A 12 Angry Men is the gripping, penetrating, and steeping scrutiny of a diverse group of 12 jurymans ( all male, largely middle-aged, white, and by and large of middle-class position ) who are uncomfortably brought together to consider after hearing the ‘facts ‘ in a apparently open-and-shut slaying test instance. They retire to a jury room to make their civic responsibility and function up a merely finding of fact for the destitute minority suspect ( with a condemnable record ) whose life is in the balance. The movie is a powerful indictment, denunciation and unmasking of the test by jury system. The scared, adolescent suspect is on test, every bit good as the jury and the American judicial system with its purported sense of infallibility, equity and deficiency of prejudice.
This was television-trained manager Sidney Lumet ‘s first characteristic movie – a low-budget ( $ 350,000 ) movie shooting in merely 17 yearss from a screenplay by Reginald Rose, who based his book on his ain teleplay of the same name. After the initial dissemination of the Television drama in early 1954 on Studio One CBS-TV, co-producer/star Henry Fonda asked Rose in 1956 if the teleplay could be expanded to feature-film length ( similar to what occurred to Paddy Chayefsky ‘s Television playA Marty ( 1955 ) ) , and they became co-producers for the undertaking ( Fonda ‘s exclusive case of movie production ) .
The jury of 12 ‘angry work forces, ‘ entrusted with the power to direct an uneducated, teenaged Puerto Rican, tenement-dwelling male child to the electric chair for killing his male parent with a switchblade knife, are literally locked into a little, claustrophobic rectangular jury room on a suppression hot summer twenty-four hours until they come up with a consentaneous determination – either guilty or non guilty. The compelling, provocative movie examines the 12 work forces ‘s deep-rooted personal biass, perceptual prejudices and failings, indifference, choler, personalities, undependable judgements, cultural differences, ignorance and frights, that threaten to defile their decision-making abilities, do them to disregard the existent issues in the instance, and potentially take them to a abortion of justness.
Fortunately, one brave dissenting juryman ballots ‘not guilty ‘ at the start of the deliberations brief easy reconsider and reexamine the rickety instance ( and eyewitness testimony ) against the endangered suspect. He besides chastises the system for giving the unfortunate suspect an awkward ‘court-appointed ‘ public defense mechanism attorney who “ resented being appointed ” – a instance with “ no money, no glorification, non even much opportunity of winning ” – and who inadequately cross-examined the informants. Heated treatments, the formation of confederations, the frequent re-evaluation and changing of sentiments, ballots and certainties, and the disclosure of personal experiences, abuses and effusions fill the jury room.
A Brief Outline of the Movie
The movie opens with the camera looking up at the enforcing pillars of justness outside Manhattan ‘s Court of General Sessions on a summer afternoon. The subjective camera wanders about inside the marbleized interior rotunda and hallways, and on the 2nd floor randomly makes its manner into a double-doored room marked 228. There, a bored-sounding, non-committal justice ( Rudy Bond ) tiredly instructs the twelve-man jury to get down their deliberations after listening to six yearss of a “ long and complex instance of slaying in the first grade. ” He admonishes them that it is a instance affecting the serious charge of pre-meditated slaying with a compulsory decease sentence upon a guilty finding of fact, and now it is the jury ‘s responsibility to “ divide the facts from the illusion ” because “ one adult male is dead ” and “ another adult male ‘s life is at interest. ”
The justice states the of import standards for judgement sing “ sensible uncertainty, ” as the camera pans across the serious faces of the jury members:
If there ‘s a sensible uncertainty in your heads as to the guilt of the accused, a sensible uncertainty, so you must convey me a finding of fact of non guilty. If nevertheless, there is no sensible uncertainty, so you must in good scruples find the accused guilty. However you decide, your finding of fact must be consentaneous. In the event that you find the accused guilty, the bench will non entertain a recommendation for clemency. The decease sentence is compulsory in this instance. You are faced with a sedate duty. Thank you, gentlemen.
The Twelve Jurors: The Main Supporters of the Movie.
