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Films Studies - Twelve Angry Men: The Dramatic dynamics of the legal process

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1) Discuss the factors influencing the way each of the members of the jury perceived the murder. Each of the members of the jury perceived the murder according to their own beliefs, values and social status. As the story unfolds, reveals the jurors' complex personalities, preconceptions, backgrounds and interactions. The most important factors that influence perception is personality, learning and motivation. The juror that strongly believes that the defendant is guilty is a very rude man and biased. A factor that affects his perceptual selections is that he sees the environment as hectic and unstable. On the other hand, he is influenced by the estrangement from his own teenaged son that causes him to be hateful and hostile toward all young people. That indicates that learning is a crucial factor, which affects perception. Henry Fonda is a liberal-minded, patient truth-and-justice seeker who uses calm logical reasoning. He is a conscious man that organizes his perceptions into neat categories and retrieve data quickly in an organized manner. ...read more.


Fonda is the voice of reason even as he realises that this may free a murderer. His strength lies in finding the weak spots in arguments, which make it easy for the juries to change their mind. 3)Why do you think Henry Fonda was so successful in changing the attitudes and perceptions of the other members of the jury? Fonda is the natural leadership of the juries. In addition, he takes advantage of the jurors' complex personalities to convince the other jurors that a "not guilty" verdict might be appropriate. As a result he persistently and persuasively, forces the other men to slowly reconsider and review their vote. He supported his beliefs with strong evidence. One of them refers to the claim that the case of the defendant has no future of being won because the court appointed a public defence lawyer who inadequately cross-examined the witnesses. Then, he asks the questions that should have been asked in court. ...read more.


His is although inadequate for the job as foreman because he is not a natural leader. Therefore, the leader who is Henry Fonda easily pursues him. 5) Do you think that the defendant was innocent of guilty? According to my opinion the defendant was not guilty. But this is my perception based on my own beliefs about the case. The boy on trial has been dealt as a bad child, growing up in a lousy neighbourhood with an abusive father. Even if he did commit the crime, the idea is that we need to look beyond the stereotypes and our experiences with "similar" people and judge each person as an individual based on what we know or can learn about them. The key point the film makes is the verdict will be based on prejudices and preconceived notions unless the evidence is thoroughly examined. Guilty or innocent isn't the heart of the film. The heart of the film is a democratic concept of right and wrong that allows not just the court to function, but the society as a whole. ...read more.

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