The Making of 12 Angry Men

Once every few years many of us are summoned from our daily routines to take part as jurors in the fateful procedure of the courtroom. We are suddenly required to determine the guilt or innocence of a fellow citizen, to send him to prison, even to death. Playwright Reginald Rose went through this experience as a juryman. It was an experience he never forgot; one he found so profound that he decided to use it the only way he could by writing a play that recaptured the behind-the-scenes drama of the jury room.

The result was 12 Angry Men, a motion picture released through United Artists. To bring "12 Angry Men" before the cameras seemed like an impossible task. To communicate the intensity of feeling 12 actors were needed who could deliver their lines without hokum. Rose brought the manuscript to actor Henry Fonda who was in the process of forming his own independent film company. Deeply impressed, Fonda decided to produce the film in collaboration with Rose and with the finest actors of the New York stage and television scene. Their agreement was formalized as Orion-Nova Productions and Rose's jury duty materialized into a fine drama.


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