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Sound in 12 Angry Men

Page history last edited by Air Dupaix 10 years, 6 months ago


 12 Angry Men would not be the same movie, and definitely would not have had the impact that it did, without sound. Hearing someone speak is obviously completely different than reading what they have said. Hearing a person's voice reveals more about them than reading a caption. When a juror speaks in 12 Angry Men they tell you about themselves using tone, grammar, tempo of which they speak, and many other speech styles. Sidney Lumet was great at directing the men in his films. These men were great voice actors. The extreme close up shots only showed off the great acting that these men were capable of and added the overall effect of the words that these men were saying. When comparing this film to others you can tell how the voices were louder in comparison, like they are actually talking to the audience. The words that the jurors use are just as important as the way they say them. For example, when the old man, juror number 9, takes a break to talk to the juror who is speaking if is glasses are bothering him. This tells us about his character but when he raises his voice it shows something that I believe no one knew about him up until that point. This man shows his authority and when he needs someone to listen they respond because they can tell when he is serious.

 When you first meet the jurors some claim to be honest and some claim to only care about facts. Others only want to close the case and get out of there. Words can be used as tools of deceit but in the end they are just as revealing to who the character really is and what they can do with their words. Without the sound in this film you really wouldn't be able to tell though. All you would know is what you were told.




 Other than the speaking, this film portrayed a real situation with the jurors and their environment. The clip also shows a great example of these effects. It's raining and is making it harder to hear the jurors. This creates more realism and tension as you listen closer the the people speaking as they come to a realization that the old man brought to their attention. If you heard any sounds it would be any normal sound in their environment but you were meant to hear it all the same. These environmental sounds add to the effect of the closed space that they are in. The sounds helped to portray a subtle realness of the film although at times the reality is broken by non-diegetic music and sounds. I think they necessarily take away from the reality though because it is showing how the character's reality is shattered by realizations that could be described as unreal.



"12 Angry Men (1957)." Greatest Films - The Best Movies in Cinematic History. Web. 28 Oct. 2009. <http://www.filmsite.org/twelve.html>.


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