A sum-up of the anon. characters helps to flesh out their characters and backgrounds. The order in which each finally decides to vote “ non guilty ” is given in brackets:
Juror # 1A ( The Foreman ) : ( Martin Balsam ) A high-school adjunct caput manager, tenaciously concerned to maintain the proceedings formal and maintain authorization ; easy frustrated and sensitive when person objects to his control ; inadequate for the occupation as chief, non a natural leader and over-shadowed by Juror # 8 ‘s natural leading [ 9 ]
Juror # 2: A ( John Fiedler ) A wimpy, balding bank clerk/teller, easy persuaded, meek, hesitant, goes along with the bulk, thirstily offers cough beads to other work forces during tense times of statement ; better memory than # 4 about movie rubric [ 5 ]
Juror # 3: A ( Lee J. Cobb ) Runs a courier service ( the “ Beck and Call ” Company ) , a intimidation, rude and beefy adult male, highly opinionated and biased, wholly intolerant, forceful and loud-mouthed, temperamental and vindictive ; alienation from his ain adolescent boy causes him to be hateful and hostile toward all immature people ( and the suspect ) ; chesty, quick-angered, quick-to-convict, and defiant until the really end [ 12 ]
Juror # 4: A ( E. G. Marshall ) Well-educated, smug and conceited, well-groomed stockbroker, presumptively affluent ; studious, methodical, possesses an unbelievable callback and appreciation of the facts of the instance ; common-sensical, cold-eyed, cool-headed and rational, yet airless and dainty ; frequently displays a austere blaze ; treats the instance like a mystifier to be deductively solved instead than as a instance that may direct the suspect to decease ; claims that he ne’er sweats [ 10 – tie ]
Juror # 5: A ( Jack Klugman ) Naive, insecure, frightened, reserved ; grew up in a hapless Judaic urban vicinity and the instance resurrected in his head that slum-dwelling upbringing ; a guilty ballot would distance him from his yesteryear ; nicknamed “ Baltimore ” by Juror # 7 because of his support of the Orioles [ 3 ]
Juror # 6: A ( Edward Binns ) A typical “ working adult male, ” dull-witted, experiences trouble in doing up his ain head, a follower ; likely a manual labourer or painter ; respectful of older juryman and willing to endorse up his words with fists [ 6 ]
Juror # 7: A ( Jack Warden ) Clownish, impatient salesman ( of marmalade the old twelvemonth ) , a brassy chest of drawers, gum-chewing, obsessed baseball fan who wants to go forth every bit shortly as possible to go to evening game ; throws wadded up paper balls at the fan ; uses baseball metaphors and mentions throughout all his statements ( he tells the chief to “ remain in at that place and flip ” ) ; lacks complete human concern for the suspect and for the immigrant juryman ; extroverted ; keeps up diverting raillery and even impersonates James Cagney at one point ; ballots with the bulk [ 7 ]
Juror # 8: A ( Henry Fonda ) An designer, instigates a thoughtful reconsideration of the instance against the accused ; symbolically clad in white ; a liberal-minded, patient truth-and-justice searcher who uses soft-spoken, unagitated logical logical thinking ; balanced, nice, brave, well-spoken and concerned ; considered a humanitarian ( who is merely blowing others ‘ clip ) by some of the prejudiced jurymans ; named Davis [ 1 ]
Juror # 9: A ( Joseph Sweeney ) Eldest adult male in group, grey, thin, retiring and resigned to decease but has a revival of life during deliberations ; soft-spoken but perceptive, fair-minded ; named McCardle [ 2 ]
Juror # 10: A ( Ed Begley ) A garage proprietor, who simmers with choler, resentment, racist dogmatism ; nasty, repellant, intolerant, reactionist and accusatory ; segregates the universe into ‘us ‘ and ‘them ‘ ; needs the support of others to reenforce his frenzied harangues [ 10 – tie ]
Juror # 11: A ( George Voskovec ) A horologist, speaks with a heavy speech pattern, of German-European descent, a recent refugee and immigrant ; expresses fear and regard for American democracy, its system of justness, and the infallibility of the Law [ 4 ]
Juror # 12: A ( Robert Webber ) Well-dressed, smooth-talking concern ad adult male with thick black spectacless ; scribbles cereal box motto and packaging thoughts for “ Rice Pops ” ; superficial, easily-swayed, and easy-going ; vacillating, lacks deep strong beliefs or belief system ; uses advertisement talk at one point: “ run this thought up the range pole and see if anybody salutes it ” [ 8 ]
Relevant Legal Facts involved in the Movie
The Start of Jury Discussions
A few of the work forces light up coffin nails and take their jackets, or pass over the perspiration from their faces on “ the hottest twenty-four hours of the twelvemonth. ” The guard ( James Kelly ) issues and locks the jury room door from the outside – galvanizing a few of the work forces. Juror # 3 casually references to Juror # 2 his belief that the instance is “ open-and-shut ” against the child – and he reveals his concealed prejudices: “ If you ask me, I ‘d slap those tough childs down before they start any problem. ” # 12 expresses how “ lucky ” they were to acquire an exciting slaying instance. # 7 is impatient to go forth to go to the flushing ball game between the Yanks and Cleveland. # 11 concurs that the prosecuting lawyer did an expert occupation, while # 10 reveals his prejudices:
It ‘s pretty tough to calculate, is n’t it? A child kills his male parent. Bing! Just like that… It ‘s the component… I ‘m stating ya, they let those childs run wild up at that place. Well, possibly it serves them right.
