FAVORITE ANGRY MAN #2: Juror 3 (Lee J. Cobb)

Facts, not feelings, right? Wrong. The film’s biggest antagonist, Juror 3 (Lee J. Cobb) is a loud-mouthed, bad-tempered bully who is not used to having his authority questioned. One by one, he tries to intimidate the other jurors and ends up clashing with Juror 8 in one of the film’s most iconic scenes. Eventually, we learn that his feelings about the defendant (‘rotten kids!’) are really a reflection of his feelings towards his estranged son, whom he hasn’t spoken to for some years. After a fiery monologue fuelled by his denial, he crumbles and finally changes his vote from ‘guilty’ to ‘not guilty’, the last juror to do so. One of the film’s flashier roles, Juror 3 serves as a cautionary tale about what happens when people aren’t challenged when in a position of (some) power. He is also a testament to the need for conversation and open-minded discussions about feelings that so many people refuse to acknowledge.

8 thoughts on “FAVORITE ANGRY MAN #2: Juror 3 (Lee J. Cobb)

  1. Mike Noonan

    Excellent commentary Carol. Questions and discussions of feelings were suppressed back then. It’s gotten better but can always use improvement. Also, fyi, George C Scott played this role in a tv remake. Both of them also played Willy Loman on stage in” death of a salesman”.Both tremendous actors. Got to see Scott do “ salesman”-,0ne of the best performances I’ve ever seen.

    Liked by 1 person

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