12 Angry Men (1957) Script

Thank you very much, sir.

You did a wonderful job. Wonderful.

Shh. Shh.

We did it, Pete. We did it.

For a moment, we had our doubts. Shh.

To continue, you've listened to a long and complex case... murder in the first degree.

A premeditated murder is the most serious charge tried in our criminal courts.

You've listened to the testimony.

You've had the law read to you and interpreted as it applies in this case.

It's now your duty to sit down and try and separate the facts from the fancy.

One man is dead. Another man's life is at stake.

If there's a reasonable doubt in your minds as to the guilt of the accused... a reasonable doubt... then you must bring me a verdict of not guilty.

Now if, however, there's no reasonable doubt... then you must in good conscience find the accused guilty.

However you decide, your verdict must be unanimous.

In the event that you find the accused guilty... the bench will not entertain a recommendation for mercy.

The death sentence is mandatory in this case.

You're faced with a grave responsibility. Thank you, gentlemen.

The alternate jurors are excused.

The jury will now retire.

Try this one. See if I can get it...

It's a muggy day.

Hey. Oh, oh.

Piece of gum? No, thanks.

This thing is...

Huh? ...move it.

Come on, I'll give you a hand. Give me a hand with that.

That's it.

You know something? Yeah?

I called the weather bureau this morning.

This is gonna be the hottest day of the year.

Could be.

Boy, you'd think they'd at least air-condition these places.

What is your name, sir? Oh, it's, uh - That one, yeah.

Thank you very much.

Okay, gentlemen, everybody's here.

Now, if there's anything you want, I'll be right outside the door.

Just knock. Okay, thanks. We will.

Good morning.

I never knew they locked the door.

Sure they lock the door. What'd you think?

I don't know. It just never occurred to me.

What's that for?

Oh, I thought we might want to vote by ballot.

Great idea. Maybe we can get him elected senator.

Just in case, you know.

Ηow'd you like it? Oh, I don't know.

It was pretty interesting.

Yeah? I almost fell asleep.

I mean, I've never been on a jury before.

No? I've sat on many juries.

What gets me is the way those lawyers talk and talk and talk... even when it's an open-and-shut case like this one.

Did you ever hear so much talk about nothin'?

Well, I guess they're entitled.

Yeah. They're entitled. It's the system, but...

If you ask me, I'd slap those tough kids down before they start any trouble.

It would save us a lot of time and money.

Hey, let's get started, huh? That's a good idea.

Yeah, let's get goin', huh? We probably all got things to do here.

I figured we'd start out with a five-minute break. There's one gentleman in the bathroom.

Mr. Foreman. Huh?

Are, uh - Are we gonna sit in order? Gee, I don't know.

I, uh - Well, I guess so.

Uh, you're in my seat.

Oh. Excuse me. That's all right.

Hey, that's not a bad view, huh?

What did you think of the case?

I mean, it had a lot of interest for me.

No real... dead spots. You know what I mean?

I tell you, we were lucky to get a murder case.

I figured us for an assault or burglary.

Boy, they can be the dullest.


That the Woolworth Building?

That's right.

Isn't that funny?

You know, I've lived here all my life. I've never been inside that.

If you had to sort out all that junk...

Like that thing with the movies.

Yeah. You can say that again. And what about that business with the knife?

I mean, asking grown-up people to believe that kind of jazz, huh?

Well, I expected that. You know what we're dealing with.

Yeah, I guess so.

Well, your horn works. Now try your lights.

What do you got, a cold? And how.

These hot-weather colds can kill you.

I can hardly touch my nose. You know what I mean?

I sure do. I just got over one.

Aw, come on. Mr. Foreman, let's go here, huh?

Well, that guy's still in the bathroom.

Hey, what's new? I didn't get a chance to see a paper this morning.


I was only wondering how the market closed.

You got a seat on the Exchange?

I'm a broker.

I run a messenger service - the Beck and Call Company.

The name is my wife's idea.

Got 37 men working. Started with nothing.

Okay, men, let's take our seats, huh?

Yeah, we can all get outta here pretty quick, huh?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I happen to have tickets to that ball game tonight.

Yanks and Cleveland.

Yeah, we got this kid, Modjelewski, in there.

Ooh, he's a real bull, this kid.

You know - Phoom!

A real jug handle. You know?


You're a real baseball fan, aren't you? Huh? Yeah.

Where do we sit here?

Well, I thought we'd sit in order, you know, by jury numbers.

One, two, three, four, five - so on, around the table.

If that's okay with you gentlemen.

Sure. What's the difference?

I think it's reasonable to sit in order. Let it be.

Number 12. Do I sit down here? Yeah. That's 12. We go around...

We start with you. One, right? One, yeah. Two, three, four, five, six.

What was your impression of the prosecuting attorney?

Okay. Two. You're two.

I beg pardon?

I thought he was really sharp, the way he handled all those points one by one.

Logical sequence. I was very impressed.

I think he - he did an expert job.

A lot of drive too, you know? Real drive.

Okay, fellas, can we hold it down a minute? Sure.

Uh, fellas.

Say, we'd like to get started. Gentleman at the window.

We'd like to get started. Oh, I'm sorry.

Pretty tough to figure, isn't it? Kid kills his father - bing, just like that.

Aw, listen, you analyze the figures, you'll see it happens all the time.

They let those kids run wild up there.

Well, maybe it serves 'em right. You know what I mean?

Is - Is everyone here?

The old man is inside.

Oh. Would you, uh, knock on the door for him?

You a Yankee fan?

No. Baltimore.

Baltimore? Yeah.

That's like being hit in the head with a crowbar once a day.

Who have they got?

No, I mean, who have they got besides good groundskeepers?

Say, uh, we'd like to get started.

Oh, forgive me, gentlemen. I - I didn't mean to keep you waiting.


Okay, gentlemen, if I can have your attention.

You fellas can handle this thing any way that you want to.

I'm, um - You know, I'm not gonna make any rules.

Uh, we can, well, discuss it first and, uh, then vote on it.

That's, of course, uh - That's, uh, one way.

And, uh, well, we can vote on it right now, and...

I think it's customary to take a preliminary vote.

Yeah, let's - Let's vote. Who knows? Maybe we all can get outta here, huh?


Okay, then I think that, uh...

Of course you know that we have a first-degree murder charge here... and if we vote the accused guilty... uh, we've got to send him to the chair.

Um, that's mandatory. I think we know that.

Let's see who's where. We might as well.

Okay. Uh, anyone doesn't want to vote? All right with me.

Okay. Then, uh, just remember that this has to be 12 to nothing either way.

Um, that's the law.

Okay, are we ready?

Now, all those voting guilty, please raise your hands.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven... eight, nine, 10, 11.

Okay. That's 11 guilty.

Those voting not guilty.

One. Right.

That's 11 guilty. One not guilty.

Well, now we know where we are.

Boy, oh, boy. There's always one.

So, what do we do now?

Well, I guess we talk.

Boy, oh, boy.

You really think he's innocent?

I don't know.

I mean, you sat in court with the rest of us. You heard what we did.

The kid's a dangerous killer. You could see it.

He's 18 years old.

Well, that's old enough. Ηe...

He stabbed his own father four inches into the chest.

They proved it a dozen different ways in court.

Would you like me to list them for you?


Then what do you want?

I just want to talk. What's there to talk about?

Eleven men in here think he's guilty.

No one had to think about it twice except you.

I want to ask you something. Do you believe his story?

I don't know whether I believe it or not. Maybe I don't.

So how come you vote not guilty?

Well, there were 11 votes for guilty.

It's not easy to raise my hand and send a boy off to die... without talking about it first.

Well, now, who says it's easy? No one.

What, just because I voted fast?

I honestly think the guy's guilty.

You couldn't change my mind if you talked for a hundred years.

I'm not trying to change your mind. It's just that...

We're talking about somebody's life here.

We can't decide it in five minutes. Supposing we're wrong.

"Supposing we're wrong."

Supposing this whole building should fall down on my head.

You can suppose anything. That's right.

Look, what's the difference how long it takes?

Suppose we do it in five minutes. So what?

Let's take an hour.

The ball game doesn't start till 8:00.


Who's got something to say?

I'm willing to sit for an hour.

Great. I heard a pretty good story last night.

That's not why we're sitting here.

All right, then you tell me. What are we sitting here for?

I don't know. Maybe no reason.

Look, this kid's been kicked around all of his life... you know, born in a slum, mother dead since he was nine.

He lived for a year and a half in an orphanage when his... his father was serving a jail term for forgery.

It's not a very happy beginning.

