Monday, February 06, 2017

Twelve Angry Men

Twelve Angry Men. Reginald Rose. 1954/2006. 79 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: ...and that concludes the court's explanation of the legal aspects of this case. And now, gentlemen of the jury, I come to my final instructions to you.

Premise/plot: Twelve Angry Men is a play by Reginald Rose. The setting is New York, 1957, a closed jury. Twelve men will decide if a man--the defendant--lives or dies. After the room settles down, after a few minutes go by, the first vote is cast. Eleven men vote within minutes to find him guilty. One man, the 8th juror, votes not guilty. The play is about all that follows next. Will the jury ultimately decide to vote guilty or not guilty? What will be revealed about human nature during that deliberation process?

My thoughts: I saw the movie probably twenty years ago, maybe nineteen. I thought it was outstanding. I thought it was about time I read the play for myself. It was GOOD. I will be rewatching the movie soon. I have a feeling that the movie at least is timeless. (I think sometimes--often times--people are more likely to watch a movie then read a play).

I will say this, not as a warning not to read it, but just so you know: this one does have bad language in it--blasphemy mostly. I would never let that keep me from reading such a compelling, timeless piece of literature.

Favorite quotes:
  • I have always thought that in this country a man was entitled to have unpopular opinions...(27, 11th juror speaking)
  • Facts may be colored by the personalities of the people who present them. (36, 11th juror speaking)
  • It's very hard to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And no matter where you run into it, prejudice obscures the truth. (66, 8th juror speaking)

© 2017 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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