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

1950s Movies, Classic Movies, Courtroom Drama, Editorials, Film Criticism and Analysis

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

Juror 8’s Subversion of Critical Thinking

In manipulating the other jurors into rendering a guilty verdict, it wasn’t enough for Juror 8 to merely undermine the other jurors’ faith in the jury trial, confuse legal concepts and subvert the deliberation process. The reason why is that some of the jurors were too stubborn to stray away from the judge’s instructions at the end of the trial to stick to the facts.

So, to deal with these types of jurors effectively, Juror 8 resorted to another strategy–subverting logic. He did this by using various underhanded arguments and fallacious statements to undermine the other juror’s critical thinking skills so they’d be confused into agreeing with him. Below, I will show you the several ways he did this, starting with Occam’s Razor:

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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