Talk:12 Angry Men (1957 film)

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Introduction wording[edit]

The phrase "the twelve men must unanimously determine innocence or guilt" is wrong, and in fact that is one of the main tenets that underpins the justice system and the play (and film) itself. It is not innocent or guilty, it is guilty or not guilty, and there is a very big difference. I am going to reword that sentence to fit in with this.

I feel the the introduction also uses too much subjectivity! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Why isn't the Russian remake on the list?[edit]

It rivals and even may surpass the original. The Russian one is simply called "12".


It is there now. ~ I am neuron 22:01, 14 October 2007 (UTC)


Wasn't the defendant Hispanic in both movies? Or was he Italian in the first? There was a bit of ethnic prejudice involved in the story, if I remember right.

Thanks, Cunctator, for inserting my 'comment' from the m.l. why must ya'll? --Uncle Ed 15:44, 10 Dec 2003 (UTC)

On your first point, I think so too, although it was not actually stated in the dialogue, I believe we were intended to understand that he was Hispanic; making him Italian wouldn't have made sense since the watchmaker/Juror #11 was obviously Italian and the central point of the plot was the ethnic divide between the jury and the accused. Ellsworth 17:51, 17 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Thus I will note the article. Ellsworth
Years ago I watched the original black and white in Law class in highschool. Yesterday i revisted the movie and rented it. Then today I rented the remake. I notice that in the section abot the differences it states that one of the differences was that he defendant was hispanic. Since i originally thought he was hispanic in the black and white, and since they don't say what his is, how can this be a difference? I think that should be removed or changed somehow. Masterhatch 08:22, 4 December 2005 (UTC)
He was Hispanic in the first movie, possibly Puerto Rican. The rant by Begley seems to support that he's Puerto Rican by some of the comments being made being typical of some people's beliefs about Puerto Ricans. If he was Italian and the watchmaker was Italian I can't believe the rant would've lasted very long or been made at all. Wasn't there a shot of the kid at the beginning of the filem?-- 14:03, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

The actor's name was John Savoca, which is Italian apparently. The Wikipedia article says that he's Puerto Rican in the 1957 movie, but zero mention of that or any other ethnicity is in the movie--so the reference should be removed. Claiming he's Puerto Rican seems to be a wishful thinking invention by those who wish to impute race/ethnicity into everything. Begley's rant was repeatedly due to his class (a "slum-dweller"), not his ethnicity. Begley had ample opportunity during his long, out-of-control-rant to mention ethnicity if that's what motivated him but he never did. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:13, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

I had actually thought he was African-American.

There is a shot of the kid at the beginning of the 1957 film. However, the film is black and white and it's not so easy to distinguish the ethnicity, though it's apparent the kid is not WASP. David.Monniaux 09:11, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

I think the point is left deliberately ambiguous and because the movie is set in NYC, it could be any number. Davis says "if you don't believe the boy's story, why do you believe the woman's? she's one of them too." He doesn't say "she's black too" or "she's puerto rican too." It's left open so that the story is adaptable and relatable to anyone.Cromicus 07:19, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Huh. I'd thought he was Jewish. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:33, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Black and white[edit]

Why begin with a sentence calling it a "black-and-white" movie? If you're going to go that route, why not call it a "celluloid" movie, or a "talking" movie? Or am I missing something?

Celluloid was no longer in use as a photographic medium when this film was produced. And silent films were antiquated by the 1950s. It was "black and white" as opposed to the "color" we have all taken for granted for decades. --Rog
But black and white was still common in 1957, and there's nothing particularly relevant about its black-and-white-ness, eg, it isn't a film noir. --Cammoore 10:19, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
I came on to make the exact same point. I think calling it a "black-and-white movie" in the very first sentence is pointless; a movie is a movie after all. It's not something which effects the film in any way, so I've removed the reference for now.
The reference is relevant but maybe just not in the first sentence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:57, 1 November 2009 (UTC)


For Juror #11 is the phrase "proud of be an American" intetionally corect or should it be (a) "proud of being an American" or (b) "proud to be an American"

Dead Zone[edit]

It could also be added that the Dead Zone episode "Unreasonable Doubt" was a homage to the movie in the section where you list parodies and such.

