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Sidney Lumet’s 1957 film, 12 Angry Men, based on the screenplay by Reginald Rose, has become the emblem of the American jury trial as an anti-authoritarian institution based on democratic consensus building. This essay discusses the interplay of literature and criminal justice in pre-Revolution Russia, for this is the cultural soil upon which the film 12 Angry Men was received in Soviet Russia, when it was first screened in 1961. It discusses the reception of 12 Angry Men in Soviet Russia in 1961 and the impact it had on Soviet-era citizens in their understanding of American and Soviet criminal justice, and the current revival of 12 Angry Men on stage and screen in Russia and the former Soviet Republics. It also discusses the film itself in relation to Russian jury trial procedure, and whether such a scenario could happen in contemporary Russia.