Robert P. Burns


With a great cast, 12 Angry Men remains perhaps the most compelling portrayal of an American jury in action. I begin by noting eight details in the film which are so obvious that their significance may be difficult to discern. I then discuss the significance of the film being a drama, indeed, a drama about a drama. I discuss the kind of truth that a dramatic portrayal of the jury can aspire to and what it can add to social scientific accounts. Finally, I identify the six dramatic tensions that define the film's meaning.

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