Other 'parodies'/ 'homages'[edit]

It's obvious there have been many of these; as I type this I'm watching an episode of Veronica Mars that involves scenes similar to this film.

Minority Influence[edit]

I've been told the film inspired psychologists to begin research into minority influence; if this can be verified it'd be worth including.

It might well have (I've just finished writing a thesis on minority influence). Maybe a Google search on "minority influence" and the "movie title" could help clear things up. Twipley (talk) 02:39, 12 November 2009 (UTC)


the budget estimates are inconsistent "340,000 estimated" and "350,000". I don't know which is correct.


Should remake and other versions be it own sections?

I believe they should be separated because both versions are famous for their specific casts. Qwizzical777 00:46, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

The Play[edit]

Was the movie not based on the play by Reginald Rose?

We read the play in class once a while back, I'm pretty sure it came first.--Agent Aquamarine 00:36, 10 November 2006 (UTC)


I'm not sure if this is appropriate to mention or not, but did anyone see the symbolism in Henry Fonda being the only juror who was wearing a white jacket? I just enjoyed that for some odd reason. Very subtle, I love old movies :)

ChangeOfFate 02:51, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

There is plenty more symbolism in the movie than that, too. The fan begins to work, among other events, at 6-6, for example. If those things find a place in the article, then certainly include them, but it all borders on interpretation and original research. If it fits, though, go for it, I say. - Boss1000 01:21, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

The Jury[edit]

Did anyone notice that there was only men on the jury? There is 51% of women in the U.S. and 49% of men. Therefore there would of had to been some women on the jury. Why wasn't there?

If I remember correctly, in the shots of the jury room, there's two doors leading to washrooms, and one is for women.
Unsure why that particular jury didn't have females. If you have a 50/50 probability, then there's one chance in 4096 that there will be no females. However, in many jurisdictions, it is possible to dismiss jurors according to a variety of criteria, including the possibility that the juror might be sympathetic to the accused for reasons unrelated to the case — perhaps women would be considered probably sympathetic to a teenager? David.Monniaux 01:03, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
In the period in question, juries were all male. Regards, Ben Aveling 11:27, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
No, that's not correct. There have been female jurors for many decades, and in well publicized New York cases in the fifties.--Silverscreen 15:56, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, but all male juries were still common. I had a web search, without finding anything specific saying when things changed where. Just FYI:
  • 1701 The first sexually integrated jury hears cases in Albany, New York.
  • 1947 Fay v. New York, 332 U.S. 261 (1947), the U.S. Supreme Court says women are equally qualified with men to serve on juries but are granted an exemption and may serve or not as women choose.
  • 1961 In Hoyt v. Florida, 368 U.S. 57 (1961): The U.S. Supreme Court upholds rules adopted by the state of Florida that made it far less likely for women than men to be called for jury service on the grounds that a “woman is still regarded as the center of home and family life.”
  • 1975 Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522 (1975), denies states the right to exclude women from juries.[1]
  • 1879 In Strauder v. West Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court holds that the Fourteenth Amendment forbids a state to bar men from jury pools based on race or color, but "[i]t may confine the selection to males, to freeholders, to citizens, to persons within certain ages, or to persons having educational qualifications. We do not believe the Fourteenth Amendment was ever intended to prohibit this." [2]
  • In 1957 the Civil Rights Act provided the right of women to sit on juries in federal cases. Five years later, however, in 1962 only twenty-one states allowed women to sit on lower level juries with men. While the first woman sat on a jury in 1701 in Albany, New York, it wasn’t until 272 years later, in 1973 that women could sit on a jury in all 50 states. Even with the various legislative and legal efforts, it wasn’t in 1975 that excluding women specifically from serving on juries was expressly declared unconstitutional in Taylor v. Louisiana, 419 U.S. 522 (1975). In all, women have served on juries in the United States for over 300 years, yet only over the past 30 years was this right absolute.[3]
Regards, Ben Aveling 23:45, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Parts of the country slow to act on legislation? When has that ever happened in the USA? - Boss1000 01:21, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
We don't know when the action is set - could have been, say, 1946. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
The short answer, of course, is "That's the way it was written." If there were women in the jury, it could not have been titled "Twelve Angry Men." Kingsfold (talk) 12:43, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Expanded characters[edit]

