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Twelve Angry Men

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  11,513 ratings  ·  431 reviews
A landmark American drama which inspired a classic film and a Broadway revival

Reginald Rose's landmark American drama was a critically acclaimed teleplay, and went on to become a cinematic masterpiece in 1957 starring Henry Fonda, for which Rose wrote the adaptation. A blistering character study and an examination of the American melting pot and the judicial system that ke
Paperback, 79 pages
Published August 29th 2006 by Penguin Classics (first published 1954)
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You would think they would've forced us to watch Twelve Angry Men in law school, but they didn't. After reading the play and watching the movie a few weeks ago, I feel like every American should have to read Twelve Angry Men. The play centers on a jury deliberation. During several heated hours (literally and figuratively), twelve men discuss whether the verdict they come to will exonerate a young man for the murder of his father, or condemn him to a death sentence that the judge explained he had ...more
The following will be a twelve thousand word dissertation on the seventy page long play by Reginald Rose. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll simply stick to reviewing.

Recently I've been reading several plays and short stories. In part because I'm required to (like this one) and in part because I enjoy the difference in media. So I shall promptly go over what makes Twelve Angry Men different.

The play itself covers the case of an apparently guilty boy claimed to have stabbed his father. The prosecution app
The twelve angry men in this play are members of a jury deliberating during a homicide trial. They must come to an unanimous decision of "guilty" or "not guilty" to prevent a hung jury. Their decision has serious consequences since a guilty charge will result in a death sentence. Eleven jurors are ready to make a snap decision of guilty and head home, but one dissenting juror has a reasonable doubt. He prompts the other jurors to examine the evidence more closely.

The young man on trial is a mino
I love this. It's so brilliant in so many ways.

I remember reading this in school and thinking how unfair it was of the main "antagonist" juror, #3, to disregard all points regarding anything that might lead to a not-guilty verdict simply because of his own personal prejudices and opinions.

It's interesting to me now how that tells me as much about myself as it does about the characters. Back then, I thought that Juror 3 was a mean man, almost evil, and that he just wanted the defendant to die t
I was very excited about reading "Twelve Angry Men." I've seen the film, so when I saw that the play was a choice for class reading, I couldn't wait to read it.

My immediate response to the text was that I couldn't put it down. I was compelled by the 8th Juror's arguments and by figuring out each individual's demeanor and attitude, I loved discovering more and more about each character as I read about their interaction with other characters. As I continue reading, I'm not only motivated by the ul
Troy Blackford
WOW! What a play! This was amazing stuff. Though you can sense it is getting up there in years, it doesn't seem nearly as dated as many of the things of its era. I had heard of this my whole life but never really known much about it. It didn't take long to realize that I was dealing with a major work of incredible power. Heavily recommended.
I read Twelve Angry Men at some point during my middle or high school years, but I don’t remember exactly when. I also recall watching the original motion picture, and more recently, I’ve seen the updated movie. I was always really intrigued by the premise: a man is on trial for murder, all the evidence confirms his guilt, one lone juror stands up for him and converts everyone else to a plea of not guilty – it’s very “Hollywood.” It’s been a while though, since I’ve read the actual play.

When I f
Andrew G.
This play only takes place in a jury room, and the setup to the plot line is never revealed all at once. An interesting point of this book is that there are no names, only the numbers of the jurors and the witnesses of the case as the 'old man', or 'woman'. These twelve jurors are appointed to deliberate on the trial of a teenage boy who allegedly stabbed his father, and it looks like a open-and-shut case in the beginning, but the evidence that is revealed during the story makes it much more di ...more
Why should Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men work? If anything, it starts with what I would have thought a tired premise: jurors -- all men, 12 of them, and fairly angry -- in deliberation. So what?

Well, for one thing, "a man's life is at stake."

To make matters worse, I'll admit that I am not usually a fan of reading plays. In fact, I was sure that this one, with its twelve nameless characters, would be a real struggle to get through. Who can tie a character's character to a name like "Juror #8?"

