12 Angry Men on Screen and Stage


Would you stand alone?  Without a strong reason, just a feeling, would you refuse to go with the crowd?

On a hot afternoon, twelve people are locked in a room, tasked with determining the fate of a 16-year-old accused murderer. Can one juror make a difference?

12 Angry Men (1957 NR) is an excellent movie starring Henry Fonda as Juror #8, and the only juror who believes there is reasonable doubt for the kid’s guilt.  Other writers have give better explanations than I about the characters, and what we can learn from this show.  Be sure to follow some of the links at the end of this post.


This is a great movie for pointing out how groups work, how prejudices can distort, how strong personalities dominate, how conclusions should not be jumped to quickly.

Teenagers can learn from this, too!  And if they aren’t sitting to watch this old movie (and they should), they can act in the stage version!

12 Angry Men becomes Twelve Angry Jurors when played at American high schools.  Still set in the 1950’s, yet including girls, this is a one-set show that gives quality teenage actors a chance to shine.

Compare the set of the movie, with one of a recent high school production:



Watch this movie.  Or catch the play at your local high school.  And be convicted.  How would you act in the same situation?




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