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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Twelve Angry Men")

directed by Sidney Lumet
USA 195
7

12 Angry Men, by Sidney Lumet, may be the most radical courtroom drama in cinema history. A behind-closed-doors look at the American legal system that is as riveting as it is spare, this iconic adaptation of Reginald Rose’s teleplay stars Henry Fonda as the dissenting member on a jury of white men ready to pass judgment on a Puerto Rican teenager charged with murdering his father. The result is a saga of epic proportions that plays out over a tense afternoon in one sweltering room. Lumet’s electrifying snapshot of 1950s America on the verge of change is one of the great feature film debuts.

***

Essentially a discussion with jurors in the slanted trial condemning an 18 year boy who is accused of murdering his father. A "guilty" verdict will give him the mandatory sentence of the death penalty. 12 Angry Men involves so much more than an examination of the internal workings of the justice system... it is about human conditions including misplaced vengeance, personal prejudice, vacillation, moral and civic responsibility, community, understanding and compassion. Distinctive performances all round with Henry Fonda at the height of his screen charisma as he leads the way as the one dissenting juror unafraid to stay his personal convictions. With Kaufman's floating camera we see some deep interfacing close-ups that pinpoint the character's emotion and thought processes. Now a film almost 50 years old, it truly will always stand the test of time with almost universal acclaim as a masterpiece. out of

Posters

Theatrical Release: 13 April 1957 (New York City, New York)

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Comparison:

MGM (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM -  Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM - Region 2 - PAL vs. Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Pavel Borodin for the Region 2 captures !

1) MGM (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1- NTSC LEFT

2) MGM -  Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

   

 

Distribution

MGM (50th Anniversary Edition)

Region 1  - NTSC

MGM

Region 1  - NTSC

MGM
Region 2 - PAL
Criterion - Spine #591
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:36:00 1:36:06 1:32:06 (4% PAL speedup) 1:36:21.817
Video

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.53 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.53 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.80 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.66:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,704,767,528 bytes

Feature: 19,988,398,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

MGM (50th Anniversary Edition)

Bitrate:

MGM NTSC

Bitrate:

 

MGM PAL

 

Bitrate: Blu-ray

 

 

 

Audio English (Dolby Digital Mono), DUB: French, Spanish (Dolby Digital Mono) English (Dolby Digital 4.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), DUB: French, German, Italian, Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Subtitles English, Spanish, and none English, Spanish, and none English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, English For The Hard of Hearing, German For The Hard Of Hearing, and none English and none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen  - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by Film Historian Drew Casper

• Featurette: Beyond a Reasonable Doubt - the Making of 12 Angry Men

• Featurette: Inside the Jury Room

DVD Release Date: March 4th, 2008

Keep Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen  - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: March 6, 2001

Keep Case
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer

DVD Release Date: May 17th, 2001
Keep Case
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

 

1.66:1 - 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 45,704,767,528 bytes

Feature: 19,988,398,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 23.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Edition Details:
• Frank Schaffner’s 1955 television version, with an introduction by Ron Simon, curator at the Paley Center for Media (50:41)
• Production history of 12 Angry Men, from teleplay to big-screen classic (25:33)
• Archival interviews with director Sidney Lumet (22:58) (9:28)
• New interview with screenwriter Walter Bernstein about Lumet
(9:28)
• New interview with Simon about writer Reginald Rose (14:59)
• 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 (55:11)
• New interview with cinematographer John Bailey about director of photography Boris Kaufman (38:21)
• Original theatrical trailer (2:15)
• Liner booklet featuring an essay by writer and law professor Thane Rosenbaum

Blu-ray Release Date:
November 22nd, 2011
Transparent
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 18

 

Comments:

NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

 

ADDITION: Criterion - Region 'A' Blu-ray (November 11'):  Well - we move from looking simply 'better' to looking incredibly superior. This is far beyond was I was expecting. The Criterion 1.66:1 1080P image is rife with beautifully consistent grain and improves significantly in detail and contrast over the much flatter SD renderings. There may be a shade of black boosting. This Blu-ray looks... amazing. Huge thumbs up on the appearance. I am really impressed.

 

Audio is a linear PCM mono track that seems like an authentic representation of the original - very clean and Kenyon Hopkins' sparsely utilized, simple, score is piercing and crisp. There are optional English subtitles on the region 'A'-locked Blu-ray disc.

