Twelve Angry Men: A Most Unlikely Hero

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— Scott Allison and George Goethals

3 thoughts on “Twelve Angry Men: A Most Unlikely Hero

  1. I love that movie, and you’ve excerpted what is probably my favorite scene. 😀 Henry Fonda plays a fantastic character, one with whom I identified at a very young age; he was calm, reasoned, compassionate and courageous– he went up against the majority and proved himself to be right, and saved an innocent person in the process.

    This movie was made in the late 50s and was an early example of the social changes that were happening, slowly at that point, but soon to become an overwhelming movement. A movement toward questioning the status quo, fighting for justice against an uncaring majority and ultimately, and most importantly, changing the mind of the majority. Henry Fonda’s character was the embodiment of the social revolution that was coming.

    I should also mention that the late-90s remake of Twelve Angry Men is a rare example of a remake that actually comes close to equaling the original. 🙂

  2. By challenging the group consensus, Henry Fonda’s character really puts himself out on the edge, where he must be prepared face the reaction of these other opinionated men. Doing that takes courage. And, as we have talked in class, he exemplifies the idea of moral courage because he is choosing to do what he knows it right, even if it may be unpopular. Yes, because this is a movie, his character is able to eloquently defend his stance and persuade the others to join him. And in real life, it’s not likely that your average citizen could persuade an entire jury to change their votes, but any average citizen, with the right moral convictions, could stand up and disagree with the crowd because he knows what they are doing is wrong.

  3. I watched this movie in high school, and the scene that you’ve provided is definitely one of the best and most memorable. I definitely agree that Henry Fonda is a hero, as he proves himself to be a very level-headed, moral man. Not only is he able to resist the powerful effects of group polarization, but he is able to completely change the opinions of others in an honest way. He is never manipulative and never hostile. He simply presents his own opinion in a calm manner, and eventually others come to see how logical his argument is. Fonda’s character is heroic due to his courage to resist group norms, and ultimately his ability to save an innocent man.

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