Twelve Angry Men

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Twelve Angry Men is a drama written by Reginald Rose concerning the jury of a homicide trial. It was broadcast initially as a television play in 1954, the following year it was adapted for the stage, and in 1957 was made into a highly successful film. Since then it has been given numerous remakes, adaptations, and tributes.

Description[edit]

The play concerns the deliberations of the jury of a homicide trial, at the beginning, they have a nearly unanimous decision of guilty, with a single dissenter of not guilty, who throughout the play sows a seed of reasonable doubt. This was first made as a 1954 teleplay by Reginald Rose for the Studio One anthology television series, and was aired as a live CBS Television production on 20 September 1954. The drama was later rewritten for the stage in 1955 under the same title.

Rose wrote several stage adaptations of the story; in 1964, Leo Genn appeared in the play on the London stage. In other theatrical adaptations in which female actors are cast, the play is retitled 12 Angry Jurors, 12 Angry Men and Women or 12 Angry Women.[1][2][3]

In 2003, the British producer/director Guy Masterson directed an all comedian revival[4] at the Assembly Rooms including Bill Bailey as Juror 4, Phil Nichol as Juror 10, Owen O'Neill as Juror 8, Stephen Frost as Juror 3 and Russell Hunter as Juror 9 during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival which broke the existing box office record for drama at the Fringe Festival and garnered much critical acclaim[5].

In 2004, the Roundabout Theatre Company presented a Broadway production of the play at the American Airlines Theatre, starring Boyd Gaines as a more combative Juror No. 8, with James Rebhorn (No. 4), Philip Bosco (No. 3), and Robert Prosky as the voice of the judge.[6] In 2007, 12 Angry Men ran on a national theatre tour with Richard Thomas and George Wendt starring as Jurors No. 8 and No. 1, respectively. The 2008 tour did not include Wendt but featured another television personality, Kevin Dobson of Kojak and Knots Landing, as Juror No. 10.[7]

In 2004/5, the British producer/director Guy Masterson directed a hugely successful Australian version of his hit Edinburgh 2003 production produced by Arts Projects Australia and Adrian Bohm[8] at QPAC Brisbane, Sydney Theatre and Melbourne Athenaeum including Shane Bourne as Juror 3, Peter Phelps as Juror 4, Marcus Graham as Juror 8, George Kapiniaris as Juror 2 and Henri Szeps as Juror 9.[9] This production won three Melbourne Green Room Awards and a nomination for "Best Play" at the Sydney Helpmann Awards[10]

The London West End production of the play opened in November 2013, originally running until 1 March 2014, but extended until 14 June 2014, at the Garrick Theatre starring Tom Conti, Jeff Fahey, Nick Moran and Robert Vaughn.[11]

In other media[edit]

Films[edit]

It was rewritten again in 1957 as a feature film, 12 Angry Men, which Sidney Lumet directed, and which starred Henry Fonda, it was nominated for Academy Awards in the categories of Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Writing of Adapted Screenplay.

In 1963, the German Television Channel ZDF produced a film adaption under the title Die zwölf Geschworenen.[12]

Indian director Basu Chatterjee remade it as Ek Ruka Hua Faisla in 1986.

In 2007, Russian film director Nikita Mikhalkov completed 12, his remake of the film, the jury of the 64th Venice Film Festival assigned its special prize to this remake "to acknowledge the consistent brilliance of Nikita Mikhalkov's body of work".[13]

12 Angry Lebanese is a 2009 documentary film that chronicles efforts to stage an adaptation of Twelve Angry Men with inmates inside Beirut’s Roumieh Prison.[14]

In 2014, Chinese film director Xu Ang remade it as 12 Citizens, it was shown at the 2014 Rome Film Festival on October 19, 2014[15] and was released in China on May 15, 2015.[16]

Vaaimai (2016) is a Tamil language adaptation of Twelve Angry Men.[17]

Television[edit]

12 Angry Men was remade for television in 1997. Directed by William Friedkin, the remake stars George C. Scott, James Gandolfini, Tony Danza, William Petersen, Ossie Davis, Hume Cronyn, Courtney B. Vance, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Mykelti Williamson, Edward James Olmos, Dorian Harewood, and Jack Lemmon. In this production, the judge is a woman and four of the jurors are black, but most of the action and dialogue of the film are identical to the original. Modernizations include a prohibition on smoking in the jury room, the changing of references to income and pop culture figures, more dialogue relating to race, references to execution by lethal injection as opposed to the electric chair, and occasional profanity.

