Seeing Cinema in a New Light: Criticism, Essays and Observations about Classic Cinema

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Why Juror 8 of 12 Angry Men (1955) was Wrong on Every Conceivable Level

Henry Fonda from 12 Angry Men

Henry Fonda from 12 Angry Men

12 Angry Men, the Antithesis of Critical Thinking

A lot of people complain that America has become a dumbed down country compared to what it was in the past. This is probably true to a greater extent today, but as 12 Angry Men shows, the roots of today’s Idiocracy go back decades. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that this was one of the first movies to start us down the path where facts and logic no longer matter, especially when they might be inconvenient.

I know that a lot of fans of the movie will completely hate what I’m saying. But my feeling is that just because a film is well shot, well directed, well-acted and well-meaning doesn’t mean that it isn’t above critical scrutiny. If anything, a movie like 12 Angry Men deserves scrutiny precisely because of how skillful it is in its manipulation, to such an extent that many people look to it as the definitive guide on how to serve on a trial.

1 Comment

  1. Terry

    Many people will believe a slick-talking politician over one who may be harsh but tells the truth. This is basically what this film is about. I think the writer of the movie (and the play) did it deliberately. He was making fools of those who believe the smooth-talking Fonda who has absolutely no facts on his side, over the other rougher men who did have the facts to back up their stance.

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