Sidney Lumet - Rotten Tomatoes

Sidney Lumet

Highest Rated:   100% The Hill (1965)
Lowest Rated:   17% Gloria (1999)
Birthday:  
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; i

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
80% 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
2007
61% Find Me Guilty
  • Producer
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
2006
81% The Manchurian Candidate
  • Political
2004
88% Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet Strip Search
  • Director
2004
77% A Decade Under the Influence
  • Actor
2003
No Score Yet The Tramp and the Dictator
  • Actor
2002
17% Gloria
  • Director
1999
59% Critical Care
  • Producer
  • Director
1997
68% Night Falls on Manhattan
  • Director
  • Screenwriter
1997
40% 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
55% Power
  • Director
1986
71% The Morning After
  • Director
1986
20% Garbo Talks
  • Director
1984
43% Daniel
  • Director
  • Executive Producer
  • Producer
1983
96% The Verdict
  • Director
1982
75% Deathtrap
  • Director
1982
95% Prince of the City
  • Screenwriter
  • Director
1981
No Score Yet Just Tell Me What You Want
  • Producer
  • Director
1980
36% The Wiz
  • Director
1978
71% Equus
  • Director
1977
91% Network
  • Director
1976
95% Dog Day Afternoon
  • Director
1975
95% 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
80% 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
No Score Yet Bye Bye, Braverman
  • Producer
  • Director
1968
No Score Yet The Sea Gull
  • Director
  • Producer
1968
No Score Yet The Deadly Affair
  • Director
1966
No Score Yet The Group
  • Director
1966
100% The Hill
  • Director
1965
100% The Pawnbroker
  • Director
1965
95% Fail-Safe
  • Director
1964
No Score Yet A View from the Bridge
  • Director
1962
93% Long Day's Journey Into Night
  • Director
1962
No Score Yet Films of Paul Newman
  • Director
1962
No Score Yet Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh
  • Director
1960
No Score Yet John Brown's Raid
  • Director
1960
60% The Fugitive Kind
  • 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 Getting Out
  • Director

Quotes from Sidney Lumet's Characters

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