Sidney Lumet’s first feature film, 12 Angry Men, is a model for low-budget indie filmmakers. Set in one main location, an ordinary jury room, the story unfolds in one day and focuses on the contentious final deliberations of a murder trial. It’s a directorial tour-de-force in blocking, composition and performance. A film to be thoroughly studied for many reasons, including financing, production methodology and visual direction.
The screenplay clocks in at 180 pages. Long by contemporary standards, and not in the format that we see in today’s screenplays. Still, going from “script to screen” is a valuable exercise to understand how Lumet approaches the narrative, visually shaping it through camera position, character placement, and lens choice.
Download script: 12 ANGRY MEN