He's a - a wild, angry kid.

That's all he's ever been. And you know why?

'Cause he's been hit on the head by somebody once a day every day.

He's had a - He's had a pretty miserable 18 years.

I - I just think we owe him a few words. That's all.

I don't mind telling you this, mister. We don't owe him a thing.

He got a fair trial, didn't he? What do you think that trial cost?

He's lucky he got it. You know what I mean? You know it.

Now, look, we're all grown-ups in here.

We heard the facts, didn't we?

You're not gonna tell me that we're supposed to believe this kid, knowing what he is.

Listen, I've lived among them all my life.

You can't believe a word they say. You know that.

I mean, they're born liars.

Only an ignorant man can believe that. Now listen...

Do you think you were born with a monopoly on the truth?

I think certain things should be pointed out to this man.

Come on. This isn't Sunday. We don't need a sermon.

Come on. We have a job to do. Now let's do it.

Rice Pops. It's a product I work on at the agency.

"The breakfast with the built-in bounce."

I wrote that line. Very catchy.

Yeah. Say, do you mind?

Oh, I'm sorry.

I have this habit of doodling. Keeps me thinking clearly.

Yeah, we have all this work to do.

There's no point staying here forever. Sorry.

Okay. Um... perhaps if the gentleman down there who's disagreeing with us...

Well, perhaps you could tell us why. You know, let us know what you're thinking.

And we might be able to show you where you're mixed up.

Well, look, maybe - Maybe this is an idea.

Now, I haven't given it much thought, but it seems to me... that it's up to the group of us to convince this gentleman that he's wrong and we're right.

Now, maybe if we each took a couple of minutes just to...

Well, it was just a quick idea.

No, no, no. That's a good one.

Uh, suppose we go once around the table.

I guess you're first. Oh.

Well, uh...

Well, it-it's hard to put into words.

I just think he's guilty.

I thought it was obvious from the word "go."

I mean, nobody proved otherwise.

Nobody has to prove otherwise.

The burden of proof's on the prosecution.

The defendant doesn't even have to open his mouth.

That's in the Constitution. Oh, well, sure, I know that.

Uh, what I meant was, is...

Well, I just think he's guilty.

I-I mean, somebody saw him do it.

Okay. Uh, here's what I think, and I have no personal feelings about this.

I just want to talk about facts.

Number one.

The old man lived downstairs under the room where the killing took place.

At 10 minutes after 12:00 on the night of the killing... he heard loud noises, said it sounded like a fight.

And he heard the kid yell out, "I'm gonna kill ya."

A second later, he heard a body hit the floor.

Ran to the door, opened it up... saw the kid running down the stairs and out of the house.

Called the police.

They came in, found the old man with a knife in his chest.

The coroner fixed the time of death around midnight.

Now these are facts. You can't refute facts.

The kid is guilty.

I'm just as sentimental as the next fella.

I know he's only 18, but he's still gotta pay for what he did.

I'm with you.

Okay. Are you finished?

Yeah. Right. Next.

It is obvious, to me anyway, that the boy's entire story was flimsy.

He claimed he was at the movies during the time of the killing... and yet, one hour later, he couldn't remember the names of the films he saw... or who played in them. That's right.

And no one saw him going in or out of the theater.

Listen, what about the woman across the street?

If her testimony don't prove it, nothing does.

That's right. She was the one who actually saw the killing.

Now, fellas, please. Let's go in order here, huh?

Just a minute. Here's a woman...

Here's a woman who was lying in bed. She can't sleep.

She's dying with the heat. You know what I mean?

Anyway, she looks out the window... and right across the street she sees the kid stick the knife into his father.

The time is 12:10 on the nose.

Everything fits.

Look, she's known the kid all his life.

His window is right opposite hers across the el tracks... and she swore she saw him do it.

Through the windows of the passing el train. Right.

This el train had no passengers on it. It was just being moved downtown.

The lights were out, remember? And they proved in court that, at night... you can look through the windows of an el train when the lights are out... and see what's happening on the other side.

They proved it. I'd like to ask you something.

You don't believe the boy's story. How come you believe the woman's?

She's one of them too, isn't she?

You're a pretty smart fella, aren't you?

Okay, gentlemen. Now, now.

Now, gentlemen. Come on. Sit down. Sit down.

Oh, what's he so wise about? I'm telling you.

Okay, now come on. Now we're not gonna get anywhere fighting.

Whose turn is it next?

Oh, uh, his. Number five.

Okay, may I - Can I pass? It...

Well, uh, that's your privilege.

Uh, how about the next gentleman?

Oh. Well, uh, I don't know.

I started to be convinced, you know, very early in the case.

You see, I was looking for a motive. That's very important.

Because if you don't have a motive, where's your case, right?

Anyway, that, uh, testimony from those people... in the apartment across the hall from the kid's apartment... that was very powerful.

Didn't they say something about a - a fight and an argument... between the old man and his son around about, uh, 7:00 that night?

I mean, I could be wrong, but I - It was 8:00.

It was 8:00. That's right. They heard an argument.

They couldn't hear what it was about.

Then they heard the father hit the boy twice.

Finally they saw the boy run angrily out of the house.

What does that prove?

Well, it don't exactly prove anything. It's just part of the picture.

Well, you said it provided a motive. The prosecuting attorney said the same thing.

I don't think that was a very strong motive.

This boy's been hit so many times in his life that violence is practically a...

It's a normal state of affairs with him.

I just - I can't see two slaps in the face provoking him into committing murder.

It may have been two too many. Everyone has a breaking point.

Anything else?

No. Okay.

Uh, how about you?

I don't know. It's all been said.

You can talk here forever. It's still the same thing.

This kid is five for 0.

Well, look at his record.

When he was 10, he was in children's court.

He threw a rock at a teacher.

When he was 15, he was in reform school.

He stole a car.

He's been arrested for mugging.

He was picked up twice for knife fighting.

Oh, yeah, they say he's real handy with a knife.

Oh, this is a very fine boy.

Ever since he was five years old, his father beat him up regularly.

He used his fists. Well, so would I.

A kid like that?

It's these kids, the way they are nowadays.

When I was a kid, I used to call my father "sir."

That's right. "Sir."

Do you ever hear a kid call his father that any more?

Fathers don't seem to think it's important any more.

You got any kids? Three.

I got one.

Twenty-two years old.

When he was nine years old, he ran away from a fight.

I saw it. I was so embarrassed I almost threw up.

I said, "I'm gonna make a man out of you if I have to break you in two trying."

Well, I made a man out of him.

When he was 16, we had a fight.

Hit me in the jaw. He was a big kid.

Haven't seen him for two years.


Work your heart out.

Well, let's get going.

I think we're missing the point here.

This boy, let's say he's the product of a broken home and a filthy neighborhood.

We can't help that. We're here to decide whether he's innocent or guilty... not to go into the reasons why he grew up the way he did.

He was born in a slum. Slums are breeding grounds for criminals.

I know it, and so do you.

It's no secret children from slum backgrounds are potential menaces to society.

Now I think - Brother, you can say that again.

The kids who crawl out of these places are real trash.

I don't want any part of them. I'm telling you. Listen, mister. Listen.

I, uh - I've lived in a slum all my life. Wait a minute.

Please, I - I played in backyards that were filled with garbage.

I mean, maybe you can still smell it on me.

Now, listen, sonny.

Come on now. There's nothing personal about this.

No, there was something personal. Aw, come on, fella. He didn't mean you.

Let's not be so sensitive.

This sensitivity I can understand.

Okay, look, let's stop the arguing. We're only wasting time, and...

Look, your turn down there. Let's go.

Oh, I didn't expect a turn. I thought you were all gonna try to convince me.

Wasn't that the idea? Check. That was the idea.

Oh, I forgot about that. He's right. What difference does it make?

He's the one who's keeping us in here. Let's hear what he's got to say.

Oh, now wait a minute. We decided to do this a certain way.

I think we ought to stick to that way.

Oh, stop being a kid, will you?

What do you mean "a kid"? What do you think I mean?

K-I-D. Kid.

What? Listen, just because I'm trying to keep this thing organized?

Here, you take it. You take on the responsibility.

I'll just - I'll keep my mouth shut. That's all.

What are you getting so hot about? Calm down, will you?

Don't tell me to calm down.

Here. You wanna take the chair, just take the chair. That's all.

Did you ever see such a thing? See if you can keep it running.

Listen, you think it's funny or something? Hey, forget it, fella.

The whole thing's unimportant. Come on.

Unimportant? Oh, here, you try it. No, nobody wants to change.