Discussion of the Knife, the Murder Weapon:
The rotational order is broken when a treatment of the knife that the suspect late purchased interferes. Juror # 8 petitions that the very-unusual knife “ in grounds ” be brought in for another expression. The sequence of events related to the knife are reviewed once more:
The male child went out of the house at 8 o’clock after being ‘punched ‘ several times by his male parent
He went to a vicinity “ debris store ” and bought a switch-blade knife with a “ really unusualA carved grip and blade ”
He met some friends in forepart of a tavern about 8:45 autopsy, and talked with them for about an hr
The male child ‘s friends identified the “ decease arm ” in tribunal as the “ really same knife ” that the male child had with him
The male child arrived place at around 10 o’clock, and claimed he went to a film about 11:30 autopsy, returning place at 3:10 am “ to happen his male parent dead and himself arrested. ”
The male child claimed that the knife fell through a hole in his pocket on the manner to the films and that he ne’er saw it once more
However, no informants saw the male child go out of the house, or at the theater, and the male child could n’t remember the names of the movies he saw. Juror # 4 uncertainties the male child ‘s claims, believing that the male child stayed place alternatively of traveling to the films, had another battle with his male parent and stabbed him to decease with the “ really unusual knife, ” and so left the house at 12:10 autopsy.
Counter-argument: A One of the movie ‘s most dramatic minutes is when Juror # 8 argues: “ … It ‘s possible the male child lost his knife and person else stabbed his male parent with a similar knife. It ‘s merely possible… I ‘m merely stating a happenstance is possible. ” He confounds the other jurymans by presenting a new piece of grounds that he has acquired. From his pocket, he produces a knife indistinguishable to the 1 with which the male child allegedly stabbed his male parent, and sticks it in the wooden tabular array following to the other flick-knife. He tells the incredulous jurymans that person elseA couldA have bought an indistinguishable $ 6 knife, like he did the dark before, at a small pawn store in the male child ‘s vicinity merely two blocks from the male child ‘s house, and used it to kill the male child ‘s male parent. He exclaims: “ IT ‘S POSSIBLE, ” as the perfunctory Juror # 4 responds: “ BUT NOT VERY PROBABLE. ”
Unconvinced, impatient – and progressively hostile, Juror # 10 accuses Juror # 8 of seeking to stubbornly “ bent ” the jury: “ You ‘re non gon na alter anybody ‘s head. ” And Juror # 7 is concerned that he ‘ll lose his ball-game if they have a drawn-out stale-mate. Since # 8 realizes that he is the “ merely one ” keeping up the others, he makes a hazardous gamble – he proposes another ballot with secret ballots ( with himself abstaining ) :
I ‘m traveling to name for another ballot. I want you eleven work forces to vote by secret written ballot. I ‘ll abstain. If there are 11 ballots for guilty, I wo n’t stand entirely. We ‘ll take in a guilty finding of fact to the justice right now. But if anyone votes non guilty, we stay here and speak it out.
Voting Changed: From 11 to 1, the vote is changed to 10 individuals affirming for guilty and 2 individuals taking base on guilty.
Discussion of the Credibility of the Testimony of the Old Man and Old Woman:
After a short interruption, the treatment continues with a re-examination of the instance. Juror # 3 asks about the testimony of the old adult male who heard the menace and the organic structure hit the floor, and saw the child running down the stepss and out of the house. And Juror # 12 and # 4 repetition the testimony of the old lady who “ looked right in the unfastened window and saw the male child stab his male parent ” – and “ saw the killing through the Windowss of a moving elevated train. ” There were six autos on the train and she saw the killing through the last two autos.
Counter-argument: A Juror # 8 inquiries whether it would hold been that easy to hear and place the voice that issued the menace. He besides speculates how long it would take a six-car EL train traveling at medium velocity to go through a given point ( the unfastened window of the room where the killing took topographic point ) – possibly ten seconds. He wonders about the contradictory timing of the testimony of the old adult male and adult female: how could the old adult male in the flat downstairs clearly hear the menace and the organic structure hit the floor a 2nd subsequently, while the adult female across the street was sing the killing through the last two autos, when an EL train was doing a deafening noise as it passed?
