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12 Angry Men

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Analysis of

The film

12 Angry Men

Jason Lovett

MBA 611

Richard Devos School of Business Management

Northwood University

Executive Summary

The Movie "Twelve Angry Men" is the ultimate example of a group of people forced to interact in order to reach a single, defined goal. The jury, which consists of 12 men, must deliberate until a unanimous decision is reached. In this specific example, which takes place in a New York courthouse, the decision holds the life of an 18 year old in the balance. The movie is presented in a manner that allows the viewer to be the invisible jury member and sit in as they deliberate the fate of the defendant. The first vote is 11 to 1, finding the defendant guilty. The 12 men ride a rollercoaster of emotions as it finally ends in a unanimous decision. Throughout the paper I will analyze and elaborate on relationships and personalities that arise throughout the groups interactions. The report will follow the group as each person is forced to deal with one another. Ultimately I will explain how and why they arrived at the surprising verdict that they do.

Introduction

The case is one in which an 18 year old is charged with murder in the first degree for the death of his father, by way of stabbing him. The viewer is privy to no direct testimony of any kind. We are educated through the deliberations of the jurors as they discuss the case. The judge is quick to point out just how severe the punishment will be for such a charge and reminds the jurors that the decision of guilty must be found so that there is not a single bit of doubt. Once informed as to what their duties are, the two alternate jurors are dismissed and the remaining twelve men are shown into a small conference room. The room is so that there is a single table in the center surrounded by chairs along with a few chairs randomly placed against the wall. The room is filled with a drab sense of emptiness with three windows opening to the view of the city. The jury is dressed in noticeably similar attire, with all but two wearing a tie and the majority wearing a sports coat as well. Once in the room many of the members light up a cigarette, noticeably affecting nobody. Made very clear by the manner of most of the jurors, the temperature in the room is uncomfortably hot. Some men immediately head towards the closed windows and open them, while others quickly find a seat.

I will refer to the twelve jurors by their assigned number throughout the paper. A brief and simplistic description of each is given below in the order that they are seated and a chart showing the seating chart is attached and should be utilized throughout.

1. The Foreman - Assistant Coach

2. Bank Teller - Wears Glasses

3. Owner of Messenger Service

4. Stock-Broker - Wears Glasses, Never Sweats

5. Man from Slums

6. House Painter - No tie

7. Salesman - Baseball fan

8. Architect

9. The old man

10. Garage Owner - sick

11. Watchmaker - mustache

12. Advertising Man - glasses

Each member will be discussed and the characteristics that each posses will be addressed. Frameworks will be applied to different situations and individuals throughout. The report will be presented in a manner that correlates with the votes that are had and the discussions that take place before and after the vote.

Vote 1

The discussions begin with the Foreman of the group instructing everyone to sit according to their juror number. After quiet, the suggestion is brought forward that they do a vote to see where everyone stands. The preliminary vote is 11 to 1 in the favor of a guilty verdict. Juror number 8 is the lone individual that votes, not guilty. He is instantaneously shown aggression by Jurors 3,4, 7, and 10. The first interaction that the four of them have is in such a manner that tension is easily noticed. Jurors 3, 7, and 10 refer to the defendant with names such as "the guilty" and "murderer", they have already as made evident by their votes decided that the defendant is guilty of the accused murder. The three jurors take turns readdressing the "facts" that they were presented and reaffirming that these are the facts and prove nothing, but the boys guilt. They are not receptive to any ideas opposing their own or the "facts" that they have accepted, meaning Juror number 8's position that he has doubt as the defendant's guilt. Juror 8 has stated that he is simply not sure of the defendant's guilt. He says and is able to convince the others that he simply wants to talk about it for an hour.

8 begins his explanation of why he thinks the way he does by telling of the defendant's childhood, in which he frequented foster homes and was the known victim of abuse. All this, while his father was serving time in jail for forgery. Juror 8 is appealing to the others human compassion side in describing the child's rough childhood and upbringing. He pleads to the other jurors to simply give the boy a chance, for the first time in his life. This attempt at touching the others has gotten 3 to get out of his seat and move closer to 8 holding a picture. 3 continues talk of his son and his raising of him and how their relationship has been affected. The manner with which the man is speaking and his facial expressions make it painfully obvious that he has some great sadness when speaking of his son and even says that he has not heard from him in two years. Juror 10 is quick to point out that "we" do not owe him a thing. He was in fact lucky to get a trial with lawyer that was paid for by the city. 4 jumps in to elaborate on the idea that nothing good comes from the slum and the slums are notorious for

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