“We’re talking about somebody’s life here,” Henry Fonda’s character says. “We can’t decide in five minutes. Supposing we’re wrong?”
Executed with stark simplicity and a measured directness, this 1957 masterpiece by Sidney Lumet is about the importance of time. Time to examine all the facts. Time needed to deliberate. Time for fairness. Clarity is aided by the use of time. Roger Ebert’s review applauded Lumet’s consistent regard and respect for the “audience’s intelligence” through his directing and storytelling. This film is a reminder, especially now, to pause and carefully consider all the facts and the veracity of the conclusion.