You're doing a beautiful job. Sit down.

Yeah, you're doing great. Just great, fella.

You stay in there and pitch. You know?

All right. Let's hear from somebody.

Well, if you want me to tell you how I feel about it, it's all right with me.

Boy, I don't care what you do.

All right, I don't have anything brilliant.

I only know as much as you do.

According to the testimony, the boy looks guilty. Maybe he is.

I sat there in court for six days listening while the evidence built up.

Everybody sounded so positive, you know?

I-I began to get a peculiar feeling about this trial.

I mean, nothing is that positive.

There are a lot of questions I'd have liked to ask.

I don't know. Maybe they wouldn't have meant anything, but...

I began to get the feeling that the defense counsel... wasn't conducting a thorough-enough cross-examination.

I mean, he - he let too many things go by, little things that...

What little things? Listen, when these fellas don't ask questions... it's because they know the answers already and they figure they'll be hurt.

Maybe it's also possible for a lawyer to be just plain stupid, isn't it?

I mean it's possible.

You sound like you met my brother-in-law once.

I - I kept putting myself in the kid's place.

I'd have asked for another lawyer, I think.

I mean, if I was on trial for my life...

I'd want my lawyer to tear the prosecution witnesses to shreds, or at least try to.

Look, there was one alleged eyewitness to this killing.

Someone else claims he heard the killing, saw the boy run out afterwards.

And there was a lot of circumstantial evidence.

But actually, those two witnesses were the entire case for the prosecution.

Supposing they're wrong.

What do you mean supposing they're wrong?

What's the point of having witnesses at all?

Could they be wrong? What are you trying to say?

Those people sat on the stand under oath.

They're only people. People make mistakes.

Could they be wrong?

Well, no, I don't think so. Do you know so?

Oh, come on. Nobody can know a thing like that.

This isn't an exact science.

That's right. It isn't.

Okay, let - Let's get to the point.

What about the switch knife they found in the old man's chest?

Uh, wait-wait a minute. There's some people who haven't talked yet.

Shouldn't we go in order? They'll get a chance to talk.

Be quiet a second, will you?

What about it, this... the knife this fine upright boy admitted buying the night of the killing?

Let's talk about it.

All right, let's talk about it. Let's get it in here and look at it.

I'd like to see it again. Mr. Foreman?

We all saw what it looks like. Why do we have to see it again?

The gentleman has a right to see exhibits in evidence.

Say, could you bring us the knife?

Knife? Yeah. Thank you.

The knife and the way it was bought is pretty strong evidence, don't you think?

I do. Good.

Now, suppose we take these facts one at a time.

One. The boy admitted going out of the house at 8:00 on the night of the murder... after being slapped several times by his father.

No, no. No, he didn't say "slapped." He said "punched."

There's a difference between a slap and a punch.

After being hit several times by his father.

Two. He went directly to a neighborhood junk shop... where he bought one of those - Switch knives.

Switchblade knives.

This wasn't what you'd call an ordinary knife.

It had a very unusual carved handle and blade.

The storekeeper who sold it to him... said it was the only one of its kind he had ever had in stock.

Three. He met some friends of his in front of a tavern about 8:45.

Am I right so far?

Yes, you are. You bet he is.

He talked with his friends for about an hour, leaving them at 9:45.

During this time, they saw the switch knife.


They identified the death weapon in court... as that very same knife.

Five. Ηe arrived home at about 10:00.

Now this is where the stories offered by the State and the boy... begin to diverge slightly.

He claims that he went to a movie at about 11:30... returning home at 3:10 to find his father dead and himself arrested.

He also claims that the two detectives who arrested him... threw him down a half a flight of stairs.

Now, what happened to the switch knife?

He claims that it fell through a hole in his pocket on the way to the movies... sometime between 11:30 and 3:10 and that he never saw it again.

Now there's a tale, gentlemen.

I think it's quite clear that the boy never went to the movies that night.

No one in the house saw him go out at 11:30.

No one at the theater identified him.

He couldn't even remember the names of the pictures he saw.

What actually happened is this. Thank you.

The boy stayed home, had another fight with his father... stabbed him to death and left the house at 10 minutes after 12:00.

He even remembered to wipe the knife clean of fingerprints.

Now are you trying to tell me that this knife... really fell through a hole in the boy's pocket... someone picked it up off the street, went to the boy's house... and stabbed his father with it just to test its sharpness?

No. I'm just saying it's possible the boy lost his knife... and that somebody else stabbed his father with a similar knife.

It's just possible.

Take a look at this knife.

It's a very unusual knife.

I've never seen one like it.

Neither had the storekeeper who sold it to the boy.

Aren't you asking us to accept a pretty incredible coincidence?

I'm just saying a coincidence is possible.

And I say it's not possible.

Where did that come from?

Where'd you get that? It's the same knife.

What do you think you're doing?

Where did you get it?

I went out walking for a couple of hours last night.

I walked through the boy's neighborhood.

I bought that at a little pawnshop just two blocks from the boy's house.

It cost six dollars.

It's against the law to buy or sell switchblade knives.

That's right. I broke the law.

Listen, you pulled a real bright trick. Now, supposing you tell me what it proves.

Maybe there are 10 knives like that. So what?

Maybe there are. Well, what does it mean?

You found another knife like it. What's that, the discovery of the age or something?

You mean you're asking us to believe that somebody else did the stabbing... with exactly the same kind of knife?

The odds are a million-to-one.

It's possible. But not very probable.

Okay, fellas, let's take our seats.

There's no point in standing around all over the place.

You know, it's interesting that he'd find a knife exactly like the one the boy bought.

What's interesting about it? "Interesting."

Well, I don't know. I just thought it was interesting.

There are still 11 of us here who think he's guilty.

Right. What do you think you're gonna accomplish?

You're not gonna change anybody's mind.

So if you wanna be stubborn and hang this jury, go ahead.

The kid will be tried again and found guilty sure as he's born.

That's probably right.

So what are you gonna do? You know, we could be here all night.

It's only one night. A boy may die.

Well, why don't we just set up house here, huh?

Someone send for Potsy the policeman and get a pinochle deck... and, uh, we'll just sweat the whole thing out right here.

I don't think he ought to joke about it. What do you want me to do about it?

Oh, listen! I don't see what all this stuff about the knife's got to do with anything.

Somebody saw the kid stab his father. What more do we need?

You guys can talk the ears right off my head. You know what I mean?

I got three garages of mine goin' to pot while you're talking.

So let's get done and get outta here.

The knife was very important to the district attorney. He spent a whole day...

He's a 15th assistant or something. What does he know about it?

Hey, let's hold it down.

These side arguments are only slowing us up.

Well, what about it?

You're the only one.

I have a proposition to make to all of you.

I'm gonna call for another vote.

I want you 11 men to vote by secret written ballot.

I'll abstain.

If there are 11 votes for guilty, I won't stand alone.

We'll take in a guilty verdict to the judge right now.

But if anyone votes not guilty, we stay here and talk it out.

Well, that's it. If you want to try it, I'm ready.

All right. Let's do it the hard way.

Okay, that sounds fair. Everyone agreed?

Anyone doesn't agree? Fine, fine. Let's go.

Here, pass these along.

Is that the right time?


"Not guilty."


Boy, how do you like that?

Oh, and another chap flaps his wings.

All right, who was it? Come on. I want to know.

Excuse me. This was a secret ballot.

We all agreed on that, no?

If the gentleman wanted to remain secret...

Secret? What do you mean secret?

There are no secrets in a jury room. I know who it was.

Brother, you really are something.

You sit here, vote guilty like the rest of us... and then some golden-voiced preacher starts tearin' your poor heart out... about some underprivileged kid just couldn't help becomin' a murderer... and you change your vote.

If that isn't the most sick...

Why don't you drop a quarter in his collection box?

Oh, now just wait a minute.

Listen, you can't talk to me like that.

No. Who do you think you are? Calm down. Calm down.

No. Who does he think he is? Did you hear him?

It doesn't matter. He's very excitable. Sit down. Excitable? You bet I'm excitable!

We're trying to put a guilty man in the chair where he belongs!

Someone starts telling us fairy tales, and we're listenin'!

Hey, uh, come on, huh?

What made you change your vote?

He didn't change his vote.

I did.

Oh, fine. I knew it.

Would you like me to tell you why?

No, I wouldn't like you to tell me why.

I'd like to make it clear anyway, if you don't mind.

Do we have to listen to this?

The man wants to talk.

Thank you.

This gentleman has been standing alone against us.

Now, he doesn't say the boy is not guilty.

