Sample Paper on American film 12 angry men by Sydney Lumet


The 12 Angry Men

The American film, 12 angry men has received a lot of popularity in the recent past owing to its message that is contemporary. Directed in 1957 by Sydney Lumet, the play has been performed in a number of platforms to convey various aspects. Because of the theme conveyed in the film, the performance has won a number of awards, including the Academy awards (Boulanger 190). The American film focuses on a young man, Puerto Rican, charged for murdering his father. There are many considerations to be made before the verdict can be made; this causes a lot of tension in the courtroom. There is confusion among the involved juries in the case due to varied concerns and opinions as opined by Boulanger. The play line begins in the city of New York where the 18 year old boy is being captured for allegedly stabbing the father to death. The rest of the film assumes a court setting where a number of characters are involved in the determination of the eagerly awaited verdict. The courtroom session opens with an instruction from the exhausted judge to make a decision whether the accused is guilty of murder (Rose 411). In addition, he highlights the consequences of being guilty of murder, that is, a death sentence. This revelation causes a lot of tension in the courtroom and among the involved jurors.

At this stage, the film shows the jury retiring to a private room where they are expected to quickly make a decision before the court session can proceed. As the jurors move to the private session, the camera focuses on the saddened, shocked slum boy. His brown gloomy eye focuses on the jury, the source of his justice. The film also illustrates that the identity of the young boy is not well known, his ethnic background remains unrevealed to all except for the late father. Ethically, it is illustrated that legal requirements demand extensive deliberations before any decision can be made. However, this is not the case in the film, as the jury seems to have a formed decision that the accused is guilty of murder (Rose 465). According to Rose (465), the decision is shortly altered by Henry Fonda, juror 8, which requests for discussion into the matter before reaching the conclusion. The request for further discussion seem not have augured well with most of the jurors, particularly, juror 7. This therefore results in a tense discussion in the private room that takes a long period. A better part of the film involves fierce discussion in the private that entails finger pointing and direct verbal attack. Due to lack of consensus, the jury opts for a voting process. Juror 8 seeks for a chance to explain his point before the voting process could be done. Henry Fonda, juror, absconds the process that was secret (Parks and Matthew 90). The counting process reveals that there is a vote for ‘not guilty’. Blindly, juror 3 intensely criticizes juror 5 blaming him for having sympathy on slum dwellers since his origin is traced in the slums. The criticism becomes ironical when juror 9 reveals that he voted not guilty because of the convincing explanation that Fonda gave. The false criticism makes juror 5 to change his decision in favor of ‘not guilty’. The revelation that each of the eleven jurors was involved in a number of malpractices in the past with some cases not fully legally solved heightened the drama in the private session (Boulanger 299).

The film the 12 angry men has been edited over the years to maintain its relevancy in various setups. The film can be accessed in various media, written materials besides a number of electronic media that constantly air the video. Access of the movie has also been made possible through the YouTube platform that has ensured wide reach of people in various cultures. The perfect audience of this film is our contemporary society where justice is offered to the accused and to the complainants. In addition, the film best suits individuals in the public sector involved in key decisions pertinent in the governance of the public. Through the aspects portrayed in the film, certain adjustments can be made in the public sector decision-making process to reflect the interest of the common citizen. The pronounced culture of injustice in the film should be eradicated from the public domain (Rose 291). The initial hurried decision reached by the jury due to an array of individual evening commitments vividly illustrates how justice at times is compromised. It is reported in the film that juror 7 who was cross with juror 8 requests for discussion into the matter due to evening commitments. Juror 7 therefore presents a group of malicious individuals in the society that are out to compromise the processes of attaining justice (Parks and Matthew 108)

The plight of the low class in the society is also manifested in the film. It is stated that the accused was from the slums with unknown identity. In line with the explication of Parks and Matthew, the slum origin resonates various discussions in the private room and can be attributed to the hurried decision earlier reached. During the voting process among the jurors, juror 3, intensely attacks juror 5, claiming that his not guilty vote is in strive to support his fellow slum dwellers. The statement is key as it shows that the low class in the society is not protected and is prone to constant criticism. The effort by Henry Fonda to convince the jury into discussion and fair trial also points to the few individuals in the society that will stand against vices and advocate for virtue (Boulanger 290). This is presents the need to fight for the unprivileged in the society besides respecting the right to free trial in the justice systems (Parks and Matthew 198)

The place of women in the society is also brought forth in the film. In the private room, all the jurors were men, this shows how the feminine gender are lowly regarded in the society. The film therefore communicates that inclusive integration of gender should be considered in pertinent societal issues. Moreover, elements of racial discrimination are also made manifest. All the jurors, the judge and other court officers were of the white race. This is a major contradiction of the setting and the timing of the film since a number of races had already settled in the country, America, by 1957. However, the race of the accused is unrevealed. This shows the need to consider various races in societal matters.

In conclusion, it is evident that an array of pertinent societal aspects is conveyed in the film. Aspects, such as injustice and inequality should therefore be curbed in order to achieve efficiency in operations and respect for individual’s rights and freedom.

Work Cited

Boulanger-Mashberg, Anica. Reginald Rose’s Twelve Angry Men (insight Text Guide). Insight Publications, 2010. Print.

Parks, Gregory, and Matthew W. Hughey. 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today. New York: New Press, 2010. Internet resource.

Rose, Reginald. Twelve Angry Men. New York: Penguin Books, 2006. Internet resource.