Skip to comments.Lumet, '12 Angry Men' and 'Network' director, dies
Posted on 04/09/2011 10:35:14 AM PDT by Borges
NEW YORK Sidney Lumet, the award-winning director of such acclaimed films as "Network," "Serpico," "Dog Day Afternoon" and "12 Angry Men," has died. He was 86.
Lumet's death was confirmed Saturday by Marc Kusnetz, who is the husband of Lumet's stepdaughter, Leslie Gimbel. He said Lumet died during the night and had suffered from lymphoma.
A Philadelphia native, Lumet moved to New York City as a child, and it became the location of choice for more than 30 of his films. Although he freely admitted to a lifelong love affair with the city, he often showed its grittier side.
Such dramas as "Prince of the City," "Q&A," "Night Falls on Manhattan" and "Serpico" looked at the hard lives and corruptibility of New York police officers. "Dog Day Afternoon" told the true-life story of two social misfits who set in motion a chain of disastrous events when they tried to rob a New York City bank on an oppressively hot summer afternoon.
"It's not an anti-L.A. thing," Lumet said of his New York favoritism in a 1997 interview. "I just don't like to live in a company town."
Although he didn't work in Los Angeles, the director maintained good relations with the Hollywood studios, partly because he finished his pictures under schedule and budget. His television beginnings had schooled him in working fast, and he rarely shot more than four takes of a scene.
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Ah man, sad to see this. He did a lot of great classics.
One of the greatest movie speeches of all time, and just as relevant today:
“YOU HAVE MEDDLED WITH THE PRIMAL FORCES OF NATURE, MR. BEALE....”
Lumet was a great director.
Many of his movies probed the darker side of the human condition. His movies were often gritty ultrarealistic dramas.
TWELVE ANGRY MEN
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
DOG DAY AFTERNOON
Wow, it’s been ages...what a great piece of acting that was, thanks!
And the equally awsome “We’re in a lot of trouble” speech
I’ve heard that ‘12 Angry Men’ has been a bad influence on jury pools.
Even though "Mad as hell..." is the hook that everyone remembers from "Network", that magnificent monologue by Ned Beatty is the high point of the film for me. Baldwin's "motivational" speech to the boiler room crew in "Glengarry Glen Ross" is another one.
And before I get jumped on for mentioning Alec Baldwin in anything like a favorable light, he's a dope smokin' commie, traitor, idiot, DumboRAT, unhinged, mentally retarded, misanthrope, kicks dogs, wife abuser, alcoholic, blog pimper, environwhacko, fascist, cheats at golf and a poor speeler. Hope that covers it. But he also was an inspired actor in that particular scene.
A little off subject but CSI and other forensic crime shows also mess up juries as they make jurors expect fast and definite results like the shows have.
I’ve been using the pic of the ‘brass balls’ from that scene on the Trump threads.
Entertaining but a bleeding heart liberal if there ever was one.
I don’t really see a similarity between Griffith’s grifter character and Beale. Beale wasn’t a grifter, was he?
Network and Broadcast News are the movies that made stop watching TV news. Very good, very smart movies that speak a lot of truth. Sorry to see anybody associated with either go.
Network always struck me as shrill camp. I’m surprised people took it so seriously.
Sure wish “Child’s Play,” his 1972 adaptation of Robert Marasco’s creepy play, would finally be released on home video.
One of the greats. RIP.
Lumet managed to be the son-in-law of Lena Horne and the father-in-law of both writer P.J. O'Rourke and actor Bobby Cannavale.
Sadly, none of the marriages lasted, but it's interesting in a "six degrees of separation or Kevin Bacon" way that such different people could have fit -- however briefly -- into the same family.
But it gets stranger ... marriage to Gloria Vanderbilt made Lumet in some way Anderson Cooper's stepfather, though the marriage took place well before Cooper was born.
A lot of it is shrill camp, what makes it powerful is that the shrillest campiest parts are so true. Compare any of the Mad Prophet segments to Glenn Beck when he starts the waterworks, or O’Reilly when he’s thumping, or Olbermann when he was working on getting fired. Network was the first time we got to see why the TV comes first in “TV news”, and it predicted the modern age of it.
“Prince of the City” is one of my all time favorite movies.
RIP, Mr. Lumet.
1964’s ‘The Pawnbroker’ was one of the first mainstream American feature to have nudity.