I've rolled back the expansion of all of the characters. I feel a bit bad about doing it, because the anon obviously put a lot of work into it[4], but I think it's better this way. The current version is short, to the point and punchy. The extra detail isn't really necessary, and is a bit spoilerish, and makes the whole thing harder to read. Regards, Ben Aveling 10:47, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

  • I didn't compare the versions, but I know I am in agreement. This has to be the longest "plot summary" I have ever read. It's nearly as long as the movie!ZincOrbie 17:09, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I added that #1 is sort of a wishy-washy leader who depends on the advice of others. If you notice, whenever someone makes a suggestion, such as what type of ballot to use, he just agrees without question. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:20, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
    • While it is perhaps true, it should be taken out again; as far as I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong) that guy is not meant to be a leader, but to make sure that the protocol is observed; it is not his place to order a particular ballot mode, he can only propose, and the jury has to agree. Andi, 28.01.2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:35, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Incorrect Statement:[edit]

The ensuing arguments and sifting of the evidence unveil the flaws of the prosecution's case, the questionable representation by the defendant's court-appointed attorney, and the true character of each of the jury members. Although it is only implied, it becomes apparent that the accused boy is a member of an ethnic minority, "one of them", and from a poor neighbourhood. One by one, the jurors find their own reasons to doubt that the defendant's guilt has been proven, until only Juror #3 (Lee J. Cobb, playing a father with a poor relationship with his own son) and Juror #10 (Ed Begley) are holding out.

Never was the juror score 10-2 in the case. Before the discussion of the eyewitnesses lack of glasses, the juror score was 9-3 in favor of acquittal (with jurors #3, #4 and #10 voting guilty.) During the discussion, Juror #12 waffles back to Guilty, making the count 8-4, however, after the discussion reaches the pinnacle, Juror #8 (Fonda) asks the 4 "guilty voters" how they felt. He first approached #12, Not Guilty, #10, Not Guilty, #3 Guilty, #4 Not Guilty. This brings the case to 11-1.

Making a small edit to the wiki.MrDiGeorge 00:45, 13 February 2007 (UTC) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by MrDiGeorge (talkcontribs) 00:44, 13 February 2007 (UTC).

Actually, there was a 10-2 score - when the old man (juror number 9) sided with Henry Fonda's character after the first vote. Gestroud 01:53, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Job descriptions[edit]

The job descriptions in the article are inconsistent with those listed on the IMDB trivia page (look about three up from the bottom). Not sure if the IMDB data are reliable, but I just wanted to point that out.

The whole description of the characters in the Plot Summary section doesn't seem very encyclopedic--there's a lot of flowery language that's unsubstantiated (e.g. "A blue-collar type, like a dock worker or factory man"). Ben Aveling's edit did help clean up the Characters section, but it looks like an anon (same one?) put the expanded character descriptions in the Plot Summary section a few days later. They're nice, but again, it's not in an encyclopedic tone and it isn't published and verifiable (they're more or less correct but they are subjective interpretation). Probably should be removed. cluth 09:23, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Legal Standpoint[edit]

I'd love to see a section (or even just a link to an external site) detailing the legal implications of the plot. Is this sort of critical review of the evidence by the jury typical, or are juries typically expected to only notice these kinds of inconsistencies when an opposing lawyer brings them up? Are there any particularly-egregious legal missteps in the deliberations, like direct handling of evidence? Jouster 00:31, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

What goes on in the jury room is generally believed to completely vary between juries. In Canada discussions about jury deliberations are absolutely forbidden (unlike America where it is often profitable), but most people generally believe that the jury follows the judge's charge to whatever extent they want to and then go off on their own illogical and misguided assessment of guilt.

