This taut courtroom drama, screening Monday in the GE Theatre, retains its power because it’s relentless. The action is set in a jury room as a dozen “angry men” deliberate the fate of a teenager accused of murder. The weather is a factor: In these days before air conditioning became ubiquitous, the sweltering summer heat of New York City fuels conflict. Race is a factor: The 12 jurors are white; the defendant is Puerto Rican. And callousness is a factor: At first, it seems like the men will convict the defendant just to get the hell out of that room.
This film helped director Sidney Lumet establish his reputation for gritty urban drama. He had the help of a terrific cast, including E.G. Marshall, Jack Klugman, Jack Warden and, top-billed, Henry Fonda as the lone juror holding out for an acquittal.
12 Angry Men will be screened Monday (April 29) at 2:30, 5, and 7:30 PM in the GE Theatre at Proctors (432 State St., Schenectady). Tickets are $5. The screening is part of the year-long AFI 100 film festival; you can purchase a $100 pass that will admit you to the entire series. For more info, call the box office at 346-6204.