Sidney Lumet Was A Remarkable Artist And A Remarkable Man

July 21, 2017 — He was the consummate director. 12 Angry Men. Fail-Safe. Serpico. The Pawnbroker. Dog Day Afternoon. Network. Murder on the Orient Express.

They were all directed by Sidney Lumet. And that’s just the beginning of the list.

Sidney Lumet was one of the most prolific and most acclaimed directors of all time.

His films were nominated for 46 Academy Awards® and won 6. Considered an actor’s director, the great film actors loved working with him, and he directed most of the best: Henry Fonda, Marlon Brando, Jason Robards, Sir Ralph Richardson, Katherine Hepburn, Al Pacino, Vanessa Redgrave, Joan Plowright, Richard Burton, Anne Bancroft, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Dustin Hoffman, Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall, Sir John Gielgud — the list goes on and on. Sean Connery, who was not known for being easygoing, worked with Lumet 5 times and considered him to be a favorite director.

Henry Fonda, who starred in Lumet’s first film, said of him:  “…he was a master. Such control of his craft. He had strong, progressive values and never betrayed them.”

Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert agreed, calling him “one of the finest craftsmen and warmest humanitarians among all film directors.”

A few years before Lumet’s death in 2011, at age 86, he sat down with director Nancy Buirski for a filmed interview about his life and work. That interview became the basis for By Sidney Lumet, a candid discussion of the films and issues that meant something to this remarkable artist who was also a remarkable man. Intimate, personal and honest, the interview offers an insight into the workings of one of film’s greatest directors, who provided us with some of cinema’s most memorable moments.

By Sidney Lumet is available on DVD and Blu-ray, or you can stream it immediately on Amazon Video.

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