There are some things that could be said about the way this jury went about things though. It's generally not allowed for the jurors to bring in their own evidence, so the loudness of the el-train and the knife that Davis bought would have contaminated things--it should have been brought out during the trial by the defence so that the DA could cross-examine it. It's also improper for the jury to consider the accused's criminal record to determine guilt or innocence, only, in limited cases, to assess his credibility. Cromicus 21:22, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

  • And Juror #10 was so prejudiced he would almost certainly have been eliminated by the defense as a juror.
The original movie was set in 1957 don't forget Nil Einne (talk) 09:52, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
The film was produced in 1957 ... but, was it actually set in 1957, as well? I don't think a setting is ever established. (Joseph A. Spadaro (talk) 18:48, 10 October 2010 (UTC))


Don't understand the point about mistakes. Why is it a mistake for a movie to be set two years before the year in which it is made? Is a date mentioned in the screenplay, or is there some anachronism which proves it is set after the elevated train ceased to run? --Doric Loon 21:40, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't think a year is mentioned in the film/screenplay. I removed the section. Garion96 (talk) 22:14, 26 February 2007 (UTC)


Did the play come first? And were the jobs even mentioned in it? And in the play it takes 8 thirty-nine seconds, not forty one.


I re-added the trivia/mistakes section. The fellow who removed it argued that Juror #10 does talk near the end of the film. However, when asked whether guilty or not guilty the final time, he merely shakes his head (not guilty) but doesn't say anything.Cromicus 21:05, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

I noticed that Tony Danza was listed as an actor in the movie but according to his bio he would only be 6 years old at the time of the film's release. Someone should double check this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yusuf mumtaz (talkcontribs) 05:52, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

(Tony Danza was in the remake in 1997) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:40, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
Note: I've moved the comment above from here. CabbagePotato (talk) 20:10, 24 December 2015 (UTC)

The opening line of the Wiki-page states that the film was produced in 1957. Now while it may have been released to the public in 1957 and included in the oscars etc of 1957 the film itself was actually made and produced in 1956 and the roman numerals at the end of the film confirm this. They are MCMLVI Bealzbob (talk) 16:06, 28 March 2008 (UTC) Bealzbob

The Murderer?[edit]

I somewhat want there to be a mention in this article of the fact that the actual murderer is never discussed, much less any of the aftermath. Did I miss something in movie, because I was continually asking myself, "Then who did it?" I don't want to add in something I just didn't understand. - Boss1000 01:21, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

This subject was deliberately omitted from the story to signify the fact that "if he didn't do it, who did?" is usually an unnecessary question in jury deliberations. You don't convict someone just because the police can't seem to find anyone else. Cromicus 01:11, 27 April 2007 (UTC)


Why is there a link to Jury Nullification in this article? 12 Angry Men doesn't deal with jury nullification at all.Cromicus 23:02, 16 May 2007 (UTC)

The plot device used to spur the discussion from the start was the first juror's dissent, which threatened the other 11 with jury nullification unless they discussed the case before voting.

Being a major plot point, it deserves some notice. Qwizzical777 00:44, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

> This isn't an example of Jury Nullification. Jury Nullification is when a Jury believes that the defendant is guilty of what he is accused but they disagree with the law (meaning they don't believe there should be a law against what the defendant did) -- so they return a verdict of non-guilty. (talk) 11:56, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Not produced by Sidney Lumet[edit]

While it's true that this was the first screen movie that Lumet directed, it was produced by Henry Fonda. It was his first and only film production. Gestroud 01:59, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Another Hommage[edit]

I remember another hommage in the 7. season of JAG. The Episode was called "Odd Man Out". This one is also particularly interesting because it turns out at the end, that the person found not guilty - was in fact guilty. Eventually this should be added properly to the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:18, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Reasonable doubt[edit]

The link to that term in the first paragraphs leads to the "burden of proof" article, but the "reasonable doubt" article also exist. Twipley (talk) 02:40, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Misquote in synopsis.[edit]

I have noted that the synopsis includes J. 10 (the bigot) saying, "Speaking my piece," to which J. 4 (the broker) replies "Yes, you have. now sit down and don't open your mouth again." This is close, but not exactly the wording in the film. Here is the quite, copied from the IMDB page: (I have included more than the relevant section, for background.) (Also note: I am no expert on fair use, but I think the use of the precise quote in the article fits in.) Juror #10: Listen to me. We're... This kid on trial here... his type, well, don't you know about them? There's a, there's a danger here. These people are dangerous. They're wild. Listen to me. Listen. Juror #4: I have. Now sit down and don't open your mouth again.

