- Amongst the few names in Hollywood who have carved a niche in direction, Sidney lumet’s name would not demand an introduction.
- With cult hits like 12 angry men (1957), serpico (1973), dog day afternoon (1975), network (1976) and the verdict (1982), under his name, he has taken himself to the ranks of legends.
- It is no wonder that cinema was in his blood.
Birth Details of Sidney Lumet
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the son of Eugenia (an actress) and Baruch Lumet (a Yiddish theater actor, director, producer and writer), Lumet made his acting debut at the age of 4 at New York's Yiddish Art Theater.
Married Life of Sidney Lumet
Lumet finally settled with Mary Gimbel whom he married in 1980.
Career and Achievement of Sidney Lumet
Lumet worked in numerous Broadway production dramas, notably dead end before finally residing on the director’s chair.
- Sidney Lumet has established himself in Hollywood as a master of drama, whose style is intense, character driven and reflects a man’s diabolic side.
- With over 50 films in his name, his first major hit was 12 angry men, starring James Fonda as a lone juror fighting up for a teenaged Puerto Rican boy accused of killing his father, which gave him a permanent seat in the industry and established him as a master of human drama.
- Until this time Lumet was only a television trained director and 12 angry men were shot in just 17 days with a meager budget.
- However, after its release it bought Lumet immense fame and kudos.
- Lumet delivered yet another stunning hit Serpico in 1973, the true story about an honest New York cop who decides to denounce corruption in the force only to have his comrade’s turn against him.
- Starring Al Pacino the movie was nominated for 2 Oscars and won him laurels all across US.
- His position as a legendary director was further reinforced by blockbusters like dog day afternoon (1975) based on a true story about a bank robbery that took place on the august 22, 1972 in Brooklyn.
- Starring Al Pacino as a ferocious bank robber, who wants money to fund his boyfriend’s sex change operation, the movie struck a chord.
- Other 2 movies which earned him academy award nomination for the best director (apart from the above mentioned ones) are network(which swept 4 Oscars out of 10 categories in which it was nominated) and verdict(1982).
- Some of his other works include : long day’s journey into night, pawnbroker, prince of the city, running on empty and the all-star version of Agatha Christie's classic period mystery: murder on the orient express.
- He has always broken the barrier as far as the “auteur” theory is concerned.
- Followers of which insist that a director should always leave his trademark signature in every movie, thereby refusing to do anything twice in his movies.
- A graduate from the professional children’s school , Lumet has been married four times :to Rita Gam , Gloria Vanderbilt , Gail Jones (in the same order) only to divorce them later.
- He has also been active on the small screen rolling out masterpiece dramas like “Danger,” “I Remember Mama and You are there”.
- This helped him sharpen his instincts as a prolific director and use intimate human drama as his trademark.
- His journey up the hill suffered repercussions in the years after the release of the verdict, where his movies were severely chastised by movie critics for stereotyping and miscasting.
- As a matter of fact, his 90’s productions including a stranger among us, guilty as sin, gloria, critical care all met with a bad end.
- However, these failures could not desolate him.
- He constantly delved in movie making in the midst of this criticism.
- His most recent production “before the devil knows you are dead” was released in 2007, with lumet yearning for a hit in the last 20 years.
- Starring Ethan Hawke and Philip Seymour Hoffman, it is a story of two brothers who plan to rob a jeweler shop owned by their own parents and the plot gets macabre after one of the accomplice steps over the line.
- Though the movie could not put things back on track for Lumet, he still managed to win appreciation of the audiences as well as the critics.
- He now 83 has won the Director's Guild of America Lifetime Achievement Award and numerous other awards, but he has never won an academy award for the best director.
- This takes him to the ranks of directors like Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock.
- He has also returned to television production, producing and directing a few episodes of the drama series 100 centre streets.