We can presume that the organic structure hit the floor merely as the train went by. Therefore, the train had been howling by the old adult male ‘s window a full 10 seconds before the organic structure hit the floor. The old adult male harmonizing to his ain testimony ( “ I ‘m gon na kill you, organic structure hitting the floor a split 2nd subsequently ” ) would hold had to hear the male childs make this statement with the EL howling past his olfactory organ. It ‘s non possible he could hold heard it.
Voting Changed: Vote foremost changed to 9 to 3. At this point, Juror # 5 alterations his ballot to ‘not guilty ‘ . And Juror # 11 is decidedly swayed by Juror # 8 ‘s independency of judgement and sensible uncertainty. He brings up his ain important inquiries: why did the male child return to the scene of the offense three hours after the knifing slaying ( “ Would n’t he be afraid of being caught? ” ) ? And if the male child was returning to recover the knife that could be connected to him, why did he go forth it at that place in the first topographic point?
Vote of 8 to 4:
Another ballot is tallied, with a show of custodies of those voting non guilty – four ballot not-guilty ( the immigrant watch-maker # 11 alterations his head because of his “ sensible uncertainty ” ) . Juror # 3 criticizes all those who have voted non guilty: “ What is this? Love Your Under-privileged Brother Week or something? ”
Discussion of the Lame Old Man ‘s Walk to His Front Door:
The following major issue is the limping of the old adult male – did he really walk ( or run ) the long distance from his sleeping room and down the hallway to his chain-locked front door and see the panicky male child run down the steps from the flat at 12:10 am, 15 seconds after the violent death? Or did he simply assume that it was the male child?
Juror # 8 petitions a diagram of the flat to look into farther:
I ‘d wish to happen out if an old adult male who drags one pes when he walks, ’cause he had a shot last twelvemonth, can acquire from his sleeping room to his front door in 15 seconds.
In the resulting statement, Juror # 3 angrily bloopers his manner into another mis-statement – thereby confirming that the old adult male ‘s testimony was likely fishy:
Juror # 3: How does he cognize how long 15 seconds is? You ca n’t judge a thing like that.
Juror # 9: He said 15 seconds and he was really positive about it.
Juror # 3: He was an old adult male. Half the clip he was confused. How could he be positive about anything?
A big composition board diagram is brought into the room, exemplifying both the layout of the old adult male ‘s flat below and the male child ‘s flat above, the 43 pes long hallway, and the door to the steps. “ It ‘s 12 pess from the bed to the door, the hall is 43 pess ” – a sum of 55 pess to be traversed in merely 15 seconds by the 75 twelvemonth square old adult male who late had a shot. Juror # 8 imitates the motions of the old adult male while Juror # 2 redstem storksbills them, showing that it would hold been impossible for the halt informant to acquire to the door in 15 seconds – it would hold taken him more like 41 seconds, about three times longer. Juror # 8 summarizes the determination:
The old adult male heard the battle between the male child and his male parent a few hours before. Then when he ‘s lying in his bed, he heard a organic structure hit the floor in the male child ‘s flat, heard the adult female shriek from across the street, got to his front door every bit fast as he could, heard person rushing down the steps, andA assumedA it was the male child.
statement with the EL howling past his olfactory organ. It ‘s non possible he could hold heard it.
Voting Changed: – Vote of 6 – 6:
The following ballot is an unfastened ballot with the consequence tied – “ even Steven. ”
Discussion of the Defendant ‘s Alibi:
The issue of the suspect ‘s “ merely alibi ” on the dark of his male parent ‘s slaying is revisited – the male child was allegedly at a theater, but he could non retrieve the names of the films he saw or the stars that appeared in them on the dark of the slaying.
Counter-argument: A Juror # 8 asks if Juror # 5 could retrieve similar little inside informations, particularly after an “ disconcerting experience such as being slapped in the face by your male parent ” or after an incident of “ great emotional emphasis ” ? Under relentless inquiring, the smug, rationalistic Juror # 5 fails to retrieve the exact rubric of the cheap second-feature ( and the names of its stars ) that he saw with his married woman three darks earlier. Contrary to his statement that he ne’er sweats, he besides has to pass over a bead of perspiration from his caput with a hankie. Juror # 8 underscores the obvious:
And you were n’t under an emotional emphasis, were you?
