The problem is that I haven't seen very many. Until I met Mike, I'd never seen Casablanca. Or any other Bogart film. I'd seen one or two Hitchcock. And in the 19 years I've known Mike, I can probably add about 20 classic films worth mentioning. Touch of Evil, Vertigo, It Happened One Night, Bells of St. Mary's, and so forth.
So please don't laugh because my experience is limited and it will show with my choice. I don't have some rare esoteric choice here. My favorite classic film isn't really a movie, but a play that was filmed. I mean, it was more than just a camera set up and a play going on, but barely more. One set, 13 or 14 speaking parts, and 12 of them are angry men.
I love this movie. I watch again and again, and Lumet's direction is fantastic. It was the first movie I saw that I really noticed things like camera angle and shots--it helps that there's only the one set. The actors are all so good--Fonda, of course, but Ed Begley and Lee J Cobb and Jack Klugman (young!). It's a great film about prejudice and assumptions and the law, really.
Nothing at all like being on a real jury.
Edited to note: I just found out that Lumet died yesterday. I swear I didn't know that when I wrote this (I actually wrote it about five days ago). Wow. What a list of movies. 12 Angry Men was his first. Amazing.