Sidney Lumet

Sidney Lumet

Highest Rated: 100% 12 Angry Men (Twelve Angry Men) (1957)

Lowest Rated: 13% Garbo Talks (1984)

Birthday: Jun 25, 1924

Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

American director Sidney Lumet originally planned to follow in the footsteps of his father, Yiddish Art Theatre actor Baruch Lumet. On-stage from the age of five, the younger Lumet studied at New York's Professional Children's School and acted in numerous Broadway productions, most notably Dead End. With several other New York-based actors, Lumet was featured in the agitprop film drama One Third of a Nation (1939); he played Sylvia Sidney's crippled kid brother, sparking the film's climax by setting fire to a disease-ridden tenement house and perishing in the conflagration. After wartime service, Lumet decided he'd had enough of acting and started to focus on the production end of the business. Working his way up the summer stock ladder, Lumet began directing for live television in 1950, working on such distinguished series as Omnibus and Studio One, and filmed anthologies like Alcoa-Goodyear Theatre. He directed his first film, Twelve Angry Men (1957), at the request of producer/star Henry Fonda; the director later confessed that it was a grueling learning experience for both himself and novice producer Fonda, though he took pride in finishing the film in 19 days and under budget. For his efforts, he garnered a Best Director Oscar nomination. Lumet directed a few more films, but drew more satisfaction out of stage and TV work. In 1960, he gained notoriety for directing The Sacco-Vanzetti Story on NBC; the drama drew flack from the state of Massachusetts (where Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were tried and executed) because it was thought to postulate that the condemned murderers were, in fact, wholly innocent. But the brouhaha actually did Lumet more good than harm, sending several prestigious film assignments his way, including his 1962 artistic triumph Long Day's Journey Into Night. Proponents of the "auteur" theory, who insist that a director should leave his personal signature on each film, have long been confounded by Lumet, who has refused to do anything twice in his movie work. After directing the Cold War suspense dramaFail-Safe (1964) and the tense war-guilt character study The Pawnbroker (1965), he went on to explore Jewish middle-aged angst in Bye Bye Braverman (1969); tried his hand at a roller coaster police-thriller with Serpico (1973); made the shaggy-dog bank robbery account Dog Day Afternoon (1974); ventured into mystery with the slick, stylish Murder on the Orient Express (1974); won awards for his media satire Network (1976); explored the battle between the sexes in the hilarious Just Tell Me What You Want (1980); and looked at the grim arena of underworld crime in The Family Business (1989). Lumet handled these diverse projects with considerable skill, managing to turn out a body of remarkably diverse work. In 1993, the director, as full of surprises as ever, delivered a nail-biting whodunit, Guilty As Sin. Plagued with numerous plot holes and illogical character behavior, it was not his best, but after a couple of years of inactivity, Lumet was back at work, producing and directing 1997's Critical Care, and writing and directing Night Falls on Manhattan the same year. The former, a hospital satire starring Albert Brooks, James Spader, and Helen Mirren, failed to make much of a critical or commercial impression, but the latter, a crime thriller featuring Andy Garcia, Richard Dreyfuss, Lena Olin, and Ian Holm, enjoyed some measure of critical acclaim. Lumet's next effort was a 1999 remake of John Cassavetes' 1980 film Gloria. Starring Sharon Stone in the title role that was originally played by Gena Rowlands, the film met an unfortunate critical and commercial fate, netting bad reviews and audience indifference. However, Lumet -- who had, by this point, been nominated for five Oscars (four for Best Director and one for Best Adapted Screenplay) over the course of his career -- managed to survive this relative failure with his reputation pretty much intact; in fact, many acknowledged that even a second-


Highest Rated Movies



82% By Sidney Lumet Actor 2016
No Score Yet All The King's Men Director 2015
80% I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale Actor 2009
88% Before the Devil Knows You're Dead Director $7M 2007
62% Find Me Guilty Director Producer Screenwriter $0.7M 2006
80% The Manchurian Candidate Political $65.8M 2004
88% Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust Actor 2004
No Score Yet Strip Search Director 2004
No Score Yet The Tramp and the Dictator Actor 2002
14% Gloria Director 1999
59% Critical Care Director Producer 1997
69% Night Falls on Manhattan Screenwriter Director 1997
38% Guilty as Sin Director 1993
23% A Stranger Among Us Director 1992
No Score Yet Fonda on Fonda Actor 1992
No Score Yet Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones Actor 1990
87% Q & A Screenwriter Director 1990
38% Family Business Director 1989
85% Running on Empty Actor Director 1988
50% Power Director 1986
67% The Morning After Director 1986
13% Garbo Talks Director 1984
43% Daniel Director Executive Producer Producer 1983
88% The Verdict Director 1982
71% Deathtrap Director 1982
91% Prince of the City Screenwriter Director 1981
No Score Yet Just Tell Me What You Want Producer Director 1980
42% The Wiz Director Actor 1978
65% Equus Director 1977
92% Network Director 1976
95% Dog Day Afternoon Director 1975
89% Murder on the Orient Express Director 1974
No Score Yet Lovin' Molly Director 1974
90% Serpico Director 1973
71% The Offence Director 1973
No Score Yet Child's Play Director 1972
70% The Anderson Tapes Director 1971
No Score Yet King: A Filmed Record...Montgomery to Memphis Director 1970
No Score Yet Last of the Mobile Hot Shots (Blood Kin)(The Seven Descents of Myrtle) Producer Director 1970
No Score Yet The Appointment Director 1969
43% Bye Bye, Braverman Producer Director 1968
No Score Yet The Sea Gull Producer Director 1968
No Score Yet The Deadly Affair Director Producer 1966
60% The Group Director 1966
83% The Hill Director 1965
80% The Pawnbroker Director 1965
93% Fail-Safe Director 1964
No Score Yet A View from the Bridge Director 1962
94% Long Day's Journey Into Night Director 1962
No Score Yet Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh Director 1960
50% The Fugitive Kind Director 1960
No Score Yet John Brown's Raid Director 1960
No Score Yet That Kind of Woman Director 1959
No Score Yet Stage Struck Director 1958
100% 12 Angry Men (Twelve Angry Men) Director 1957
No Score Yet Danger Director 1952
No Score Yet One Third of a Nation Joey Rogers 1939


No Score Yet 100 Centre Street
Executive Producer Screenwriter Director


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