He just isn't sure.

Well, it's not easy to stand alone against the ridicule of others.

So he gambled for support, and I gave it to him.

I respect his motives.

The boy on trial is probably guilty, but, uh, I want to hear more.

Right now, the vote is 10 to two.

I'm talking here! You have no right to leave this room!

He can't hear you. He never will.

Let's sit down.

Shall we continue?

Well, I - I think we ought to take a break.

You know, one man's inside, and I think we ought to wait for him.


Looks like we're really hung up here, huh?

And that thing with the old man, that was pretty unexpected.

I wish I could figure out some way we could break it up.

You know, in advertising - I told you I worked in an agency.


Well, there's some pretty strange people working there.

Well, they're not strange really, I guess.

It's just that they have peculiar ways of expressing themselves.

You know what I mean.

Of course, I suppose it's the same in your business too, huh?

What do you do?

I'm a watchmaker. Oh, really?

Well, I imagine the finest watchmakers in the world come from Europe, huh?

Anyway, as I was telling you, in an agency, when we reach a point like this...

I'm telling him about, in an ad agency, when a point like this is reached in a meeting... there's always some character ready with an idea, see.

And it kills me.

It's the weirdest thing in the world... the way they sometimes precede their idea with a little phrase, see, like...

Some account exec will get up, and he'll say, uh...

"Okay, here's an idea.

Let's, uh, run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes it."

I mean, it's idiotic, but it's funny, huh?

I, uh I got a little excited back there. I... didn't mean to get nasty.

I'm glad you're not one of those lets these emotional appeals influence him.


I don't know what's the matter with that fan. Can't seem to get it to start.

♪ Be, be, be ♪

♪ Ba, ba, ba, ba, bum ♪♪ Eh!

Hey, you a salesman?

I'm an architect.


You know what the soft sell is?

Boy, you got it. Believe me.

I got a different technique.

Laughs, drinks, jokes.

Tricks. You know?


"Hit 'em where they live." That's my motto.

I made 27 grand last year sellin' marmalade.

That's not bad. I mean, you know, considering marmalade.

Hey, what are you gettin' outta this - kicks?

Or did somebody bump you on the head one time and you haven't gotten over it?


You know, you do-gooders are all alike.

You're always blowing your stacks over some guy that fanned.

But what are you wasting our time for?

Why don't you donate five dollars to the cause, and maybe it'll make you feel better.

This kid is guilty, pal.

It's as plain as the nose on your face.

So why don't we stop wasting our time here?

We're gonna all get sore throats if we keep it up, you know?

What difference does it make if you get it here or at the ball game?

Oh, no difference, pal.

No difference at all.

Nice bunch of guys, huh?

Oh, they're about the same as anyone else.

Phew! Boy, what a murderous day.

You think we'll be much longer?

I don't know.

Aw, he's guilty for sure.

Not a doubt in the whole world.

We should - Should've been done already.

Oh, I don't mind, you know.

Hmm. Beats workin'.


You think he's not guilty, huh?

I don't know. It's possible.

Well, I don't know you, but I'm bettin' you never been wronger in your life.

You're wasting your time. You ought to wrap it up.

Supposing you were the one who was on trial.

Well, I'm not used to supposing.

I'm just a workingman. My boss does the supposing. But...

Well, I'll try one.

Supposing you talk us all out of this, and, uh, the kid really did knife his father. Huh?

Are you ready?


That one.

Sorry, blue eyes.

Well, where else - Okay, fellas, let's take our seats.

Looks like we'll be here for dinner, huh?

Okay, now let's - Let's get down to business.

Now, who wants to start it off?

I would. Okay, go.

You down there.

The old man who lived downstairs says he heard the kid yell out, "I'm gonna kill ya."

A second later, he heard the body hit the floor.

Now, he ran to the door and he saw the kid running down the stairs and out of the house.

What does that mean to you?

I was wondering how clearly the old man could have heard the boy's voice through the ceiling.

He didn't hear it through the ceiling. The window was open.

So was the one upstairs. It was a hot night, remember?

Well, it was another apartment.

It's not that easy to identify a voice, particularly a shouting voice.

He identified it in court. That's right.

And don't forget the lady across the street.

She looked right in the open window and saw the boy stab his father.

Now, I mean, isn't that enough for you? No, it isn't.

Boy, how do you like this guy, huh?

It's like talking into a dead phone.

She said she saw the killing through the windows of a moving elevated train.

There were six cars on the train. She saw the killing through the last two cars.

She remembered the most insignificant details.

I don't see how you can argue with that.

Has anybody here any idea how long it would take an el...


This isn't a game.

Did you see him? Hey.

The nerve. All right, listen...

The absolute nerve. Forget it. It's not important.

"This isn't a game"? Calm down.

Who does he think he is? I'm telling you, forget it now.

Has anybody any idea how long it takes an elevated train... going at medium speed to pass a given point?

What has that to do with anything? How long? Take a guess.

I wouldn't have the slightest idea. What do you think?

I don't know. Maybe 10, 12 seconds?

I think that's a pretty good guess. Anyone else?

That sounds right to me. Come on. What's the guessing game for?

What do you say? Ten seconds is about right.

All right. Say 10 seconds. What are you getting at?

This. It takes a six-car el train 10 seconds to pass a given point.

Now let's say the given point is the open window of the room where the killing took place.

You can reach out of that window and almost touch the el tracks, right?

Now let me ask you this.

Has anyone here ever lived near the el tracks?

Well, uh, I just finished painting an apartment that overlooked an el line.

I was there for three days. What was it like?

What do you mean? Noisy?

Oh, brother. Don't matter though. We were all punchy.

I lived in a second-floor apartment near the el line once.

When the window was open and the train goes by, the noise is almost unbearable.

You can hardly hear yourself think. All right, you can't hear yourself think.

Will you get to the point? I will. Now just a minute.

Let's take two pieces of testimony and try to put them together.

First. The old man in the apartment downstairs.

He says he heard the boy say "I'm gonna kill you"... and a split second later heard a body hit the floor.

One second later, right? That's right.

Second. The woman across the street swore positively she looked out of the window... and saw the killing through the last two cars of the passing elevated train, right?

The last two cars. What are you giving us here?

Now, just a minute.

We've agreed that it takes 10 seconds for a train to pass a given point.

Since the woman saw the killing through the last two cars... we can assume that the body hit the floor just as the train went by.

Therefore, the train had been roaring by the old man's window... a full 10 seconds before the body hit the floor.

The old man, according to his own testimony...

"I'm gonna kill you," body hitting the floor a split second later... would have had to hear the boy make this statement... with the el roaring past his nose.

It's not possible he could've heard it.

That's idiotic. Of course he heard it. Do you think he could've heard it?

He said he yelled at the top of his voice. That's good enough for me.

Even if he heard something, he still couldn't have identified the voice.

With the el roaring by?

You're talking about a matter of seconds! Nobody can be that accurate.

I think testimony that could put a boy into the electric chair should be that accurate.

You know something? I don't think he could've heard it.

Maybe he didn't hear it. I mean, with all that el noise.

Oh, what are you people talking about?

Well, it stands to reason he couldn't have heard it.

Why should he lie? What's he got to gain?

Attention maybe.

You keep coming in with these bright sayings!

Why don't you send 'em in to a paper? They pay three dollars apiece.

What are you talking to him like that for?

Guy talks like that to an old man really ought to get stepped on, you know?

You ought to have more respect, mister.

If you say stuff like that to him again, I'm gonna lay you out.

Now you go ahead. You - You say anything you like.

Why do you think the old man might lie?

It was just that I looked at him for a very long time.

The seams of his jacket was split, under the shoulder.

Or did you notice that?

I mean, to come to court like that.


He was a very old man in a torn jacket.

And he walked very slowly to the stand.

He was dragging his left leg and trying to hide it... because he was ashamed.

I think I know this man better than anyone here.

This is a quiet, frightened, insignificant old man who... who has been nothing all his life... who has never had recognition... or his name in the newspapers.

Nobody knows him.

Nobody quotes him.

Nobody seeks his advice after 75 years.

Gentlemen, that's a very sad thing - to be nothing.

A man like this needs to be quoted, to be listened to.

To be quoted just once.

Very important to him.

It would be so hard for him to recede into the background...

Wait a minute. When there was a chance...

What are you trying to do - tell us he'd lie just so he could be important once?

No. He wouldn't really lie.

But perhaps he made himself believe he heard those words... and recognized the boy's face.

That's the most fantastic story I've ever heard.

How can you make up a thing like that? What do you know about it?