In a theatrical version of the play that was once shown in the 1970s on Spanish Television (TVE1), the title given was "Doce Hombres sin Piedad" ("Twelve Men Without Mercy").

Radio[edit]

In 2005, L.A. Theatre Works recorded an audio version of 12 Angry Men, directed by John de Lancie, with a cast including Dan Castellaneta, Jeffrey Donovan, Héctor Elizondo, Robert Foxworth, Kevin Kilner, Richard Kind, Armin Shimerman, Joe Spano and Steve Vinovich.[18]

Characters[edit]

Juror # 1954 Studio One actor 1957 film actor 1997 film actor 2003 stage actor 2004 stage actor 2005 stage actor 2007 stage actor 2013 stage actor Votes "not guilty"
1 Norman Fell Martin Balsam Courtney B. Vance Steve Furst Mark Blum Rob Meldrum Luke Shaw George Wendt 9th
The jury foreman, somewhat preoccupied with his duties; proves to be accommodating to others. An assistant high school football coach. Tends to attempt to prevent heated arguments.
2 John Beal John Fiedler Ossie Davis Ian Coppinger Kevin Geer George Kapiniaris David Calvitto Todd Cerveris 5th
A meek and unpretentious bank clerk who is at first domineered by others but finds his voice as the discussion goes on.
3 Franchot Tone Lee J. Cobb George C. Scott Stephen Frost Philip Bosco / Robert Foxworth Shane Bourne Jeff Fahey Randle Mell 12th
A businessman and distraught father, opinionated and stubborn with a temper; the main antagonist.
4 Walter Abel E. G. Marshall Armin Mueller-Stahl Bill Bailey James Rebhorn Peter Phelps Paul Antony-Barber Jeffrey Hayenga 11th
A rational stockbroker, unflappable, self-assured, and analytical
5 Lee Philips Jack Klugman Dorian Harewood Jeff Green Michael Mastro Nicholas Papademetriou Ed Franklin Jim Saltouros 3rd
A soft-spoken young man from a violent slum, in the book a Milwaukee Brewers fan, in the movies and on Broadway, a Baltimore Orioles fan.
6 Bart Burns Edward Binns James Gandolfini Dave Johns Robert Clohessy Peter Flett Robert Blythe Charles Borland 6th
A house painter, tough but principled and respectful.
7 Paul Hartman Jack Warden Tony Danza David Calvitto John Pankow Aaron Blabey Nick Moran Mark Morettini 7th
A salesman, sports fan, superficial and indifferent to the deliberations.
8 Robert Cummings Henry Fonda Jack Lemmon Owen O'Neill Boyd Gaines Marcus Graham Martin Shaw, Tom Conti Richard Thomas 1st
An architect, the first dissenter and protagonist. Identified as "Davis" at the end.
9 Joseph Sweeney Joseph Sweeney Hume Cronyn Russell Hunter Tom Aldredge Henri Szeps Robert Vaughn Alan Mandell 2nd
A wise and observant elderly man. Identified as "McCardle" at the end.
10 Edward Arnold Ed Begley Mykelti Williamson Phil Nichol Peter Friedman Richard Piper Miles Richardson, William Gaminara Julian Gamble 10th
A garage owner; a pushy and loudmouthed bigot.
11 George Voskovec George Voskovec Edward James Olmos Andy Smart Larry Bryggman / Byron Loquon Alex Menglet Martin Turner David Lively 4th
A thoughtful German watchmaker and naturalized American citizen.
12 Will West Robert Webber William Petersen Gavin Robertson Adam Trese Russell Fletcher Owen O'Neill, Robert Duncan Craig Wroe 8th
A wisecracking, indecisive advertising executive.