I read this play as I'm considering taking part in the production and I really enjoyed it.

In the 12 angry men, you see all the different types of people. You have juror 8, who stood against all the others, did not give in to peer pressure and stood his ground. On the other hand of the spectrum, we have juror 3, a bitter, stubborn and biased man.

The play has a very strong message. It's so easy to condemn and judge someone from the safety of our comfortable jury rooms/homes/offices.
I know that there some people who think that this play is dated. What are the chances of having an all white and all male jury? To these people, I respond, have you seen the news lately?
A nice audio performance of the play. My favorite version, however, is still Showtime’s which had a racially mixed cast.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Twelve men are sequestered in a stuffy room and tasked with determining the fate of a boy who was accused of murdering his father. The jurors are indentified only by their numbers (juror two, juror four), which you would think would be confusing, but it isn’t. They take a vote and realize that 11 of the 12 believe the defendant is guilty. They need a unanimous vote for a conviction and in the instant they know this won’t be as easy as they’d hoped.

It’s amazing that Rose was able to pack such a
Jill Nelson
Of course as a being concerned with social justice issues this text speaks to me. As U.S. citizens I believe we take our freedom and rights for granted most of the time. Something like jury duty sounds mundane and an inconvenience, not an honor or a privilege. Taking time from our jobs, families and hobbies to participate in this civic duty is a drag. I think this book/play/movie does an incredible job of changing our perspective. What power we have in our hands to change another being's life. T ...more
Twelve Angry Men was actually very interesting. It was a quick and entertaining read. I didn't find it difficult to tell the characters apart and I loved seeing how the case unraveled. I was expecting to be bored, but the play was very engaging.
It's been two decades since I read this in high school--and, coincidentally, I am reading it now as part of a seminar I'm giving as a high school teacher. Once again, I got pulled into the lengthy discussion that determines whether a young boy faces execution.

The teleplay format made it tough for me to picture the various jurors (though I will always picture the 8th juror as Henry Fonda, for obvious reasons). In fact, I started making associations between each juror's number and his personality.
An intriguing story, the play has an interesting premise of 12 jurors deliberating over taking a young boy's life. The group of men being a microcosm of society, the way each member sees this case is what makes it such a classic tale.
The characters, named without names, only a number, each have their own ways about them, each being a different type of member of today's world. It's easy to come to like the nonconformist as soon as the play starts, and to hate the bigots.
It was a quick, enjoyabl
E. C. Koch
I came to Twelve Angry Men through Lumet's adaptation first, and, as is often the case, I find that I prefer the "original" medium (as I experienced it) to the written version. Rose's original script has some dialogue that Lumet eventually cut out, making the film more powerful. There are other immediate differences between them too. In the drama version, Juror 11 is very clearly made out to be Jewish, which I thought was lacking in the film. Also - and this is most important - the film shows th ...more
The blood-red background on the cover, the switchblade, and “anger” in the title said to me that this play contains murder, suspense, treachery — it conjured a smoky detective’s office in a film noir. Twelve men suggested that the subject of the play would be a jury. Other than what I intuited from the cover, then read from the description on the back, I knew nothing about this play (I’m a little embarrassed to admit that because I have the sense I should be familiar with it). I pic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Grace Zhen
This is a truely fantastic play about the gathering of a jury dicussing about a first degree murder verdict with a teenage boy's life at stake. There are 12 jurors and they are entitled by their own rights to choose the appropriate verdict without a reasonable doubt , Gulity or Not Gulity. For the first ballot, the votes for Gulity beat not Gulity by a land slide, 11 to 1. Despite all the bias evidence from the court about the murder, the 8th is still not convinced that the kid killed his father ...more
Sarah Harakeh
This play gave me goosebumps! It is so perfect and everyone should read it, whether now or after hundreds of years because the lessons it conveys are timelessly applicable. It shows how if one person stands firmly and sticks to his/her conventions can make a change, even if he/she is totally alone facing everyone. It also criticizes the law and shows how easy it is to send someone to execution and criticizes the choice behind choosing the members of a jury.
Liked it a whole lot. A definite 4.5, the book was so intriguing I finished it in one sitting. cases and mystery in a straight and realistic form, not much action but tense.
James F
This was one of the plays I saw last week at the Utah Shakespeare Festival; originally a TV movie from 1954, but I think a work that by its nature is better fitted to the theater than to cinema. The play takes place in a jury room, where the jurors are deliberating on a murder case. Refreshingly, there is no Perry Mason dramatically pointing out the real criminal; it is never proven that the defendant is innocent, and I don't think the audience is supposed to decide that he is. Rather, the point ...more
Prima Akther
I was assigned to read the book 12 angry men, for my class project. I always heard lots of great things about this book, but didn't really know what it was really about. After reading this book, it has made me realize how messed up our justice system can be.

