I believe 12 Angry Men to be one of the best-scripted movies of all time. Looking at it deeply, it has a lot more to offer than just being a top ten IMDB movie.

Henry Fonda’s perspective and words and words alone turn the tide in his favour or remove prejudice from a non-personal assessment. This has no drama, mystery, theatrics, or special effects – a simple story that can be easily absorbed by any living soul on earth.

I have watched it in Hindi as well, and the content serves justice to its Hollywood original and the screenplay justifiably written for Indian audiences.

WATCH – 12 Angry Men in English; 12 Angry Men in German;  Ek Ruka Hua Faisla in Hindi


Twelve men from different backgrounds, cultural upbringing, personalities, and of varying temper levels are part of the jury – and they are in a room to come to a reasonable conclusion. The jury must be unanimous in its decision, and until then, it is all a consensus-building exercise. The case in hand is to decide the fate of a teenager who is guilty of murder his father – and after having heard the testimonies and other ‘supposed evidence,’ it is now in the hands of the jury to give the final verdict.

In the enclosed room are these twelve men seated, and eleven of them are convinced the boy is guilty – and are surprised to see Henry Fonda’s lone hand going in favour of not-guilty. It isn’t a case of James Dean’s ‘To Rebel With a Cause’; here, the standpoint of Henry Fonda has a lot of sense.

After all, it is a matter of life and death, and these 12 men cannot be haste in making such a decision. Henry Fonda has a ‘doubt,’ unless he is convinced otherwise he would present his arguments. There emerges a change in thinking of his fellow jurors – one by one convinced otherwise.

It is interesting to note how time and discussions change opinions even among many learned ones. And one by one, the jurors are convinced it isn’t a straight forward case. In the middle of intense heat, there were heated discussions with egos coming in the way of clear thinking, and side arguments come in the form of the main panel. And by the end of it all – these 12 men have a considerable amount of doubt to deliver a unanimous ‘not guilty’ verdict.


One of the patterns that emerged from 12 Angry Men is – that one is never far away from expressing his standpoint, be it on any matter. This is what I call ‘the interpretation syndrome’ – where two different people or a group of people look at the same thing differently.

Our world is no different – each one can express their opinions, and plenty of them are available on the internet, newsroom, and print media – and more so with the people I converse with.

Is it a life’s mystery that we eternally fight for the ultimate truth? Or is there no such thing as one truth? Or is life or society all about a series of consensus-building exercises that gave rise to systems, rules, practices, religions, and their million interpretations?

The world we live in is so huge – that there were means to run away from one group only to settle in another place and form another group. What if we bring in all the newsmakers (not just the leaders of the state) under a single roof and discuss till there is consensus building – to reach a common ground from where people from all the beliefs can move on with renewed perspectives and lead a life which humans deep down strive for.

I just laughed reading at the last sentence about the level of optimism I am expecting! What I am asking is too far away from the banal lives we lead, or am I?

However, this was a recurring thought that comes to my mind whenever I hear and watch disturbing stories each day. Are we just plain reporting or doing something to end it?  What is the end that justifies everybody? Or have we already concluded – that this is the way… this is how it should end…

The more I think positively, there is a hint of cynicism that creeps into that thought.

So I am stuck… can we have some consensus-building thoughts, please!!!!

Kiss Them for Me (1957)

In my opinion, there was a void among war heroes as they battled day and night in places away from home. It was the call of duty more than a willingness to battle it out in a certain way.

While some of them took pride in fighting it out, many wanted the war to finish and return home. If the craving indeed gets worse, few men did take a chance to get back home while on duty. Kiss them For Me is a comical version of how three navy men, tired of war, want to when the war was on.

Cmdr Andy Crewson, played by Cary Grant, convinces his two colleagues to go away from a navy base. Homesickness coupled with being away from loved ones made them rusty to have such a runaway plot. They all land up in San Francisco, and with Lieutenant Wallace’s help, they manage to get a posh luxury suite in a famous hotel.

Andy manages to gather the party crowd, and all look like a great party time. Girls, alcohol, no war, life outside of being a navy pilot were better.