Homages and references in other works[edit]

  • A fifth season episode of the BBC TV series Hancock's Half Hour called "Twelve Angry Men" is a parody of the original film with the central concept being reversed. Hancock spends the episode trying to convince the jury that a man caught red handed stealing some jewellery is innocent when he is clearly guilty using hyperbolic invective, appeals to sentiment and emotional blackmail instead of reasoned argument.
  • An episode of the TV series The Dick Van Dyke Show originally aired March 7, 1962 was entitled "One Angry Man". In this episode, Rob Petrie is the only juror who believes the defendant (Sue Ane Langdon) to be innocent.
  • An episode of the TV series The Andy Griffith Show originally aired on October 23, 1967, "Aunt Bee, the Juror", featured Sheriff Taylor's aunt as the only woman juror and only holdout in a robbery trial of a man. The defendant was played by Jack Nicholson.
  • An episode of the TV series Monk, "Mr. Monk Gets Jury Duty", heavily spoofs the original 12 Angry Men teleplay. In this episode, the jury is presiding over the case of a man accused of stabbing another man attempting to make a bank deposit. Many of the jurors resemble a 12 Angry Men juror in some way or form.
  • A season 11 episode of Family Guy, "12 and a Half Angry Men", is a parody of this film, where the town mayor is accused of murder, with Brian and Peter called to be members of the jury and Brian taking on the position of the eighth juror.
  • Season three of Inside Amy Schumer devoted an episode to one sketch, a parody of 12 Angry Men where the twelve men must decide if Amy Schumer is hot enough to have her own TV show.[19]
  • In the 1965 play The Odd Couple, Oscar Madison, who served on a similar type of jury, was played by Jack Klugman, who played Juror No. 5 in the 1957 film. Further Odd Couple parallels to the film include John Fiedler (who featured as Oscar's friend in the 1967 Odd Couple film) and the fact that Felix takes the role of Juror No. 8 which Jack Lemmon (Felix in the film) plays in the 1997 version.[citation needed]
  • The King of the Hill season three episode "Nine Pretty Darn Angry Men" parodies 12 Angry Men with the characters as part of a focus group for a new lawnmower. Hank in the role off of Juror 8 opposed to the new mower while the others praise it
  • The title of an episode in season two of Veronica Mars "One Angry Veronica" references the film as the main plot is concerned with Veronica being called for jury duty.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Twelve Angry Women": All-Female Version of Classic
  2. ^ Acting Company of Greenwich – Past Productions, January 27 – February 5, 1995
  3. ^ "12 ANGRY JURORS". Sam Bass Theatre. Retrieved 15 January 2018. 
  4. ^ Theatre Tours International Past Shows
  5. ^ Scotland.org - Edinburgh Festival Fringe
  6. ^ Twelve Angry Men, American Airlines Theatre, Playbill
  7. ^ Roundabout's 12 Angry Men & Thomas Return for 2nd Tour
  8. ^ Theatre Tours International Past Shows
  9. ^ Guy Masterson's Australian Production of 12 Angry Men
  10. ^ 5th Helpmann Awards
  11. ^ Fiona Mountford (12 November 2013). "Twelve Angry Men, Garrick Theatre – review". London Evening Standard. Alexander Lebedev/Evgeny Lebedev/Daily Mail and General Trust. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  12. ^ Die zwölf Geschworenen on IMDb
  13. ^ "Official Awards at the 64th Venice Film Festival – The Drew Handler Award of Excellence in the Film and Picture Category". Archived from the original on March 8, 2012. 
  14. ^ "12 Angry Lebanese: The Documentary". FSLC. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  15. ^ "Shier gongmin (12 Citizens)". filmguide.romacinemafest.it (in Italian). Retrieved May 17, 2015. 
  16. ^ "十二公民 (2014)". movie.douban.com (in Chinese). douban.com. Retrieved May 17, 2015. 
  17. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/tamil/movie-reviews/Vaaimai/movie-review/54219648.cms
  18. ^ "L.A. Theatre Works: Twelve Angry Men". Online trailer. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  19. ^ Holmes, Linda (6 May 2015). "Amy Schumer Puts Her Own Looks On Trial". NPR.org. Retrieved 10 May 2015.