Discussion of the Angle of the Stab Wound:
Juror # 2 asks about the pang lesion and its “ downward angle. ” The male child was five pess, seven inches tall, and his male parent was six pess, two inches tall – a difference of seven inches, so he notes: “ That ‘s a really awkward thing to knife down into the thorax of person who is more than half a pes taller than you are. ” Juror # 8 is volunteered to be the victim in a presentation, since he is already standing up. Juror # 3 bases face to confront with # 8, crouches down until he is shorter, and so raises the knife to strike downward into his chest – while the others nervously respond. Harmonizing to # 8, the angle is “ down and in – this is the manner it was done. ”
Counter-argument: A But Juror # 5, who has had experience with switchblade knife battles in his childhood vicinity, corrects everyone ‘s impression of the downward angle. The flick-knife is used “ sneaky ” to salvage clip by any adept knife user – “ Anyone who ‘s of all time used a switchknife would n’t manage it any other manner. ”
Voting Changed: -Vote of 3 to 9
Discussion of the Old Woman ‘s Eye-Witness Account and Eye-sight:
There ‘s merely one major issue – the “ firm testimony ” given by the adult female who lived across the street who really saw the slaying committed. Harmonizing to Juror # 4, she testified that at the critical minute, she saw the male child raise his arm over his caput and knife down into the male parent ‘s thorax. She went to bed at 11 o’clock that dark, and her bed was following to an unfastened window where she could look out while lying down and see straight into the male child ‘s room across the street. She tossed and turned for over an hr – unable to fall asleep. Finally, she turned toward the window at about 12:10 am and as she looked out, she “ got a good expression ” at the male child in the act of knifing his male parent, through the Windowss of the passing EL train. Vacillating back and forth “ like a tennis ball ” on his sentiment, Juror # 12 alterations his ballot back to guilty.
Counter-argument: A Juror # 9 notices that Juror # 4 is rubbing the deep indented Markss or feelings on the sides of his olfactory organ where his spectacless rest. Juror # 9 remembers that the 45 year-old adult female who testified against the male child had the same Markss on the sides of her nose – and she kept rubbing them in tribunal. She made a “ enormous attempt ” to look ten old ages younger “ for her first public visual aspect ” with “ heavy make-up, bleached hair, trade name new apparels ” – and she was n’t have oning her spectacless because she thought they would “ botch her expressions. ” Juror # 4 deduces that it ‘s logical to presume that “ no 1 wears eyeglasses to bed ” – and so it was extremely improbable that the adult female could hold had clip to set on her spectacless to see the slaying 60 pess off, in the split 2nd it occurred through the autos of the passing EL train – and in the center of the dark. Juror # 8 concludes: “ Possibly she candidly thought she saw the male child kill his male parent. I say she merely saw a fuzz… Do n’t you believe the adult female might hold made a error? ”
Voting Scenario: Vote 1 to 11- . Following the flood tide of the film merely juror # 3 is lodging to guilty but broken and disheartened and no staying legal evidences to trust upon he besides give his finding of fact of “ Not Guilty. ”
Decision and Contribution of the Movie
The still superb scrutiny of one adult male ‘s life in the balance, A 12 Angry MenA irrevocably alters one ‘s perceptual experiences of the test by jury process.A A critically of import movie in a universe swayed by emotion, A 12 Angry MenA makes its point that lone ground and fact have a topographic point in the courtroom blindingly clear. With a room full of fallible, prejudiced and ultimately diffident work forces, the termA sensible doubtA becomes crystal clear. The whole spectrum of humanity ( at least, the white male side of it ) is represented, from the foul and toxicant dogmatism of No. 10 to the every bit unpleasant chilling logic of No.4. While this set-up is slightly convenient, manager Sidney Lumet does n’t do the error of portraying a clear conflict between intelligence and ignorance. He does n’t even supply the juryman ‘s names, haltering any satisfaction through designation. Alternatively anyone can be incorrect ; the lone demand to be right is that you should be flexible plenty to admit this possibility.
In this present non-humanitarian universe barely people have any consideration for a individual ‘s life even when it is incumbent on them to supply a just test to the suspect when his life is at interest. This fact is non doubtful that if Henry Fonda did non incorporated his averment of “ sensible uncertainty ” , so the staying jury members would hold considered the instance as an authoritative illustration of “ unfastened and unopen slaying instance ” ensuing in the strong belief of the inexperienced person. It is a authoritative sarcasm on the working of jury who give more importance to flushing lucifer than their societal and professional duty. They are apathetic to the gravitation of effects which can destroy the life of an guiltless person because a felon is guiltless until proven guilty. The film paves and leaves footmarks for the existent legal experts to follow who in existent have one ‘s life in manus, so doing them cognizant of the duties they carry with regard to the person and the society.