Oh, uh, does anybody want a cough drop?

No, thanks. I'll take one.

You can say what you like. I still don't see how anybody can think he's not guilty.

There's something else I'd like to talk about for a minute.


I think we've proved that the old man couldn't have heard the boy say "I'm gonna kill you."

But supposing - You didn't prove it at all.

What are you talking about? Supposing he really did hear it.

This phrase, how many times have all of us used it?

Probably thousands.

"I could kill you for that, darling."

"Junior, you do that once more, and I'm gonna kill you."

"Get in there, Rocky, and kill him."

We say it every day. That doesn't mean we're really gonna kill anybody.

Wait a minute. What are you trying to give us here?

The phrase was "I'm gonna kill you." The kid yelled it at the top of his lungs.

Don't tell me he didn't mean it.

Anybody says a thing like that the way he said it, they mean it.

Well, gee, now I don't know.

I remember I was arguing with a guy I work next to at the bank a couple weeks ago.

He called me an idiot, so I yelled at him.

Now listen! This guy's trying to make you believe things that aren't so.

The kid said he was gonna kill him, and he did kill him.

Let me ask you this. Do you really think the boy would shout out a thing like that... so the whole neighborhood could hear him?

I don't think so. He's much too bright for that.

Bright? He's a common ignorant slob. He don't even speak good English.

"He doesn't even speak good English."

Mr. Foreman, I'd like to change my vote to not guilty.

You what?

You heard me. Are you sure?

Yeah, I'm sure.

The vote is nine to three, favor of guilty.

Well, if this isn't the living end. Huh?

What are you basing it on - the stories this guy made up?

You ought to write for one of those kooky detective magazines.

You'd make a fortune.

For crying out loud. The kid's own lawyer knew he didn't stand a chance.

Right from the beginning, his own lawyer knew it.

You could see it.

Boy, oh, boy. I'm tellin' you, this guy here is really something.

Look, the kid had a lawyer, didn't he?

He presented his case, not you. How come you got so much to say?

Look, lawyers aren't infallible, you know. Baltimore, please. Huh?

He was court-appointed.

What's that supposed to mean? It could mean a lot of things.

It could mean he didn't want the case, or he resented being appointed.

It's the kind of case that brings him nothing... no money, no glory, not even much chance of winning.

That's not a very promising situation for a young lawyer.

He'd really have to believe in his client to put up any kind of a good case... and, as you pointed out a minute ago, obviously he didn't.

Of course he didn't. Huh.

Who the heck could?

Except maybe some guy's mother or somebody. I...

Ah, look. Will you look at the time, huh?

Come on. For crying out - Pardon me.

I have made some notes here - Notes.

And I would like to - please, to say something.

Yeah. I have been listening very carefully.

And, uh, it seems to me that this man has some very good points to make.

From what was presented at the trial, the boy looks guilty on the surface.

But maybe if we go deeper? Oh, come on, will ya?

There is a question I would like to ask.

Let us assume that the boy really did commit the murder.

Now, this happened at 10 minutes after 12:00.

Now, how was he caught by the police?

He came back home, uh, at 3:00 or so... and he was captured by two detectives in the hallway of his house.

Now, my question is, if he really had killed his father... why would he come back home three hours later?

Wouldn't he be afraid of being caught?

He came home to get his knife.

It's not nice to go around leaving knives sticking in people's chests.

Yeah, especially relatives. Yeah.

I don't see anything funny about it.

The boy knew the knife could be identified as the one he had just bought.

He had to get it before the police did.

But if he knew the knife could be identified, why did he leave it there in the first place?

Well, I think we can assume the boy ran out in a state of panic... after having just killed his father.

When he finally calmed down, he realized he had left his knife there.

Ah. This then depends on your definition of panic.

He would have had to be calm enough to see to it... that there were no fingerprints left on the knife.

Now, where did this panic start and where did it end?

Look, you voted guilty. What side are ya on?

I don't believe I have to be loyal to one side or the other.

I'm simply asking questions.

Well, this is just off the top of my head, but, uh... well, if I were the boy and I'd done the stabbing and everything...

I'd take a chance and go back for the knife.

I'll bet he figured that nobody had seen him running out... and that the body wouldn't be discovered till the next day.

Well, after all, it was the middle of the night.

I'll bet he'd figured nobody would find the body till the next day.

Pardon. This is my whole point.

The woman across the street testified that the moment after she saw the killing... that is, a moment after the train went by... she screamed and then went to telephone the police.

Now, the boy certainly must have heard the scream... so he knew that somebody saw something.

I just don't think that he would have gone back.

Two things. One, in his state of panic, he may not have heard the scream.

Perhaps it wasn't very loud.

Two, if he did hear it, he may not have connected it with his own act.

Remember, he lived in a neighborhood where screams were fairly commonplace.

There's your answer. Maybe.

Maybe the boy did kill his father, didn't hear the scream... did run out in a panic, did calm down three hours later... and come back to get the knife, risking being caught by the police.

Maybe all of those things happened, but maybe they didn't.

I think there's enough doubt that we can wonder whether he was there at all... during the time the killing took place.

What do you mean doubt? What are you talking about?

Didn't the old man see him running out of the house?

He's twisting the facts, I'm telling you.

Did or didn't the old man see the kid running out of the house at 12:10?

Well, did or didn't he?

He says he did. "Says he did"? Boy! How do you like that?

Now, look, witnesses can make mistakes. Sure, when you want them to, they do.

Or when he wants them to, they do. You know what I mean?

Keep the yelling down! Oh, you keep saying that.

Maybe what we need is a little yelling in here.

These guys keep going off every which way.

Did hear the scream. Didn't hear the scream.

What difference does it make? You people are talking only about the little details.

You're forgetting the important stuff. I mean, all of a sudden, everybody here...

I want to call for another vote. I'm talking here!

There's another vote called for. Now let's take our seats.

I never saw so much time spent on nothing.

It only takes a second.

Okay. I guess the fastest way is to find out who's voting not guilty.

Now, all those voting not guilty, please raise your hands.

Still the same. One, two, three not guilty. Nine guilty.

So, now where are we?

I'm telling you, we can yackety-yack until next Tuesday. Where's it all getting us?

Pardon. I vote not guilty.


What are ya talking about? I mean, we're all going crazy in here or something.

The kid is guilty. Why don't you listen to the facts?

Tell him, will ya? Now this is getting to be a joke.

The vote is eight to four, favor of guilty.

What is this, love your underprivileged brother week or something?

I want you to get up and tell me why you changed your vote.

Come on. Give me your reasons. I don't have to defend my decision to you.

There is a reasonable doubt in my mind.

What reasonable doubt? That's nothing but words. Here, look at this.

The kid you just decided isn't guilty was seen ramming this into his father.

Now, what about this, Mr. Reasonable Doubt?

That's not the knife. Don't you remember?

Oh, brilliant.

I'm telling ya, this is the craziest.

I mean, what are we supposed to believe?

I mean, you're sittin' here, you're pulling stories out of thin air, you know?

A guy like this, if he's, uh, sitting ringside at the Dempsey-Firpo fight... he'd be trying to tell you that, uh...

Look. Now, what about the old man?

Are we supposed to believe that he didn't get up and run to his door... and see the kid tearing down the steps 15 seconds after the killing?

He's just saying so to be important, right?

I mean, what's the point of the whole thing? Wait. Hold it a second, will you?

Oh, and the Baltimore rooter is heard from again now... and pop-ups are fallin' for base hits wherever we look.

Hold it a second. Now, look - Did the old man say he ran to the door?

Ran, walked. What's the difference? He got on, didn't he? I mean, he got there, didn't he?

No, now wait a second. He said he ran. At least I think he did.

Look, I don't remember what he said, but I don't see how he could have run to the door.

Ηe said he went from his bedroom to the front door.

Now, isn't that enough? Where was the bedroom?

It was down the hall somewhere. I thought you remembered everything.

Don't you remember that? No.

Mr. Foreman, I'd like to see a diagram of the apartment.

Why don't we just have 'em run the trial all over again so you can get everything straight? - Mr. Foreman.

How come you're the only one in this room wants to see exhibits all the time?

I want to see this one too. And I'd like to stop wasting time.

If we're gonna start wading through all that nonsense about where the body was found...

We're not, not unless somebody else wants to.

But I'd like to find out if an old man... who drags one foot when he walks 'cause he had a stroke last year... can get from his bedroom to his front door in 15 seconds.

He said 20 seconds. Ηe said 15.

He said 20 seconds. What are you trying to distort...

He said 15. How does he know how long 15 seconds is?

