Film: 10794

Feature Comedy | 1920 | Sound | B/W

Clip:

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Synopsis:

Jury and circus story.
A murder has been committed, the jury think it's an open and shut case, but one man holds out for five days of votes to say the accused is not guilty. In the end he reveals he was the real murderer, (though he wasn't sure how the gun went off), and after the rest of the jury have heard a long story told in flashback they privately agree a pact of, in effect, justice was done, and the murdered man was a bad 'un.

An early version of Twelve Angry Men. A jury retires to consider it's verdict in a murder trial. Eleven members (7 men, 4 women) vote guilty ('are there two LL's in Guilty?'), and one votes not guilty. The eleven try to brow-beat the one into agreeing the accused is guilty. The one stand-out is a Dutch immigrant to the U.S.A. who was a clown in a circus. Some of the jury play cards, others sing in a barbershop quartet style and the clown (in his non-working clothes) is persuaded to perform, so he turns somersaults in the jury room which jam his hat on.
Signs of impatience and in-fighting. Jury is locked in room overnight as it snows outside. It's only three days to Christmas and one woman hasn't even bought a tree for her children yet! They are locked in for five days. Dissenter says he will tell the eleven a story and at the end of it, if he hasn't convinced the jury of the innocence of he man he will vote guilty.
Flashback to when clown was on a trampoline in the circus big tent. External scene of circus and 'side show'. Girl dressed in sailor suit with shorts. She is his 'ward' or he has adopted her and is 17 years old. She falls from a height, he nearly catches her, she faints and he kisses her. He declares that perhaps he shouldn't chase her or kiss her again, when amorous thoughts enter his mind, but she naively doesn't see why her 'daddy' shouldn't kiss her. Nice shot of girl putting her hair back into shape and talking with her 'daddy' standing behind her. She stares straight at camera as if we are the mirror.
Continued in 10795


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