IMO, Paul Newman should have gotten Best Actor for The Verdict in 1982. However he had to compete with Ben Kingsley’s Gandhi and Hollywood PC that year. Newman had to wait until 1986 and win it for the Eddie Felsen character in The Color of Money.
The courtroom scene in The Verdict was one of the best ever done.
For sure, the motivations behind Lonesome Rhodes and Howard Beale were vastly different in that the latter was a true believer. But, in both cases, their mastery of the "cool" medium and the undiscerning public acceptance of each was struck me as the underlying similarity.
I've reaaaaally become an admirer of "Network" in recent years. Love the cast. Love the exceptional script. And I'm a sucker for early-to-mid 70s. Love that era.
Paddy Chayefsky can do no wrong.
Never seen it, but I guess I've read "Gideon" a dozen times.
Yes, I consider "Fail Safe" well worth watching in spite of s somewhat lefty-orientation. It had well-done moments tension and captures the era of "The Bomb" that people of my generation recall vividly.
I'll add the caveat that I can enjoy (but not endorse) a number of films that would otherwise be counter to my principles such as "Reds" (Warren Beatty) and even "Malcolm X" (Spike Lee). I'm old enough and mature enough (and strong enough in my Conservatism) that even movies in opposition to my views can be enjoyed without fear of swaying me. I can also appreciate good cinematic craftsmanship regardless of politics and also can discern shoddiness even when it supports my politics. "American (cough cough) Carol".
I am a junkie for that period too. I got a Netfix account just so I could see the stuff that used to be relegated to the Late Late Movie Feature from years ago. A lot of that stuff just disappeared and hasn't been seen since on TV. You should try The Offence if you are looking into Lumet. Parallax View, The Last of Sheila and The Seven Ups are some other forgotten gold you may want to check out. There are so many great movies from when Hollywood actually cared to make a quality product. There are no more Robert Evans left out there.
I especially like Ian Bannen so I’ll definitely have a look.
Reds was more complex than just a single orientation though. It showed how the Russian Revolution betrayed the working class it cliamed to represent.
RIP to a brilliant director.
Thank you. I was hesitant about even mentioning that film (even with the caveats I supplied). There's a tendency to too quickly dismiss it because of the subject matter (John Reed and the Bolshevik Revolution) and Beatty as the the director and leading man.
Going beyond the superficial, I found it instead to be a searing indictment of Communism. Even Emma Goldman had her eyes opened with a strong dose of reality after she had "relocated" to Russia. It's clear that even Reed had some real second thoughts when in Arabia (Uncle Sam being burned in effigy and his speech changed by the apparatchiks).
But my favorite (and perhaps most telling moment) is when a sneering Jack Nicholson, as Eugene O'Neill confronts Louise Bryant about the Socialist paradise she imagines when he sets her straight with:
"You and Jack [John Reed] have a lot of middle-class dreams for two radicals. Jack dreams that he can hustle the American working man, whose one dream is to be rich enough not to have to work, into a revolution led by his party. And you dream that if you discuss the revolution with a man before you go to bed with him, it'll be missionary work instead of sex."
Classic and spot on!
I agree. Ned’s bit at the end is the single best part of Network for me, too.
I’ve always felt Beatty has never received the recognition he deserves as an actor. He’s darn good. Even the scene he’ll probably always be remembered for (SQUEAAAAL!!!) overshadows a very solid performance in Deliverance.
One of the best films of all time.
The scenes where the store helper asks Nazzerman about his tattoo and when he makes the “you people” comment get me everytime.
Lumet and Rod Steiger got robbed for Oscars that year.
Thanks. I appreciate your thoughts.
I’m queuing up as many of your recommendations as I can on Netflix. They all look like they’re right in my wheelhouse, and I haven’t yet seen any of them. Thanks again.
Never heard of that one (The Offense starring Sean Connery). Sounds good.
The scenes with Connery and the late Ian Bannen are riveting.
Another one of the greats from Hollywoods best era of film making is gone. RIP Sidney Lumet.
There is clearly no one like him in Hollywood today. All we have now are anti-American crap, leftist agenda promotions, crappy remakes and old TV shows turned into lousy films.
Of course when made Network seemed far-fetched, but if you see network TV today, you’ll see that Chayefsky was a prophet.
It’s not that it was far fetched but that it was shrill and shrill, self-important.