Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

My Favorite Films of a Master Filmmaker: Sidney Lumet

With the unexpected passing of one of the giants of cinema yesterday, I’m following the lead of my fellow bloggers by putting together a list of my favorite films by the late Mr. Sidney Lumet (1924 – 2011). I also recommend the posts of Bryce, J.D., Jeremy, and Edward as an example of some of the truly wonderful tributes being paid to this a one-of-a-kind filmmaker. Surely, I am not the first to say this, but Lumet primarily impacted my social and moral conscience through the medium of film, and that can never be diminished. He will genuinely and greatly be missed. May he rest in peace.

13 Responses to “My Favorite Films of a Master Filmmaker: Sidney Lumet”

  1. Kevin (Col. Mortimer)

    Some great choices for a great director who worked solidly for five decades. I just caught The Anderson Tapes for the first time at the New Beverly in March and I love how Lumet effortlessly takes the film from a breezy caper film to somewhere darker in the last act.

    Interesting tidbit I discovered on his imdb page: he directed a made for TV adaptation of Kurosawa’s Rashoman starring Ricardo Montleban in 1960, sadly I assume it’s been destroyed like many shows of the era (including Peckinpah’s Noon Wine)

    • le0pard13

      That’s great you caught The Anderson Tapes at the New Bev’s showing. I saw it first run back in ’71 and it’s an underrated film of Lumet’s that is finally getting more attention. I hope for a miracle that his TV work (like Rashoman) is somewhere out there and will surface. Thanks, Kevin.

  2. Will

    Love 12 Angry Men. . .fantastic film!

    David Mamet wrote The Verdict. Great film as well. I think Dog Day Afternoon, despite having Lance Henriksen in it :), is a bit overrated.

    Network was ahead of it’s time. Crazy he never won an Oscar!

    What did you think of Guilty As Sin? Gloria? Find me Guilty?

    • le0pard13

      As you can probably detect, my favorites tend toward early work. That’s not say anything against his latter films — I just need to catch up. Thanks, Will.

      p.s., great to see your comment, btw. I take it you’re not having the same issues with this comment system?

  3. J.D.

    I actually kinda liked FIND ME GUILTY. It was nice to see Vin Diesel in a non action role but all that hair on his head was distracting!

    Nice tribute, my friend. Those stills you picked are potent reminder of just what an accomplished filmmaker he was. While Lumet downplayed style in his films, they had ‘em and his meat ‘n’ potatoes approach was perfect for the kind of gritty, truthful cinema he was passionate about.

  4. rtm

    I should see more of his films. I did see Deathtrap and it was excellent. Wonderful acting by Christopher Reeve who made a believable villain, proves that he’s more than just the ‘Superman’ actor.

    • le0pard13

      Yeah, he was very good in Deathtrap. Christopher Reeve was highly underrated. Besides his Superman, I have a soft spot for his role in Somewhere in Time ( film adaptation of the Richard Matheson novel).

      Definitely, I recommend seeing more of Lumet’s films. I’m looking forward to finally watching The Offence, starring Sean Connery. Thanks, rtm.

      • rtm

        Ooooh I LOVE Somewhere in Time, I mention that a lot on my blog… LOVE the story, acting and of course John Barry’s soundtrack which is absolutely beautifuuuul!

        THanks for the suggestion on The Offence, I like Sean Connery, too.

        • le0pard13

          I think Sean Connery collaborated the most with Sidney Lument with five films total:
          • The Hill
          • The Anderson Tapes
          • The Offence
          • Murder on the Orient Express
          • Family Business

          Thanks, rtm.


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