You can't judge a thing like that.

He said 15 seconds. He was very positive about it.

He was an old man. Half the time he was confused.

How could he be positive about anything?

I don't see what you're going to prove here. The man said he saw the boy running out.

Well, let's see if the details bear him out.

As soon as the body hit the floor, he said he heard footsteps upstairs... running toward the front door... heard the upstairs door open, the footsteps start down the stairs.

He said he got to his own front door as fast as he could... and he swore it couldn't have been more than 15 seconds.

Now, if the killer began running immediately...

Maybe he didn't. The old man said he did.

You ought to be at Atlantic City at that hairsplitters convention.

Hey, why don't you stop makin' smart remarks all the time, huh?

My friend, for your three dollars a day, you have to listen to everything, you know?

Now that you've got that thing in here, what about it?

All right. Here's the apartment where the killing took place.

The old man's apartment was directly beneath and exactly the same.

Here are the el tracks, the bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom.

Here's the hall. Here are the stairs.

Now, the old man was in this bedroom right here.

He says he crossed to the door and walked down the hall... opened the front door just in time to see the boy running down the stairs.

Am I right so far? That's the story, for the 19th time.

Fifteen seconds after the body hit the floor. Correct.

Now, let's see. It was...

It's 12 feet from the bed to the door. The hall is 43 feet.

He would have had to walk 12 feet, open the bedroom door... walk 43 feet down and open the front door all in 15 seconds.

Do you think he could have done it? Sure he could have done it.

He can walk only very slowly. They had to help him into the witness chair.

You make it sound like a long walk.

For an old man who had a stroke, it is a long walk.

Oh! What are you doing? I'm gonna try it, see how long it took him.

What do you mean, you want to try it? Why didn't his lawyer bring it up if it's so important?

Maybe he just didn't think about it, huh? What do you mean, didn't think of it? You think the man's an idiot or something?

It's an obvious thing. Did you think of it?

Listen, smart guy. Don't matter whether I thought of it.

He didn't bring it up because he knew it would hurt his case. What do you think of that?

Maybe he didn't bring it up because it would have meant bullying and badgering a helpless old man.

You know that doesn't sit very well with a jury. Most lawyers avoid it if they can.

So, what kind of a bum is he then? That's what I've been asking, buddy.

Pass me that chair, will you? Those two chairs are the old man's bed.

I just paced off 12 feet across the room. This will be the bedroom door.

Oh, that's crazy. You can't recreate a thing like that.

I'd like to see it. The hall was 43 feet.

I'll pace from that wall and back again.

Look, this is absolutely insane. What are you wasting everybody's time in here for?

According to you, it'll only take 15 seconds. Now, we can spare that, see.

Come on. Knock it off.


Okay. Okay, killer.


Will you stand right there and mark the front door?

It was chain-locked according to the testimony, remember?

Has anybody got a watch with a second hand? I have.

When you want me to start, stamp your foot. That'll be the body falling.

You can time me from there.

What are we gonna do, play charades now?

Come on! What are we waiting for? Okay, I'm ready.

Well, I want to wait till the second hand reaches 60.

Oh, come on.

Come on. Speed it up. He could walk twice as fast as that.

You want me to walk faster than that, I will.

Lock. Door. Stop.

Right. What's the time?

Uh, exactly 41 seconds.

This is what I think happened.

The old man heard the fight between the boy and his father a few hours earlier.

Then when he's lying in bed, he heard the body hit the floor in the boy's apartment... heard the woman scream from across the street, got to his front door as fast as he could... heard somebody racing down the stairs and assumed it was the boy.

I think that's possible. Assumed?


Brother, I've seen all kinds of dishonesty in my day, but this little display takes the cake.

You all come in here with your hearts bleeding all over the floor about slum kids and injustice.

You listen to some fairy tales.

Suddenly you start getting through to some of these old ladies.

Well, you're not getting through to me. I've had enough.

What's the matter with you guys?

You all know he's guilty! He's got to burn!

You're letting him slip through our fingers.

"Slip through our fingers"? Are you his executioner?

I'm one of 'em!

Perhaps you'd like to pull the switch.

For this kid, you bet I would.

I feel sorry for you. What it must feel like to want to pull the switch.

Ever since you walked into this room, you've been acting like a self-appointed public avenger.

You want to see this boy die because you personally want it, not because of the facts.

You're a sadist. You...

Let me go! I'll kill him. I'll kill him!

You don't really mean you'll kill me, do you?

Is there anything wrong, gentlemen? I heard some noise.

Oh, no. Everything's all right. We're just You know, friendly little argument. It's...

Um, listen, we're through with that diagram. You can take it if you want.

Here you are. Thank you.

What are you lookin' at?

I suppose somebody has to start it off again.

I beg pardon. "I beg pardon." What are you so polite about?

For the same reason you're not.

It's the way I was brought up.

This fighting...

That's not why we are here, to fight.

We have a responsibility.

This, I have always thought, is a remarkable thing about democracy... that we are...

Uh, what is the word?

Notified. That we are notified by mail... to come down to this place to decide on the guilt or innocence... of a man we have never heard of before.

We have nothing to gain or lose by - by our verdict.

This is one of the reasons why we are strong.

We should not make it a personal thing.

Thank you.

If nobody else has an idea, I may have a cutie here.

I mean, I haven't given it much thought, but let's throw it out on the stoop... and see if the cat licks it up.

The cat licks it up? Yeah. If the boy...

Look how dark it's getting out there.

I'll bet we're gonna have a storm now.

Boy, oh, boy. It's really hot, huh?

Pardon me, but don't you ever sweat?

No, I don't.

Well, listen. I, uh...

I was wondering if, uh, maybe... maybe we should take another vote.

Oh, great. Maybe we can follow this one up with a little dancing and refreshments, huh?

Hmm. Mr. Foreman?

Well, that's okay with me. Anyone doesn't want to vote?

Hey, come on. Come on. I'm sorry.

I think we ought to have an open ballot - call out our votes, you know.

Let's see who stands where.

That sounds fair to me. Anyone object?

Okay. I'll call off your jury numbers. One.

Oh, that's me. I vote guilty.


Not guilty.

Number three? Guilty.

Number four?


Number five? Not guilty.

Number six? Not guilty.

Number seven?


Number eight?

Not guilty.

Number nine? Not guilty.

Number 10? Guilty.

Number 11?

Not guilty.

Number 12?

Number 12.


The vote is now six to six.

Yeah, right. And we go into extra innings here, huh?

Six to six. I'm telling you, some of you people in here must be out of your minds.

A kid like that.

I don't think the kind of boy he is has anything to do with it.

The facts are supposed to determine the case.

Don't give me that! I'm sick and tired of facts!

You can twist them any way you like. You know what I mean?

That's exactly the point this gentleman has been making.

Oh! I mean, you keep shouting at the top of your lungs.

I'd like to be a few years younger.

That man gets on my...

My, it's hot in here, isn't it? Do you want a drink of water?

No. No, thanks. Thanks.

It's gonna rain.

Well, how'd you figure that out, killer?

How come you changed your vote?

Well, it just seemed to me there was room for doubt.

You haven't got a leg to stand on. You know that, I hope.

I don't feel that way. There were a lot of details that never came out.

Yeah. Well, good luck. Oh, come on. You're like everybody else.

You think too much. You get mixed up.

You know what I mean? Now, listen. I don't think you have any right...


Look at that come down, will you?

You know... this reminds me of a storm we had last...

Oh, when was that? November...

I don't know. Something. It was quite a storm we had there.

It was right in the middle of a game.

Uh, we were behind 7-6... but we just started to move the ball, right off the tackle.

Started cutting right - slash here and slash right in... cut right through.

And, uh...

We had this kid Slattery, you know?

A real - He was an ox. You know, a real ox.

I wish I had another one just like him.

I forgot to tell you. I'm the assistant head coach at the Andrew J. McCorkle High School.

Oh, yeah? That's out in Queens.

And, uh, anyway... we're starting to move along real nice.

Their whole line is just - they're just coming apart.

And it starts to come down cats and dogs, just like this.

Just whoosh - you know, right down.

Well, that was murder, you know?

I swear, I - I nearly bawled.

You just - You couldn't go nowhere.


Hey, what is it with this fan here? How come...

Hey! Ηuh?

Must have been on the same switch with the lights.

Well, things are looking up here, huh?

Yeah, huh?

Boy. That's better.


Two points.

Any of you guys ever go to the Garden?

That's a damn stupid thing to do.

Oh, I'm sorry. I, uh...

You know?

Pardon me.

Well, how do you like it? Even Steven.

