April 13, 2012
Remember When Juror #3 Was the Villain?
One forum on "great liberal films" lists the 1957 courthouse classic, 12 Angry Men, at the top of the list. When the creator of the list is asked why this movie is liberal, he responds casually, "Abandoning the easy and angry answer and seeking the truth. That's liberal to me." The movie is set fully in a jury room. The twelve males in the jury room are assessing the case of a young Hispanic man accused of murder. Sound familiar? The protagonist of the movie is Juror #8, played in the film by Henry Fonda. The antagonist is Juror #3, played by Lee J. Cobb. Liberals, including author Reginald Rose, see themselves as the Fonda character. Rose's script notes are not terribly subtle about #8's virtues: "A quiet, thoughtful, gentle man. A man who sees all sides of every question and constantly seeks the truth. A man of strength tempered with compassion. Above all, he is a man who wants justice to be done and will fight to see that it is." Not...(Read Full Post)