July 25, 2007

Twelve Angry Men

Robert P. Burns, Northwestern University School of Law, has published "Twelve Angry Men: A Jury Between Fact and Norm," in the Chicago-Kent Law Review for 2007. Here is the abstract.
This short essay was written for a symposium marking the fiftieth anniversary of the classic film's appearance. With a great cast, it remains perhaps the most compelling portrayal of an American jury in action. I begin by noting eight details in Twelve Angry Men which are so obvious that their significance may be difficult to discern. I then discuss the significance of the film's 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.

Download the entire essay from SSRN here.

[Cross-posted to the Seamless Web].

1 comment:

Patrick S. O'Donnell said...

Thanks so much for this. When I taught a course in "critical thinking" I used this film to illustrate a fairly large number of informal fallacies in reasoning among the deliberating jurors (without getting into the legal issues as such). It is truly a wonderful film. I can't imagine anything remotely like it being made today.