Twelve Angry Men: A Jury Between Fact and Norm
26 Pages Posted: 25 May 2007
This short essay was written for a symposium marking the fiftieth anniversary of the classic film's appearance. With a great cast, it remains perhaps the most compelling portrayal of an American jury in action. I begin by noting eight details in Twelve Angry Men which are so obvious that their significance may be difficult to discern. I then discuss the significance of the film's being a drama, indeed, a drama about a drama. I discuss the kind of truth that a dramatic portrayal of the jury can aspire to and what it can add to social scientific accounts. Finally, I identify the six dramatic tensions that define the film's meaning.
Keywords: Law & the Humanities, Litigation & Procedure, Legal History, Jurisprudence & Legal Philosophy
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