Twelve Angry Men (Westinghouse Studio One)

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For other productions, see Twelve Angry Men.
"Twelve Angry Men"
Studio One episode
Studio One Twelve Angry Men.jpg
Episode no. Season 7
Episode 1
Directed by Franklin Schaffner
Written by Reginald Rose
Original air date September 20, 1954 (1954-09-20)
Running time 60 minutes
Episode chronology
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"The Education of Hyman Kaplan"

Twelve Angry Men is a 1954 teleplay by Reginald Rose for the Studio One anthology television series. Initially staged as a CBS live production on September 20, 1954, the drama was later rewritten for the stage in 1955 under the same title and again for a feature film, 12 Angry Men (1957). The episode garnered three Emmy Awards for writer Rose, director Franklin Schaffner and Robert Cummings as Best Actor.

Cast and characters[edit]

Sweeney and Voskovec repeated their parts in the 1957 film.

Critical reception[edit]

The performance got generally positive reviews. For example, Steve Rhodes made these comments when he reviewed the drama in 1997:

The show starts with a dramatic charge by an excessively somber judge. "I urge you to deliberate earnestly and thoughtfully," he intones with the low bass voice of an old preacher at a funeral. "You are faced with a grave responsibility.".... This idea of a fait accompli decision is shattered when one lone juror has the audacity to vote not guilty on the first ballot. "You think he's not guilty," another juror shouts out in anger to him about the defendant. "I've never seen a guiltier man in my life." This group of 12 strangers slowly but sometimes explosively begin to express their opinions.... Robert Cummings plays the persistent juror who wants to slow down the process at least enough so that the young kid charged with murder gets a fair hearing in the jury room. As Cummings begins to raise questions about a few of the obvious facts of the case, his voice is hesitant. Since it was live TV, one can never be sure why, but he gets his words a bit mixed up at first and almost starts to stutter. It was probably planned, and it is just the kind of realistic event that would happen in such circumstances. Cummings gives the best of several outstanding performances. When the racist barks at him, "That's a stupid question," he does not cower but summons up strength from deep within himself. Like a freight train gathering speed, he gains more confidence by the moment, especially when others slowly decide to change their votes.[1]

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