12 Angry Men (1957 film)

12 Angry Men (1957 film) Quotes and Analysis

"Well, I'm not used to supposin'. I'm just a workin' man. My boss does all the supposin'—but I'll try one. Supposin' you talk us all out of this and, uh, the kid really did knife his father?"


Juror 6 says this to Juror 8 to communicate that he doesn't think 8 is right, and is worried that if they deliver a "not guilty" verdict, there is always a possibility that the boy did in fact kill his father and they let a murderer go free. In the course of saying this, 6 reveals that, as a worker, he is not used to thinking for himself.

"Oh, listen, I don't see what all this stuff about the knife has got to do with anything. Somebody saw the kid stab his father, what more do we need? You guys can talk the ears right off my head you know what I mean? I got three garages of mine going to pot while you're talking! So let's get down and get out of here!"


10, who is very confident that the boy is guilty, is very frustrated by the fact that they have to keep talking about the case, and expressing his frustration here. For him, the case is open-and-shut.

"It’s very hard to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And no matter where you run into it, prejudice obscures the truth."


Towards the end of the film, after 10 erupts in a bigoted rant about people from the slums, 8 delivers this line, to suggest that 10's judgment is clouded by his own prejudice.

"That business before when that tall guy, what's-his-name, was trying to bait me? That doesn't prove anything. I'm a pretty excitable person. I mean, where does he come off calling me a public avenger, sadist and everything? Anyone in his right mind would blow his stack. He was just trying to bait me."


After getting exceedingly angry, to the point of almost attacking Juror 8, Juror 3 tries to appeal to Juror 4, asking him to try and see things from his perspective, insisting that 8 tried to bait him.

"Bright? He's a common ignorant slob. He don't even speak good English."


This line reveals Juror 10's ignorance as well as his bigotry. While he tries to assert that everyone who lives in a slum is linguistically limited—already, a horribly bigoted statement—he himself uses bad grammar, exposing his own limits as an English speaker.

"Ever since you walked into this room, you've been acting like a self-appointed public avenger! You want to see this boy die because you personally want it, not because of the facts! You're a sadist!"


8 says this to 3, and this is what causes 3 to fly off the handle and nearly attack him. He accuses 8 of being attached to his preconceptions and his desire to see a young man killed more than engaging with the facts of the case.

"It's hard to put into words. I just think he's guilty. I thought it was obvious from the word, 'Go'. Nobody proved otherwise."


When questioned about why he voted "guilty," the mild-mannered 2 says this to Juror 8. He does not have a strong reason for thinking the boy is guilty, but he just seems to think that the boy must have, since there is no proof that he didn't.

"I don't believe I have to be loyal to one side or the other. I'm simply asking questions."


When 3 tries to intimidate 11 into not asking too many questions, 11 reminds him that they are meant to ask questions so that they can be sure about their decision, and that it is not simply a matter of choosing sides.

"When he was nine years old he ran away from a fight. I saw it; I was so embarrassed I almost threw up. I said, "I'm gonna make a man outta you if I have to break you in two tryin'". And I made a man out of him. When he was sixteen, we had a fight. Hit me in the jaw—a big kid. Haven't seen him for two years. Kids... work your heart out..."


3 tells this story about his estranged relationship with his son, his own tendency to violence, and the ways he has engendered this tendency in his son.

"This gentleman has been standing alone against us. Now, he doesn't say that the boy is not guilty; he just isn't sure. Well, it's not easy to stand alone against the ridicule of others, so he gambled for support... and I gave it to him. I respect his motives. The boy is probably guilty, but—eh, I want to hear more. Right now the vote is 10 to 2..."


9 is the first juror to change his vote to "not guilty" and he explains his reasoning, saying that he respects 8's desire to really interrogate the case itself, and get to what they can definitely prove to be true, rather than assuming things.