I'm trying to rephrase the section to include these precise quotes, if anyone has a better wording, it may be worth looking into. -MMTrebuchet (talk) 17:51, 2 August 2010 (UTC) MMTrebuchet

Terrible article[edit]

I came to this article trying to find out about the movie. The table is extremely confusing. The article says this is about a 1957 film (says so right in the article's title). Yet the table has columns for "1954 actor", "2006-2007 actor", etc. There is no clue why this would be in the lede of the article, and hunting through the rest of the piece doesn't make things easier. I think this needs a serious rewrite or at the very least, provide some context for the Cast of Characters table, because as presented, it makes zero sense with respect to the 1957 film this article proposes to be about. (talk) 22:56, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

Name of Jury #9[edit]

I have gone over the film again. At the last scene I heard the jury #9 call himself McCardle instead of McArdle. Please correct it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:30, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Done — Andy W. (talk · contrib) 14:29, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Psychiatric testimony?[edit]

I've just finished making some changes to the article based on the MGM DVD. There are some differences with the article that I'm curious about. One is this:

The remaining jurors are intrigued when Juror 11 proves that although the psychiatric test presented in the case stated that the boy had subconscious desires to kill, tests of such do not prove anything other than what could possibly happen.

There is nothing about this on the DVD and I removed it. Could this be a deleted scene? Unlike a lot of DVDs, this one has no deleted-scene feature. Should it be put back in?

Rhsimard (talk) 07:55, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Sorting columns in cast of characters table[edit]

In the cast of characters table, I fixed the problem with the sort order in the last column. There is a template, {{sortname}}, which if used with the names in the various actor columns will fix the sort order there as well. (talk) 03:07, 23 June 2011 (UTC)


There's a real problem with the list of adaptations, particularly the television section. It clearly goes against WP:NOR for Wikipedia editors to decide that any TV show that has a similar plot is an adaptation of 12 Angry Men. We need a reliable source for that and there aren't any sources at all in that subsection. --Steven J. Anderson (talk) 10:39, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

The UK TV comedy show Hancock's Half Hour 1959 episode "12 Angry Men" did a wonderful and affectionate parody of Lumet's film - see YouTube here: [5] - the building shown in the opening shot is the Central Criminal Court - otherwise known as The Old Bailey. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:10, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

Where in the US does a criminal trial by jury not need to be unanimous?[edit]

I had originally said that all criminal trials by jury in the US require a unanimous verdict but someone else said there are some places in the US where that is not always the case. Exactly where and under what circumstances? (talk) 03:00, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Our article on Juries in the United States states (without citation) that some state and local jurisdiction allow this. It's news to me though. NW (Talk) 04:26, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Different Ending[edit]

i remember the boy (the accused/defendant) grabbing a policeman's gun and shooting someone or getting shot on the courtroom steps after the not guilty verdict. it was a big shock/twist ending. I recently watched the film again, and see there is no such ending. Is there an alternate ending to this film or another film with that same ending I am mixing this one up with. Thanks in advance. Scott Free (talk) 21:01, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

cultural reference: xkcd comic[edit]

This comic actually got me to watch the movie. The 12 Angry Men reference is very funny, especially in contrast to movie Primer.

However, I'm not smart enough to edit a wikipedia page. Could someone do it for me? Don't want to mess something up. Theresavalek (talk) 09:25, 3 February 2014 (UTC)

Where did the "real names" come from?[edit]

I see the table lists the real names of most of the jurors. As far as I know, only the last names of Jurors 8 and 9 were mentioned in the film. What is the source for listing the real names of the jurors? (talk) 05:12, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

Bad aspect ratio[edit]

Could someone please fix the aspect ration of the trailer video? --TiagoTiago (talk) 23:35, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

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