 

Supplements include Frank Schaffner’s television version of 12 Angry Men, with an introduction by Ron Simon. It runs 50-minutes and was written for the series Westinghouse Presents by Reginald Rose. It first aired September 26th, 1954 and is shown here in 1080i. There is a 25-minute interview, conducted by Criterion - from August 2011 - with film scholar Vance Kepley who looks at 12 Angry Men's evolution from teleplay to film. Presented are a compilation of Sidney Lumet interviews from various stages of his career with Lumet friend and collaborator Walter Bernstein. It runs in two parts over 30-minutes in total. There is a new interview with Simon about writer Reginald Rose who was one of the most renowned figures of televisions' 'Golden Age'. He was know for work that explored controversial social and political issues. In the 15-minuite piece included here Ron Simon, curator at the Paley Center for Media, examines Rose's importance. Also featured is Tragedy in a Temporary Town, written by Rose and directed by Sidney Lumet. It premiered as part of The Alcoa Hour on NBC, February 19th, 1956. There is a wonderful new interview with cinematographer John Bailey in which he discusses cinematographer Boris Kaufman (filmmaker Dziga Vertov's younger brother. He photographed some of the most beloved films of all time, including Jean Vigo's Zero de conduite, Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront and Baby Doll and Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry Men and The Fugitive Kind. In this 40-minute piece cinematographer John Bailey discusses Kaufman's overall visual style and his work with Lumet. We also get a original theatrical trailer in HD and the package contains a liner booklet featuring an essay by writer and law professor Thane Rosenbaum.

 

Giving this beloved film such a complete package with sterling image and extensive extras - is almost more than film fans could have hoped. It has our highest recommendation and will be noted in our Year End Poll. Buy this Blu-ray with extreme confidence!

***

ADDITION: MGM (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC - February 08': The short story is that this is now anamorphic, retains the same strong contrast and sharpness (perhaps a notch higher) and is a wonderful treatment. It has VOB files dated for Oct 07'. The mono audio is clean and clear and there are still optional yellow subtitles (see sample below). Bottom line is that it looks great in the 16X9 1.66 ratio, it is progressive, dual-layered, coded for region 1 in the NTSC standard. Greytones are excellent and the package is a ridiculously essential one at about $13.   

In the commentary historian Drew Casper hardly seems to take a breath, with a few short gaps, - he eloquently narrates at times but also inputs vast extraneous details about Lumet, Fonda and much of the cast (shot in 20 days for a mere $250,000). I suspect he is reading at times, from notes (so many specific dates mentioned), but it is still a very good commentary. There are two, relatively weak featurettes - Beyond a Reasonable Doubt - the Making of 12 Angry Men and Inside the Jury Room. They run respectively 23 and 15 minutes long and input comes from some left-field resources with even George Wendt ('Normie') giving some comments (he played a juror in the updated theatrical version). Also included are Klugman, Robert Osborne and Patricia King Hanson and many others. Anyway, I preferred Casper's commentary and his enthusiasm about blocking and staging of one early scene. This package has wonderful value for cost. The transfer looks great - there are some relevant supplements and the price sure is right. Thanks goodness MGM didn't mess this up. Strongly recommended!  

***

About the Old vs. the PAL: The MGM Region 1 NTSC is marginally superior with the image being sharper, greater detail, and better contrast. The Region 2 PAL version is slightly brighter (probably boosted) and marginally cropped on the left and top edges. The higher bitrate of the Region 2 is no doubt die to the extensive Audio dubs available (remember our bitrate reader reads audio as well as video). It also includes 12 subtitle options. There are no valuable extras on either edition. Unless you require the language or subtitle options of the Region 2 DVD, obviously the NTSC version is the top choice.

It would be reasonable to se this anamorphized one day in an SE version with possible commentary and some decent extra features, but I don't suspect it will happen soon. 

 - Gary W. Tooze


Menus

50th Anniversary Edition

 


(MGM -  Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. MGM - Region 2 - PAL
- RIGHT)


 

 

 

 

Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) MGM (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MGM -  Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

.



1) MGM (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MGM -  Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

.


1) MGM (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MGM -  Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

.


1) MGM (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MGM -  Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

.


1) MGM (50th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1- NTSC TOP

2) MGM -  Region 1 - NTSC SECOND

3) MGM - Region 2 - PAL - THIRD

4) Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

.

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

   

 

Distribution

MGM (50th Anniversary Edition)

Region 1  - NTSC

MGM

Region 1  - NTSC

MGM
Region 2 - PAL
Criterion - Spine #591
Region 'A' -
Blu-ray



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Gary Tooze

 

 

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