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Racism in the movie 12 angry men

This Pasadena Playhouse production, which opened Sunday under the direction of artistic director Sheldon Epps, has evenly cast African American and white actors as the dozen jurors who end up splitting here along racial lines.

If the result seems, well, a little too black and white for an era that, while hardly post-racial, has a bit too much gray for such a neatly polarized scheme, the play still has a way of ensnaring an audience's attention.

Rose's heavily carpentered writing lets the nuts and bolts stick out, but it makes one of the linchpins of democracy — the right to a jury of one's peers — an engine of dramatic suspense. Arts and culture in pictures by The Times First presented on television inRose's drama is best known from the film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Henry Fonda as the dissenting juror in a murder trial who insists on deliberating despite the seemingly open-and-shut nature of the case.

  • Look, I'm the first one to say that;
  • You saw this kid just like I did;
  • This was less of a superficial change;
  • Beginning to sound desperate;
  • It's a powerful moment in a film filled with them;
  • Cobb Runs a messenger service the "Beck and Call" Company , a bullying, rude and husky man, extremely opinionated and biased, completely intolerant, forceful and loud-mouthed, temperamental and vengeful; estrangement from his own teenaged son causes him to be hateful and hostile toward all young people and the defendant ; arrogant, quick-angered, quick-to-convict, and defiant until the very end [12] Juror 4:

The stage version has long been a crowd-pleaser, taking its place with "Inherit the Wind" in a category of drama that turns civics into gripping entertainment. The Roundabout Theatre Company production, which came to the Ahmanson Theatre inshowed that the play still crackles when performed by actors willing to invest their creaky roles with gritty specificity.

That same level of acting isn't on display in Epps' attractively mounted revival.

Review: '12 Angry Men,' cast in black and white, misses the gray

It's not that the performers aren't up to the job but that the production is focused on broader racial concerns. For the most part, the actors don't burrow deeply into their roles.

Instead, stereotypes are allowed to collide into one another, bumper-car style, in a production that sacrifices granular psychology for generalized sociology. What to watch, where to go, what to eat Ironically, the updated concept makes the play seem even more old-fashioned.

The scenic design by Stephanie Kerley Schwartz lends the jury room the slickness of a boutique hotel, but many of the figures inhabiting the space, particularly those played by white actors, seem like relics from the Golden Age of television.

Juror 10 Bradford Tatumthe arrant bigot of the group, has tattoos that would be right at home today on Venice's Abbot Kinney Boulevard, but Juror Three Gregory Norththe bully with the explosive temper, could be appearing in the original broadcast along with Juror 7 Barry Pearl and Juror 4 Robert Picardo. The playbill sets the time as "Then … and Now," making clear that a decision hasn't been reached about the period.

This type of fuzziness is commonplace in revivals of classics if I had a nickel for every Shakespeare production vaguely signaling fascist Italy!

LA Opera through the years "12 Angry Men" was first presented on television the same year of Brown vs. Board of Education, the landmark Supreme Court ruling declaring segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional. Today an African American occupies the highest office of the land. The disease of racism has hardly been eradicated in the intervening years, but isn't Questions about Epps' production kept distracting me from the drama.

For example, why wasn't there other minority representation?

  • There's a danger here!
  • The frightened, teenaged defendant is on trial, as well as the jury and the American judicial system with its purported sense of infallibility, fairness and lack of bias;
  • Not to mention the self-centered impatient guy with the hat who constantly was egging people on about leaving, was wiling to put the kid on the chair just because he wanted to go to the baseball game;
  • I mean what the heck?
  • However, it's slightly forgivable since the play made the jury and trial largely symbolic and metaphoric the jurors were made to represent a cross-section of American attitudes towards race, justice, and ideology, and were not entirely realistic;
  • October 10, 2013 at 10:

The suggestion in the play is that the accused, a kid from "the slums," is Puerto Rican. If the jury is no longer 12 fuming white guys, why not some Latino or Asian or female jurors?

Perhaps because that might complicate a production that wants to make an unambiguous point about racial prejudice and the justice system. This revival of "12 Angry Men" was inspired in part by current events such as the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin and the ensuing George Zimmerman trial that routinely get the whole nation talking but often at cross-purposes.

  • He had help, of course, in his cast of excellent actors which include Henry Fonda, Lee J;
  • But there were 2 main Extremist in the jury that really only cared about their specific discrimination and would not budge no matter how much of the evidence was proved wrong;
  • I'm tryin' to tell you somethin'!
  • You're not gonna tell me you believe that phony story about losing the knife, and that business about being at the movies;
  • The compelling, provocative film examines the twelve men's deep-seated personal prejudices, perceptual biases and weaknesses, indifference, anger, personalities, unreliable judgments, cultural differences, ignorance and fears, that threaten to taint their decision-making abilities, cause them to ignore the real issues in the case, and potentially lead them to a miscarriage of justice;
  • These people are wild!

Epps wants to extend the public conversation, but I'm not sure that Rose's play is the ideal vehicle for such a noble intention.