Sidney Lumet 1924-2011
Posted by: Brad Sturdivant
The great filmmaker Sidney Lumet passed away today at the age of 86 after a lengthy battle with lymphoma. Like many of the older stars that have passed away lately, Lumet’s body of work may be unknown to today’s moviegoers, but Lumet is responsible for some of the all time classic films such as SERPICO, DOG DAY AFTERNOON, NETWORK, THE VERDICT and 12 ANGRY MEN. The latter film seemed to be a staple in classrooms across the country. I think I ended up watching it three times in either English, Debate or Business Law classes.
Lumet had a grand influence on cinema, but what I liked most about him was that he let the actors tell the story. In today’s age of frustratingly fast editing, Lumet would sit back and let the actors soak up their character and tell the story. He rarely used gimmicks and that’s why people look back at some of his films and point to them as showcasing some of the best performances from Al Pacino, Paul Newman, Henry Fonda, William Holden and Faye Dunaway. He is survived by his daughter Jenny Lumet, who wrote the great RACHEL GETTING MARRIED.