Watch the 1957 movie 12 Angry Men. Reading the essay questions and taking notes while watching the movie is a requirement
The film was directed by Sidney Lumet and tells the story of a 12 man jury. In 90 minutes, you will see the jury deliberate whether the subject will be acquitted on the basis of reasonable doubt or if the defendant is found guilty. Watch for content you learned in this week’s module, group development and dynamics.
Explain how you can use 12 Angry Men to illustrate the following topics from the week:
The Punctuated-Equilibrium Model
Group Decision Making
The Twelve Jurors:
A summary of the anonymous characters helps to flesh out their characters and backgrounds.
Juror #1 (The Foreman): (Martin Balsam) A high-school assistant head coach, doggedly concerned to keep the proceedings formal and maintain authority; easily frustrated and sensitive when someone objects to his control; inadequate for the job as foreman, not a natural leader and over-shadowed by Juror # 8’s natural leadership.
Juror #2: (John Fiedler) A wimpy, balding bank clerk/teller, easily persuaded, meek, hesitant, goes along with the majority, eagerly offers cough drops to other men during tense times of argument; better memory than Juror # 4.
Juror #3: (Lee J. Cobb) Runs a messenger service (the “Beck and Call” Company), a bullying, rude and husky man, extremely opinionated and biased, completely intolerant, forceful and loud-mouthed, temperamental and vengeful; estrangement from his own teenaged son causes him to be hateful and hostile toward all young people (and the defendant); arrogant, quick-angered, quick-to-convict, and defiant until the very end.
Juror #4: (E. G. Marshall) Well-educated, smug and conceited, well-dressed stockbroker, presumably wealthy; studious, methodical, possesses an incredible recall and grasp of the facts of the case; commonsensical, dispassionate, cool-headed and rational, yet stuffy and prim; often displays a stern glare; treats the case like a puzzle to be deductively solved rather than as a case that may send the defendant to death; claims that he never sweats.
Juror #5: (Jack Klugman) Naive, insecure, frightened, reserved; grew up in a poor Jewish urban neighborhood and the case resurrected in his mind that slum-dwelling upbringing; a guilty vote would distance him from his past; nicknamed “Baltimore” by Juror # 7 because of his support of the Orioles.
Juror #6: (Edward Binns) A typical “working man,” dull-witted, experiences difficulty in making up his own mind, a follower; probably a manual laborer or painter; respectful of older juror and willing to back up his words with fists.
Juror #7: (Jack Warden) Clownish, impatient salesman (of marmalade the previous year), a flashy dresser, gum-chewing, obsessed baseball fan who wants to leave as soon as possible to attend evening game; throws wadded up paper balls at the fan; uses baseball metaphors and references throughout all his statements (he tells the foreman to “stay in there and pitch”); lacks complete human concern for the defendant and for the immigrant juror; extroverted; keeps up amusing banter and even impersonates James Cagney at one point; votes with the majority.
Juror #8: (Henry Fonda) An architect, instigates a thoughtful reconsideration of the case against the accused; symbolically clad in white; a liberal-minded, patient truth-and-justice seeker who uses soft-spoken, calm logical reasoning; balanced, decent, courageous, well-spoken and concerned; considered a do-gooder (who is just wasting others’ time) by some of the prejudiced jurors; named Davis.
Juror #9: (Joseph Sweeney) Eldest man in group, white-haired, thin, retiring and resigned to death but has a resurgence of life during deliberations; soft-spoken but perceptive, fair-minded; named McCardle.
Juror #10: (Ed Begley) A garage owner, who simmers with anger, bitterness, racist bigotry; nasty, repellent, intolerant, reactionary and accusative; segregates the world into ‘us’ and ‘them’; needs the support of others to reinforce his manic rants.
Juror #11: (George Voskovec) A watchmaker, speaks with a heavy accent, of German-European descent, a recent refugee and immigrant; expresses reverence and respect for American democracy, its system of justice, and the infallibility of the Law.
Juror #12: (Robert Webber) Well-dressed, smooth-talking business ad man with thick black glasses; doodles cereal box slogan and packaging ideas for “Rice Pops”; superficial, easily-swayed, and easy-going; vacillating, lacks deep convictions or belief system; uses advertising talk at one point: “run this idea up the flagpole and see if anybody salutes it.”
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