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Twelve Angry Men

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Twelve Angry Men is a drama written by Reginald Rose concerning the jury of a homicide trial. It was broadcast initially as a television play in 1954. The following year it was adapted for the stage, and in 1957 was made into a highly successful film. Since then it has been given numerous remakes, adaptations, and tributes.

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Description

The play concerns the deliberations of the jury of a homicide trial. At the beginning, they have a nearly unanimous decision of guilty, with a single dissenter of not guilty, who throughout the play sows a seed of reasonable doubt. This was first made as a 1954 teleplay by Reginald Rose for the Studio One anthology television series, and was aired as a live CBS Television production on 20 September 1954. The drama was later rewritten for the stage in 1955 under the same title.

Stage

Rose wrote several stage adaptations of the story. In 1964, Leo Genn appeared in the play on the London stage. In other theatrical adaptations in which female actors are cast, the play is retitled 12 Angry Jurors, 12 Angry Men and Women or 12 Angry Women.

In 2004, the Roundabout Theatre Company presented a Broadway production of the play at the American Airlines Theatre, starring Boyd Gaines as a more combative Juror No. 8, with James Rebhorn (No. 4), Philip Bosco (No. 3), and Robert Prosky as the voice of the judge. In 2007, 12 Angry Men ran on a national theatre tour with Richard Thomas and George Wendt starring as Jurors No. 8 and No. 1, respectively. The 2008 tour did not include Wendt but featured another television personality, Kevin Dobson of Kojak and Knots Landing, as Juror No. 10.

The London West End production of the play opened in November 2013, originally running until 1 March 2014, but extended until 14 June 2014, at the Garrick Theatre starring Tom Conti, Jeff Fahey, Nick Moran and Robert Vaughn.

Films

It was rewritten again in 1957 as a feature film, 12 Angry Men which Sidney Lumet directed, and which starred Henry Fonda. It was nominated for Academy Awards in the categories of Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Writing of Adapted Screenplay.

In 1963, the German Television Channel ZDF produced a film adaption under the title Die zwölf Geschworenen.

Indian director Basu Chatterjee remade it as Ek Ruka Hua Faisla in 1986.

In 2007, Russian film director Nikita Mikhalkov completed 12, his remake of the film. The jury of the 64th Venice Film Festival assigned its special prize to this remake "to acknowledge the consistent brilliance of Nikita Mikhalkov's body of work."

12 Angry Lebanese is a 2009 documentary film that chronicles efforts to stage an adaptation of Twelve Angry Men with inmates inside Beirut’s Roumieh Prison.

In 2014, Chinese film director Xu Ang remade it as 12 Citizens. It was shown at the 2014 Rome Film Festival on October 19, 2014 and was released in China on May 15, 2015.

Vaaimai (2016) is a Tamil language adaptation of Twelve Angry Men.

Television

12 Angry Men was remade for television in 1997. Directed by William Friedkin, the remake stars George C. Scott, James Gandolfini, Tony Danza, William Petersen, Ossie Davis, Hume Cronyn, Courtney B. Vance, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Mykelti Williamson, Edward James Olmos, Dorian Harewood, and Jack Lemmon. In this production, the judge is a woman and four of the jurors are black, but most of the action and dialogue of the film are identical to the original. Modernizations include a prohibition on smoking in the jury room, the changing of references to income and pop culture figures, more dialogue relating to race, and occasional profanity.

In a theatrical version of the play that was once shown in the 1970s on Spanish Television (TVE1), the title given was "Doce Hombres sin Piedad" ("Twelve Men Without Mercy").

Radio

In 2005, L.A. Theatre Works recorded an audio version of 12 Angry Men, directed by John de Lancie, with a cast including Dan Castellaneta, Jeffrey Donovan, Héctor Elizondo, Robert Foxworth, Kevin Kilner, Richard Kind, Armin Shimerman, Joe Spano and Steve Vinovich.

References

Twelve Angry Men Wikipedia


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