The 1957 Film 12 Angry Men is often heralded as a movie must see.
I actually got down to watching it after it was mentioned in this video on the limitations of the long take: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3FlrbaHN2o
This critical look at the slow build cinematography of the film was an excellent primer, and the film did not disappoint.
It was a good example of site specific storytelling, it was a deliberate choice to keep all of the film within the court, and mostly within one room, to add to the sense of clostrophobia the characters must themselves be feeling.
It spoke of the shining example that the jury process is to democracy, and demonstrated how it brings together folk from all walks of life (this came to a head when one of the central characters of the film, whose name we never know, talks very demeaningly about people from slums and is confronted by a man who grew up in slums himself) but also demonstrated the tensions inherant to them.
The film has theatrical considerations of proxemics and the attention to this coupled with the editing makes for a slow building tension throughout, on top of the personal skirmishes the characters have.
The angriest of all the angry men, who at the beginning is shown as flying off the handle a little too easily, and having intractably prejudice views, leads the resistance against the prevailing tide of ‘Not Guilty’ pledges that an increasing amount of the men are moving to.
The crescendo of the film is his absolute refusal to budge, citing wavering and shaky evidence, most of which has already been cast into reasonable doubt, and contradicts himself. In a masterful shot, he is looked down on by the leader of the ‘Not Guilty’ camp, and told that he is alone.
He breaks down into hidden tears.
It seems it is this that is the moral punch of the film, that there are those who will hold their prejudices no matter what and it is a repellent characteristic which is usually down to events in their past.
This was no doubt a pretinent message in 1957 America.