- Paperback: 63 pages
- Publisher: The Dramatic Publishing Company; renewed version edition (January 1, 1983)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0871293277
- ISBN-13: 979-0817293214
- Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5 x 7.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men: A Play in Three Acts renewed version Edition
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About the Author
Reginald Rose (1920ÃÂ2002) won three Emmy awards for television writing as well as an Oscar for the feature-length adaptation of Twelve Angry Men.
David Mamet ÃÂs Glengarry Glen Ross won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1984.
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Top Customer Reviews
1. The story centers around twelve jurors who consist of ordinary people who must decide whether to vote the defendent as guilty or innocent. They must decide carefully, though, because if they vote guilty, they might send an innocent person to death, but if they vote not guilty, they might send a murderer out on the streets. The whole plot and story is a very good look at our justice system.
2. The characters are well developed, realistic, and interact together very well. You never do know the names of the characters, but you do get to see the ways they interact together, whether they are sympathetic or stubborn, or whether they seek justice or have no mercy. Some are passive, some are angressive, and some are young, some are old, and some are rich, some are poor.
3. Themes of this play include stubborness, standing alone, conflicting personalities, common sense, and anger. Common sense is an especially significant theme with the way the jurors study whether the evidence is reasonable and make their arguements over it.
4. The story, simple setting, and believeable characters work out very well. It's not dull, and in contrary it's very interesting.
All in all, this play is well worth picking up or seeing performed. Please don't miss out on this cleverly written play.
Make no mistake; this is a play with a Message. It pounds away at its Message relentlessly, scene after scene, passage after passage, at times, word by word. Yet it moralizes with such dramatic skill, that we overlook the play's ruthless blatancy and are carried away by the force of its conviction.
I am not giving anything away when I tell you that this play is about the presumption of innocence, the evil of racism, the importance of moral courage and the meaning of citizenship. In fact, this is the sort of play that struts about, proudly parading its themes as brazenly as it can. There is nothing subtle, refined or nuanced about "Twelve Angry Men". It is about a man who finds himself holding a contrary conviction alone against a hostile mob and who finds not only the courage to stand up to them, but to reason with the mob until, one by one, he wins them over to his more enlightened views.
It contains everything that your English professor deplored: obvious themes, stereotypes, absurdly polarized action, melodrama, contrivance, and manufactured tension. Yet it works. It is not only unashamed of its coarseness--it is proud of it, daring us to call its plebeian pedigree into question. There are many enjoyable things about this play, not least its sheer audacity.
There is a lot of yelling, a lot of anger, a profusion of lurid dialogue directed at raising the temperature inside a confined little room. In one respect, the author chooses a perfect setting for his transparent psychological drama: the jurors in this play are themselves captives of the law, unable to escape until they have served their time and paid their dues to society.
I can understand how some may dislike this play for its lack of refinement. But I enjoyed it immensely. If it is coarse, it is also sincere. If it is high-handed, it is also unpretentious. For every moral that it bludgeons into our head, it takes pains to make sure that it is a worthwhile moral, and one now too often sacrificed to political convenience. Think of the terrorism suspects held for years now without open trial in Guantanamo.
We are blessed to live in a society that champions freedom, the worth of the individual and the primacy of law. This play shows how that blessing must be earned and reaffirmed every day. It shows that the defence of those values require more than just physical defence, but involve mental and philosophical defences as well. Mostly, this play shows that the strength of a society resides in its average ordinary people, and it shows this truth so powerfully that it forces its way into our consciousness, our consciences and ultimately our reflections on life. Well worth the read.
This play, based on a 1954 television drama, can't compare with the classic 1957 movie (starring Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb). The play is interesting read and is probably fun to perform, but the movie screenplay is just so much better in terms of characterization, dialogue, etc. In addition, the decision to break the play up into acts is, in my view, a mistake; quite obviously, this play should be performed in one continuous act (since the movie is only 90 minutes, this doesn't seem impractical).Read the play, but also see the movie! (I would suggest this especially to schoolteachers who are using this script for class: show the movie to your students as well!)