Reginald Rose’s Machiavellian Manipulations
I’m sure that right now, many readers are shocked and appalled by what I’m saying. Like, how dare I cast any aspersions on what is supposed to be a noble, well-meaning film. I must be the worst kind of cynical asshole!
I know. But my feelings about the film don’t stem from cynicism at all. It’s the fact that Rose used so many underhanded tactics in his script to manipulate the audience. To put it another way, if the worst Rose had ever done was have Juror 8 do and say manipulative things, I would’ve given him the benefit of the doubt. I would’ve just thought, “Artistic license for the sake of drama.” But he didn’t just have Juror 8 do and say manipulative things. He also implemented a lot of cheats in his screenplay designed to manipulate the audience to keep from realizing how deceptive Juror 8 was being.
It’s this aspect of the movie that made me recognize that Rose hadn’t just stretched the truth for the sake of artistic license or made mistakes about legal concepts as a layman; he was aware enough of how manipulative his script was to where he used further manipulative tactics to cover his tracks.