Pretty surprising, isn't it?


Say, that business before, when that tall guy - what's-his-name... was trying to bait me - That doesn't prove anything.

I'm a pretty excitable person.

I mean, where does he come off calling me a public avenger, sadist and everything?

Anyone in his right mind would blow his stack, huh?

He was just trying to bait me.

He did an excellent job.

I'll tell you what I think. We're going nowhere here.

I'm ready to walk into court right now and declare a hung jury.

There's no point in this thing going on any more.

Yeah. I go for that too.

Listen, let's take it in to the judge and let the kid take his chances with 12 other guys.

I don't think the judge will accept a hung jury. We haven't been in here very long.

Well, let's find out.

I'm not in favor of that.

Listen. This kid wouldn't stand a chance with another jury, and you know it.

Come on! We're hung. Nobody's gonna change his vote. Let's take it inside.

You still don't think there's room for reasonable doubt?

No, I don't.


Maybe you don't fully understand the term "reasonable doubt."

What do you mean I don't understand?

Boy, how do ya like this guy?

I'm tellin' ya, they're all alike.

They come over here, running for their life, and before they can take a deep breath... they're telling us how to run the show, huh?

Boy, the arrogance of this guy.

Hey, all right. Let's stop the arguing for about two minutes in here.

Now, who's got something constructive to say?

I'd like to go over something, if you gentlemen don't mind.

An important point for the prosecution was the fact... that after the boy claimed he'd been at the movies... during the hours that the killing took place... couldn't remember the names of the movies or the stars who appeared in them.

This gentleman here has put up that point in here several times.

That's correct.

It was the only alibi the boy offered... and he himself couldn't back it up with any details at all.

Putting yourself in the boy's place, do you think you could remember details... after an upsetting experience such as being slapped in the face by your father?

I think so, if there were any special details to remember.

The boy couldn't remember the names of the movies he saw because be wasn't there that night.

According to the police testimony in court... the boy was questioned by the detectives in the kitchen of his apartment... while the body of his father was lying on the floor in the bedroom.

Do you think you could remember details under those circumstances?

I do. Under great emotional stress?

Under great emotional stress. He remembered them correctly in court.

He named the pictures and the stars who played in them.

Yes. His lawyer took great pains to bring that out.

He had three months from the night of the murder to the day of the trial... in which to memorize them.

It's not difficult for a lawyer to find out what played at a particular theater... on a particular night.

I'll take the testimony of the policemen who interrogated the boy right after the murder... when he couldn't remember a thing about the movies... great emotional stress or not.

I'd like to ask you a personal question. Go ahead.

Where were you last night? I was home.

How about the night before that? Come on! What is this?

No, it's all right.

I left the office at 8:30 and went straight home and to bed.

And the night before that?

That was, uh, Tuesday night?

The night of the bridge tournament. I played bridge.

Monday night?

When you get down to New Year's Eve, 1954, let me know, huh?

Monday night?

Monday night, uh, my wife and I went to the movies.

What did you see? The Scarlet Circle.

It was a clever whodunit. What was the second feature?

The, um...

I'll tell you in a minute. The, uh...

Remarkable Mrs., uh, something...


Mrs. Bainbridge. The Remarkable Mrs. Bainbridge.

I saw that. It's called The Amazing Mrs. Bainbridge.

Uh, yes. The Amazing Mrs. Bainbridge. I think that's right.

Who was in The Amazing Mrs. Bainbridge?

Barbara... Long, I think it was.

A dark, very pretty girl.

Ling or Long - something like that.

Who else? I'd never heard of them before.

It was a very inexpensive second feature with, uh, unknown...

And you weren't under an emotional stress, were you?


I wasn't.

I think the point is made.

Big point!

You can talk till your tongue is draggin' on the floor.

The boy is guilty, period. You know what I mean, my friend?

Who's got those cough drops? They're all gone, my friend.

Oh, boy. Look at that rain.

There goes your ball game.

It's only a shower.

Besides, they got the infield covered.

Right. Say, could I see that knife a second, please?

Well, we're still tied up six to six.

Who's got a suggestion?

It's five after 6:00. Let's get some dinner.

Why don't we wait till 7:00, give it another hour, huh?

Okay with me.

Uh, there's something I'd like to say.

I mean, it's been bothering me a little, and as long as we're stuck.

Well, there was this whole business about the stab wound and how it was made... the downward angle of it, you know?

Don't tell me we're gonna start with that again.

They've been over it and over it.

Well, I know they did, but I don't go along with it.

Now, the boy was 5 feet 7 inches tall. His father was 6'2...

That's a difference of seven inches.

It's a very awkward thing to stab down into the chest of someone... who's more than half a foot taller than you are.

Give me that.

I'll give you a demonstration. Somebody get up.


I want you to watch this 'cause I don't want to have to do it again.

I'll make myself about six or seven inches shorter, okay?

It's about right. Maybe a little more. Okay. A little more.

That's not funny.

Now, nobody's hurt. Right?

Right. Nobody hurt.

Now, this is the way I'd stab a man who was taller than I was.

Look at the angle - down and in.

And this is the way it was done.

Now tell me I'm wrong.

Down and in. I guess there's no argument. Hold it a minute, will ya?

Can you give me that?

Boy, I hate these things.

Did you ever see a knife fight? No.

You? No.

Anybody here ever see a knife fight?

Well, I have. You know, on my back stoop... the lot across the street, backyard.

Switchblades came with the neighborhood where I lived.

It's funny I never thought of it before. I guess you try to forget those things.

How do you use a switchblade? Well, you'd never use it like this.

See, you use too much time switching hands.

Here's how - underhanded.

Anyone who's ever used a switch knife wouldn't handle it any other way.

Are you sure? I'm sure.

That's why they're made to open like that.

You'd say the boy was pretty handy with a knife? Mm-hmm.

You think he could have made the kind of wound that killed his father?

No. Not with the experience he'd had all his life handling these things.

I feel he'd have gone for him underhanded.

How do you know? Were you in the room when the father was killed?

No. Neither was anybody else.

So what are you giving us all this mumbo jumbo for? I don't believe it.

I don't think you can determine what type of wound the boy might or might not have made... simply because he knew how to handle a knife.

What do you think?

I don't know. What do you mean you don't know?

I don't know.

How about you?

I don't know about the rest of them, but I'm getting a little tired of this yackety-yackin' back and forth.

It's gettin' us nowhere. So I guess I'll have to break it up.

I change my vote to not guilty.

You what? You heard me. I've had enough.

What do you mean you've had enough? That's no answer!

Hey, listen. You just take care of yourself, huh? You know?

He's right. That's not an answer.

What kind of a man are you?

You have sat here and voted guilty with everyone else... because there are some baseball tickets burning a hole in your pocket.

And now you've changed your vote because you say you're sick of all the talking here?

Now listen, buddy!

Who tells you that you have the right to play like this with a man's life?

Don't you care - Now wait a minute!

You can't talk like that to me! I can talk like that to you.

If you want to vote not guilty... then do it because you are convinced the man is not guilty... not because you've had enough.

And if you think he is guilty, then vote that way.

Or don't you have the guts to do what you think is right?

Now listen. Guilty or not guilty?

I told you, not guilty. Why?

Look, I don't have to...

You do have to! Say it! Why?

All right. I don't, uh, think he's guilty.

I want another vote.

Okay. There's another vote called for.

I guess the quickest way is a show of hands. Anyone object?

Okay. All those voting not guilty, raise your hands.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven...


Um, nine.

Um, all those voting guilty, raise your hands.

One, two, three.

Well, the vote's nine to three in favor of acquittal.

I don't understand you people!

I mean, all these picky little points you keep bringing up.

They don't mean nothing! You saw this kid just like I did.

You're not gonna tell me you believe that phony story about losing the knife... and that business about being at the movies.

Look, you know how these people lie. It's born in them.

I mean, what the heck. I don't have to tell you.

They don't know what the truth is.

And let me tell you, they don't need any real big reason to kill someone either.

No, sir.

They get drunk! Oh, they're real big drinkers, all of 'em.

You know that. And bang - someone's lying in the gutter.

Well, nobody's blaming them for it. That's the way they are, by nature.

You know what I mean? Violent!

Where are you going?

Ηuman life don't mean as much to them as it does to us.

Look! They're lushing it up and fighting all the time... and if somebody gets killed, so somebody gets killed!

They don't care!

Oh, sure, there's some good things about 'em too.

Look, I'm the first one to say that.

I've known a couple who were okay, but that's the exception, you know what I mean?