To maintain relations with top businessman, Wallace arranges for a meeting with Andy and the shipyard owner Eddie Turnbill. Turnbill wants to promote his warships and to increase and motivate his fellow workers, requested Andy and his two decorated pilots to give a small talk at his factory.

Andy refused and even embarrassed Eddie, but considering Eddie had good relations with the Admiral, he reversed his stand upon the insistence of his friends who convince him. Helping Eddie would allow their leaves extended without spending the ‘vacation’ in a navy hospital for check-ups.

While Turnbill is happy making plans for the talk, Andy sets his eyes on Eddie’s fiancée Gwinneth Livingston, played by the stunning Suzy Parker. Gwinneth, as evident from the first scene, is an epitome of an unhappy woman who requires a stable life.

Yet, in search of love, she isn’t entirely on good terms with Eddie’s relationship. It was as though love could blow away the relationship with Eddie. She ensures this point of hers is well expressed to Andy.

Instead of turning up and talk to labours, Andy decides to spend the night with Gwinneth and takes her out to a music bar and a restaurant. He was here to enjoy his vacation, not talk about the war.

Andy meets his old friends from the war, one handicapped, and gets to know he has few days left. He is in a strange mood, wondering he did the right thing running away from the action while many of his countrymen are fighting it out.

His two friends talk to labours on his behalf, and this didn’t go well with Eddie, fumingly tries to create a scene. Andy confronts Eddie and gives a blow instead of talking. Gwinneth breaks up with Eddie and joins Andy. Love is it.

Party time is over, guys, as Eddie turns up the heat and ensures the holiday is cancelled. In the meantime, Lt Mc Cann gets the ticket to join Congress, and he takes his two friends on board for this mission. The two friends get the call of war from inside; decide to join the navy instead. Mc Cann was not to be left behind; he gives up the ticket and joins his two friends.

In her role as Gwinneth, Suzy Parker makes her movie debut in an acting performance in a grand style. Previous was a cameo in the movie ‘Funny Face.’ Her beauty is the main strength in this movie, as her voice was given by another stunning actress of that era, Deborah Kerr.

A special mention of Jayne Mansfield makes a good impression and, in a significant way, imitates Monroe with her looks and talks. She is often mentioned as the poor man’s ‘Marilyn Monroe’ in reel and real life. Jayne’s character Alice Kratzner defines the title of the movie very aptly. In memory of her war husband in the film, he tells her, “Look me in all the war heroes and Kiss them for me.”

Famous for the song of the same name by The McGuire Sisters, this 1957 Stanley Donen directed movie is a good watch about war pilots’ back-stage lives.

An Affair To Remember (1957)

What happens when a handsome playboy meets the gorgeous night club singer on a cruise. The first part of this Leo McCarey’s classic ‘An Affair to Remember’ showcases the above scenario. Cary Grant as Nickie Ferrante plays the playboy, and Deborah Kerr plays the dashing Terry Mckay.

Despite both being engaged, they couldn’t help themselves falling in love with each other on the ship and make a promise to meet after six months at The Empire State Building.

With engagements being on hold, both wait for six months to see each other on the building’s 102nd floor. A perfect story in progress until Debroah Kerr meets with an accident right on the day of the visit. Cary Grant striding to and fro on the 102nd floor, can only console himself. He waits the entire day and wonders why till the end of the movie.

Whether they would get married would remain unanswered, and accident becomes the reason that prevents the reunion of the couple.

The story was quite a drama back then, not the same as when it was made in Hindi in 1999. One can copy the theme, not the entire storyline and scene settings. ‘Mann’ starring Aamir Khan and Manisha Koirala, failed because it couldn’t connect to the so-called “modern-time” and not compelling content. Times change, hence individual perceptions on love change. Unfortunately, Mann wasn’t able to accommodate this change.

The highlights are the scenes shot in a garden mansion where Cary Grant takes Deborah Kerr to meet her grandmother. Their love blossomed at the very place. The last scene is a memorable one when Cary Grants holds Deborah Kerr.

This movie is a remake of the 1939 film ‘Love Affair’ starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer. Leo McCarey directed both.

An Affair to Remember was nominated for four Oscars in the Best Music, Best Costume, Best Song, and Best Cinematography categories.