than arguably everyone else on the jury, and each were willing to go against the rest of the jury to support said verdict. It would seem somewhat fitting they would eventually get along better once the deliberations were over.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: The other jurors' reaction to #3 pretending to raise the knife to stab #8.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: When #3, talking about his son, tells how he told him "I'll make a man out of you."
  • Jerkass Woobie: Juror #3, at least by the end.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Juror #5 will be instantly familiar to anyone who's seen an episode of Quincy. Jack Klugman even gets to do a Quincy-style deduction years before the series was conceived, by pointing out the inconsistent nature of the knife wound.
  • Tear Jerker: When Juror #3 finally realizes what he's doing; he tears up the picture of him and his son and just breaks down crying. The DVD release of the film manages to make it even worse with the chapter titles. The title of the chaper containing Juror #3's Villainous Breakdown? "One Angry Man".
    Juror #3: No...not guilty...not guilty...!
  • Vindicated by History: The critics in 1957 were rooting for Lumet's movie version, but the public wasn't interested and the movie failed at the box office. 12 Angry Men has since earned a place in pop culture rivalled (aside from To Kill a Mockingbird) by no other courtroom drama—plus the 88th spot on AFI's 100 Years. . .100 Thrills list. No mean feat for a non-action adventure film.note