17 March 2011

Forgotten Book: TWELVE ANGRY MEN, Reginald Rose

Friday's Forgotten Books is being hosted this week by George Kelley.
TWELVE ANGRY MEN by Reginald Rose is listed in my records for May 1992 when I was teaching Year 12 English.
I guess one could argue that, because it is actually a play, this title is actually crime fiction.
It was originally written in 1954 as a television play, and went on to become a film starring Henry Fonda.

The play was inspired by Rose's own experience of jury duty on a manslaughter case in New York City. At first, he had been reluctant to serve on a jury, but, he wrote, "the moment I walked into the courtroom … and found myself facing a strange man whose fate was suddenly more or less in my hands, my entire attitude changed." Rose was greatly impressed by the gravity of the situation, the somber activity of the court, and the "absolute finality" of the decision that he and his fellow jurors would have to make. He also thought that since no one other than the jurors had any idea of what went on in a jury room, "a play taking place entirely within a jury room might be an exciting and possibly moving experience for an audience"

There's a good summary of the plot here.

2 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Oh, that's a terrific choice for this series. It's an interesting play about an important and fascinating set of questions. I haven't read it in years, and really should again.

Yvette said...

I admit I've never read the play. But I did see the film and it remains one of my favorites. Good choice!

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