From reading the title, It doesn't really say much, i definitely did know it was going to be drama filled book. where theres anger, theres a lot of drama.

This book is about a 18 year boy accused of killing his own father. Now it is up to 12
I wasn't going to bother reviewing this, since I only read it in high school and only added it to my 'read' list out of minor ocd, but I happened to glance at the top review below me asking why this wasn't required reading in law schools and I felt I had to add my two cents. Even in high school I had the feeling something was strange about that knife scene, but years later I know what was wrong about it.

It's illegal for juries to conduct their own investigation or to base their decisions on evid
“12 angry Men” was a book I had read in my honors English class. It is an intriguing and well done seeing that it is a play. Quite brilliant and worth the read.
The story revolves around twelve very different jurors who are to decide a man’s fate. A carful decision that could become reckless. Risking killing an innocent man if convicted or releasing a murdered back into the streets if found innocent. This is the perfect example of how our justice system is ran. The characters in the story are ve
I have recently read Twelve Angry Men in my advanced English class. I experienced mixed feelings after reading this play. Twelve Angry Men captured my attention the entire time I read it, especially during the third and final act. This play seemed mostly complete and was written with finesse. The play included strengths and weaknesses that made this play fantastic and unique at the same time.
Twelve Angry Men was very interesting from beginning to end. However, this play was not completely flaw
Dale Kozar
The book was very interesting. How the author started off the book was great as the one juror stands alone. The author takes the book at a very good approach and appealing to the audience. The author shows the problems of racism and the stereotypes at that time. The book was clear and had the point across and was easy to read.

The author used a lot of the conflict in the story due to the setting and the requirements. They were in a hot jury room with the doors closed and no air conditioner. This
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If a potential juror claimed this was his favorite play... 1 12 Oct 18, 2014 03:34PM  
Comparisons 2 16 Dec 29, 2012 12:40AM  
its a play 2 35 Apr 04, 2008 09:36AM  
  • Brighton Beach Memoirs
  • Inherit the Wind
  • Children of a Lesser God
  • A Little Night Music
  • Harvey
  • You Can't Take it With You
  • In the Next Room, or the vibrator play
  • Red
  • Arsenic and Old Lace
  • 1776
  • Beyond Therapy
  • Rabbit Hole
  • Bug
  • The Elephant Man
  • The Lion in Winter
  • Suddenly Last Summer
  • Dinner With Friends
  • Private Lives
Reginald Rose (December 10, 1920 – April 19, 2002) was an American film and television writer most widely known for his work in the early years of television drama. Rose's work is marked by its treatment of controversial social and political issues. His realistic approach helped create the slice of life school of television drama, which was particularly influential in the anthology programs of the ...more
More about Reginald Rose...
Thunder On Sycamore Street Twelve Angry Men: LA Theatre Works Two Plays for Study : Twelve Angry Men / Romanoff and Juliet The Remarkable Incident at Carson Corners Dear Friends

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“It takes a great deal of courage to stand alone even if you believe in something very strongly.” 25 likes
“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.” 11 likes
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