Most of 'em, it's like they have no feelings. They can do anything.

What's going on here?

I'm - I'm trying to tell ya... you're making a big mistake, you people.

This kid is a liar! I know it. I know all about them.

Listen to me. They're no good.

There's not a one of 'em who's any good.

I mean, what - What's happening in here?

I'm speaking my piece, and you...

Listen to me.


We're - This kid on trial here, his type...

Well, don't you know about them?

Th-There's - There's a danger here.

These people are dangerous.

They're... wild.

Listen to me.

Listen. I have.

Now sit down and don't open your mouth again.

I was only trying to... tell you.

It's always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this.

Wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth.

I don't really know what the truth is.

I don't suppose anybody will ever really know.

Nine of us now seem to feel that the defendant is innocent.

But we're just gambling on probabilities.

We may be wrong.

We may be trying to let a guilty man go free.

I don't know.

Nobody really can.

But we have a reasonable doubt... and that's something that's very valuable in our system.

No jury can declare a man guilty unless it's sure.

We nine can't understand... how you three are still so sure.

Maybe you can tell us. I'll try.

You've made some excellent points, but I still believe the boy is guilty of murder... and I have two reasons.

One, the evidence given by the woman across the street... who actually saw the murder committed.

As far as I'm concerned, that's the most important testimony.

And two, the fact that she described the stabbing by saying... she saw the boy raise his arm over his head and stab down into the father's chest.

She saw him do it the wrong way.

That's absolutely right.

Let's talk about this woman for a moment.

She said she went to bed about 11:00 that night.

Her bed was next to the window, and she could look out while lying down... and see directly into the boy's room across the street.

She tossed and turned for over an hour, unable to sleep.

Finally, she turned toward the window at about 10 minutes after 12:00... and, as she looked out, she saw the killing through the windows of a passing el train.

She said the lights went out immediately after the killing... but that she got a good look at the boy in the act of stabbing his father.

As far as I can see it, this is unshakable testimony.

Well, that's the whole case. What do you think?

How about you?

I-I don't know.

So much evidence to sift.

This is a pretty complicated business.

Frankly, I don't see how you can vote for acquittal.

It's not so easy to arrange all the evidence in order.

You can throw out all the other evidence!

The woman saw him do it! What else do you want?

Yeah, well, maybe - Let's vote on it.

Okay. There's another vote called for.

Anybody object?

All right. I'm changing my vote. He's guilty.

Anybody else? The vote is eight to four.

Why is this such a personal triumph for you - this one vote?

Okay. I say we're a hung jury. I say we take it in to the judge.

Ηow about it? I want to hear arguments.

You, you're the leader of the cause. What about it?

Let's go over it again.

We've been over it again!

The boy in the gray flannel suit here is bouncin' backwards and forwards like a tennis ball.

No point in getting nasty and trying to turn this into a contest.


Maybe we can talk about setting some kind of time limit.

Yeah, once around for the deal, huh?

It's a quarter after 6:00.

Someone before mentioned 7:00.

I think that's a point at which we might begin to discuss... the question of whether we're a hung jury or not.

Don't you feel well?

I feel perfectly well, thank you.

I was saying that 7:00 would be a reasonable time.

Uh, the reason I asked about that was because, uh... you were rubbing your nose like...

Oh, I'm sorry for interrupting... but you made a gesture that reminded me of something.

I'm trying to settle something here. Do you mind?

Well, I think this is important.

Thank you.

Now then, I'm sure you'll pardon me for this... but I was wondering why you were rubbing your nose like that.

Oh, come on, will ya?

At this point, I happen to be talking to the gentleman sitting next to you!

Now, why were you rubbing your nose like that?

Well, if it's any of your business, I was rubbing it because it bothers me a little.

Oh. I'm sorry.

Is it - Is it because of your eyeglasses? It is.

Now can we get on to something else?

Your eyeglasses made those two deep impressions on the sides of your nose.

I hadn't noticed that before.

That must be annoying. It is very annoying.

Well, I wouldn't know about that.

I've never worn eyeglasses. Twenty-twenty.

Listen, will you come on already with the optometrist bit?

The woman who testified that she saw the killing... had those same marks on the sides of her nose.

Holy smokes! You know, he's right.


Just give me a minute, and I'll be finished.

I don't know if anyone else noticed that about her.

I didn't think of it then, but I've been going over her face... in my mind.

She had those same marks.

She kept rubbing them in court. He's right. She did do that a lot.

This woman was about, uh - about 45 years old.

She was making a tremendous effort to look 35... for her first public appearance.

Heavy makeup, dyed hair... brand-new clothes that should have been worn by a younger woman.

No glasses.

No, women do that.

See if you can get the mental picture of it.

What do you mean, no glasses?

How do you know whether she wore glasses? Just 'cause she was rubbing her nose?

Now, she had those marks. I saw 'em.

So what? What do ya think that means?

Listen, I'm getting so sick of your yelling in here! Come on. Forget it.

Hey, listen. Listen, he's right. I saw them too.

I was the closest one to her. She had these, uh - these things on the side of her nose.

What do you call those on the side? Well, what point are you making here?

She had dyed hair, marks on her nose. Well, what does that mean?

Could those marks be made by anything other than eyeglasses?

No, they couldn't.

I didn't see any marks!

I did.

Strange, but I didn't think about it before.

Well, what about the lawyer? Why didn't he say something?

There are 12 people in here concentrating on this case.

Eleven of us didn't think of it either.

Well, what about the district attorney? Do you think he'd pull a trick like that?

Have her testify without her glasses?

Did you ever see a woman who had to wear glasses and didn't want to because she thinks they spoil her looks?

Okay. She had marks on her nose.

I'm giving you that. From glasses, right?

She didn't want to wear 'em out of the house so people would think she's gorgeous.

But when she saw this kid killing his father, she was in the house alone.

That's all.

Do you wear glasses when you go to bed? No, I don't.

No one wears eyeglasses to bed.

It's logical to assume that she wasn't wearing them when she was in bed... tossing and turning, trying to fall asleep.

How do you know? I don't know! I'm guessing.

I'm also guessing that she probably didn't put her glasses on... when she turned to look casually out of the window.

And she herself testified the killing took place just as she looked out.

The lights went off a split second later. She couldn't have had time to put them on then.

Wait a second. Here's another guess.

Maybe she honestly thought she saw the boy kill his father. I say she only saw a blur.

How do you know what she saw? How does he know all that?

How do you know what kind of glasses she wore? Maybe they were sunglasses.

Maybe she was farsighted. What do you know about it?

I only know the woman's eyesight is in question now.

She had to be able to identify a person 60 feet away, at night, without glasses.

You can't send someone off to die on evidence like that.

Oh, don't give me that.

Don't you think the woman might have made a mistake?

No. It's not possible?

No, it's not possible.

Is it possible?

Not guilty.

Do you think he's guilty?

I think he's guilty.

Do you?

No. I'm convinced.

Not guilty.

What's the matter with you?

I have a reasonable doubt now.

Eleven to one.

Well, what about all the other evidence? What about all that stuff?

The knife, the whole business!

Well, you said we could throw out all the other evidence.

Well, what do we do now?

You're alone.

I don't care whether I'm alone or not! It's my right.

It's your right.

Well, what do you want? I say he's guilty.

We want to hear your arguments. I gave you my arguments.

We're not convinced.

We want to hear them again.

We have as much time as it takes.

Everything - Every single thing that took place in that courtroom... but I mean everything - says he's guilty.

What do you think, I'm an idiot or something?

Why don't you take that stuff about the old man?

The old man who lived there and heard everything.

Or this business about the knife.

What? 'Cause he found another one exactly like it?

The old man saw him right there on the stairs!

What's the difference how many seconds it was?

Every single thing.

The knife falling through a hole in his pocket.

You can't prove he didn't get to the door.

Sure, you can take all the time, hobble around the room.

But you can't prove it!

And what about this business of the el and the movies?

There's a phony deal if I ever heard one.

I'll bet ya $5,000 I'd remember the movies I saw.

I'm telling ya, everything that's gone on... has been twisted and turned!

This business with the glasses?

How do you know she didn't have them on? This woman testified in open court!

And what about hearing the kid yell, huh?

I'm telling ya, I've got all the facts here.

Here. Ah...

Well, that's it! That's the whole case.


Say something!

You lousy bunch of bleeding hearts.

You're not gonna intimidate me.

I'm entitled to my opinion.

Rotten kids. You work your life out!

I can't keep...


Not guilty.

Not guilty.


Um, we're ready now.


What's your name?


My name's McCardle.

Well, so long.