Vale: Sidney Lumet

US film director Sidney Lumet, who directed one of the defining films about TV in 1976's Network, has died, aged 86.

US film director Sidney Lumet, who directed such films as 12 Angry Men, Dog Day Afternoon and Network, died on Saturday, aged 86.

Lumet, whose film career spanned more than 50 years, died of lymphoma at his home in New York, his family said.

Once described by Variety as “the quintessential New York filmmaker,” Lumet shot a large number of his films in his hometown, including The Pawnbroker, Serpico, Prince of the City and many others.

Lumet began as a director for CBS in New York in 1951 on such shows as Crime Photographer, Danger, You Are There, Frontier, The United States Steel Hour, and Omnibus before his feature-film directorial debut with 12 Angry Men.

He made several more TV Movies before concentrating on film directing more than 40 films, including The Fugitive Kind, A View From the Bridge, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Fail-Safe, The Hill, The Group, The Anderson Tapes, Murder on the Orient Express, Equus, and The Wiz .

He garnered three other Oscar nominations for directing: Dog Day Afternoon, The Verdict and Network -still considered one of the defining films about the television industry. It featured Australia’s Peter Finch with his infamous line, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

With his background in theatre and live television, Lumet rehearsed his actors for two or three weeks before he began filming. He then typically shot only a few takes and “cut in the camera”. He knew how each scene would be edited beforehand and shot only what needed to be shot.

“He just had an incredible eye for the truth,” Paul Newman, who received a best actor Oscar nomination for his role as an alcoholic lawyer who finds redemption in The Verdict, once said.

In 2001, he returned to television as the creator, executive producer and principal director of the short-lived Manhattan-set legal drama 100 Centre Street on the A&E Network.

His final work was Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.

Source: LA Times

6 Responses

  1. He did a terrific job on Murder on the Orient Express. A lot of actors won Oscars in his films – Bergman, Finch, Dunaway, Straight. He’d be close to Elia Kazan for the director with the most acting nominations for his films. A great loss.

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