Twelve angry men: how a leader can change the opinion of a group

Twelve angry men: how a leader can change the opinion of a group

Twelve angry menis a dramatic work by author Reginald Rose. The script was originally written for television. It has subsequently been adapted to the cinema and the theater.

Reginald Rose was born in the United States. He spent his life writing scripts, especially for television.There is interest in controversial social and political topicsand a clear and precise point of view on the collective reality.

His most famous work isTwelve men angry. He talks about the complexity of the human being.The television series was released on screens in 1954. The author then adapted to the theater, where it was a great success and was appreciated by the public. In 1957, director Sidney Lumet adapted it to the cinema. This film perfectly represents the communion between television, theater and cinema.

The thread of this complex framework is that of a jury composed of twelve menvery different. They must reach an agreement and decide whether they consider the accused guilty or innocent. He is accused of homicide. Their decision will therefore have important consequences.

Faced with the twelve members of the jury, a magistrate leads the trial, which is that of a 16-year-old accused of killing his father. The jurors must therefore deliberate.If the young man is considered guilty, his sentence will be the death penalty (electric chair) for a homicide in the first degree.

While the judgment leans appeals to a conviction, one of the members of the jury doubt. He refers to the notion of "reasonable doubt" (in Anglo-Saxon law).This notion says that one must reconsider any charge. The person who objects to the majority's opinion will make their arguments and will call for a new vote to see if anyone else has thought about it. Vote after vote, doubts, previously hidden under a mask of apparent transparency, will begin to emerge.

The group therefore decides to review its decision and study the case more carefully. The jurors discuss the evidence presented, the statements made by the witnesses and draw new conclusions. During this deliberation, these "twelve angry men"post their fears and tell about their life experiences. They also expose their personality and detail prejudiceswhich pushes them to support their different points of view.

This is perhaps the truly magical side of the film: the mirror that it puts in front of us to tell us that behind a lot of the opinions or beliefs that we support and defend, there are reasons that we dare not confess. Even in a context where we find an accused that we do not know.
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12 angry men:the leader's ability to change a verdict

Reasonable Doubt Appears When All Jury Members Want to Rush Themselves and declare the accused guilty. This is the result of the first vote, a quick and unthinking vote in which only one of the members did not agree.

It is at this moment that the leadership capacity of the juror who does not agree attracts other men. Little by little, they will all begin to doubt the guilt of the young accused.This character reflects, through his interpretation, the characteristics that define a good leader:

He knows how to listen

Throughout the film, the protagonist listens carefully to each of the opinions. He does not fall into the temptation to interrupt the speech of the rest of the jury.The simple act of listening allows him to gather information and identify problems. He can also make decisions and resolve conflicts.

Thanks to this, his colleagues feel important and integrated into the jury.This facilitates their engagement and, little by little, they give up their unthinking beliefs to get involved in the debate.

He is assertive

The members of the jury want to finish as soon as possible with the trial. However,our character stands out and expresses his disagreement.To go against the majority is not a simple thing. He takes the risk, for example, that the trial against the defendant turns into a trial against his person.

A leader manifests his real opinion, above the inertia of the social current.He is aware of his responsibility and assumes it, even if it places him in an uncomfortable position. On the other hand, a good leader is able to remind the people who accompany him that the decisions of a group have consequences.

He directs, coordinates and moderates

The main character moderates the discussions between the members of the jury.It manages and resolves conflicts and ensures that communication is smooth and efficient.A person who wishes to convince with arguments has, in the movie, a good mirror in which to look at himself. His authority may, moreover, emanate from other sources, such as greater prestige or deeper experience.

He is honest

Our leader in the film does not adopt a "closed" point of view.In the first vote, he votes "innocent" because he wants a debate to take place.It is the circumstances that drive him to make that decision. He is aware that, if he does not oppose the majority, the debate will not exist.

So, he is honest in his position.He does not close but expresses his doubts. He does not know if the accused is guilty or innocent: that is why he wants to listen to the arguments of people who have a sound opinion. In this way, he manages to awaken the involvement of others. It would not have been the case if he had sought direct confrontation. The sincerity of the leader is his best tool to resolve doubts or conflicts that may arise during the deliberation.

It analyzes and solves

In the film, we can see how the leaderidentifies the opportunity to bring new evidence. He manages to sow doubt in the rest of the group.He tries to bring a new vision of the facts with great power of analysis.

In the face of the reasonable doubt that is invoked throughout the film, we understand that any verdict must always think of the innocence of an accused.However, it is difficult to discern the probable of the possibleand this gives the viewer the freedom to think about what he thinks is most appropriate.

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