Sidney Lumet


Director
Sidney Lumet

About

Also Known As
Sydney Lumet
Birth Place
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Born
June 25, 1924
Died
April 09, 2011
Cause of Death
Lymphoma

Biography

A consummate workaholic who helmed vibrant films well into his eighties, Sidney Lumet laid claim to being one of the most revered and most imitated directors of all time. Films like "Twelve Angry Men" (1957), "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975), "Network" (1976) and "The Verdict" (1982) were more than just classics – they became cultural fixtures that transcended generational demands. Because of ...

Photos & Videos

Family & Companions

Rita Gam
Wife
Actor. Divorced in 1955.
Gloria Vanderbilt
Wife
Socialite, fashion designer, author. Married on August 27, 1956; divorced in 1963.
Gail Lumet Buckley
Wife
Actor, writer. Married on November 23, 1963; divorced in 1978; daughter of actor-singer Lena Horne.
Mary Gimbel
Wife
Married in 1980.

Bibliography

"Making Movies"
Sidney Lumet, Vintage Books (1995)

Notes

Comparing himself to another NYC filmmaker Woody Allen: "The world [Allen is] dealing with is really his own inner world. He is intensely self-involved and trying to figure out, 'why am I an unhappy Jew?' I'm not belittling that. But I, from that kind of New York left wing upbringing, I look at the outside for sources of unhappiness. Whatever I'm contributing to it from my own psyche I don't think is very interesting to anyone, because it's not very interesting to me." --Sidney Lumet in Daily News, May 19, 1997.

On a movie he might have made: "Well, I had 'The Last Temptation of Christ', Nikos Kazantzakis' book, under option for about three years, then dropped it. I couldn't get a deal on it anywhere. Then, of course, Marty [Scorsese] did it wonderfully. And all I could think of, with the attacks on Marty, a Catholic fellow, was, 'Thank God I didn't do it!' That's all they needed was a Jew to have directed it. There would have been blood on the street." --Sidney Lumet, The Hollywood Reporter New York Special Issue, June 10, 1997.

Biography

A consummate workaholic who helmed vibrant films well into his eighties, Sidney Lumet laid claim to being one of the most revered and most imitated directors of all time. Films like "Twelve Angry Men" (1957), "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975), "Network" (1976) and "The Verdict" (1982) were more than just classics – they became cultural fixtures that transcended generational demands. Because of his visual economy, strong direction of actors, vigorous storytelling and use of the camera to accent themes, Lumet produced a body of work that could only be defined as extraordinary. By refusing to "go Hollywood," he instead became strongly identified with the city of his youth, New York, the place where he filmed a great majority of his films. In fact, Lumet's use of the city became more than just location – he turned New York into a character just as vital and alive as Frank Serpico, Howard Beale or Sonny Wortzik. But it was the social realism which permeated his greatest work that truly defined Lumet – the themes of youthful idealism beaten down by corruption and the hopelessness of inept social institutions allowed him to produce several trenchant and potent films that no other director could have made.

Born on June 25, 1924 in Philadelphia, PA, Lumet was raised in an entertainment family in New York, NY; his mother and father were both veterans of the Yiddish stage. Starting off as an actor, Lumet made his debut on radio at age four, then a year later began appearing onstage at the Yiddish Art Theater on the Lower East Side in Manhattan. For two years during the Great Depression, he performed in "The Rabbi From Brownville," a serial on Yiddish radio written and directed by his father and starring both parents in multiple roles. As he grew older, Lumet continued to act, making his Broadway debut in 1935 as a part of the original Dead End Boys production, "Dead End," playing a part written especially for him by family friend Sidney Kingsley. He next appeared in Max Reinhardt's 1937 production of "The Eternal Road," a massive spectacle depicting the Jewish story of the Old Testament. His performance led to other Broadway productions, including roles in "One Third of a Nation" (1939) – which was later adapted into a film – and Maxwell Anderson's "Journey to Jerusalem" (1940).

As World War II raged across the globe in 1942, Lumet volunteered to join the Army at 17 and became a radar repairman for the Signal Corps, serving in China, Burma and India. After his service, Lumet – whose skills with radar and fascination with physics led to a brief stint teaching at the Philco Corp. radar labs in Philadelphia – returned to his true passion: the stage. He became involved in the Actors Studio, then formed his own theater workshop, eventually stepping off the stage to direct. At CBS, Lumet landed a job as the assistant to friend and then-director, Yul Brynner, later getting a promotion to staff director, which led to helming hundreds of episodes of "Danger" (CBS, 1950-55), "I Remember Mama" (CBS, 1948-1957) and "You Are There" (CBS, 1953-57). In 1953, Lumet began directing original plays for "Playhouse 90," "Kraft Television Theatre" and "Studio One," filming around 200 and establishing himself as one of the most prolific and respected directors in the business. Because of the high turnover inherent in television, Lumet quickly developed a lightning quick method for shooting that later carried over to his film career.

Despite a bustling television career, Lumet managed to find the time to direct theater in between television gigs, staging productions of George Bernard Shaw's "The Doctor's Dilemma" (1955) and Arch Oboler's "Night of the Auk" (1956). Thanks to the triumph of the motion picture "Marty" (1955), originally an hour-long television special, Lumet was to find his own extraordinary success adapting small screen material for his first feature, "12 Angry Men" (1957). After producer and star Henry Fonda saw Lumet teaching an acting workshop in New York, he knew he had his director. Made in just 19 days for $343,000, "Twelve Angry Men" captivated viewers with its gripping tale about a lone dissenting juror (Fonda) slowly turning a seemingly open-and-shut murder case into a long, hot debate on the meaning of "beyond a reasonable doubt." Lumet used the tight quarters of the juror room to his advantage, shooting with longer lenses and from different eye levels as the movie progressed, adding tension and a growing sense of claustrophobia among the jurors. The film earned three Academy Award nominations, including a Best Director nod for Lumet.

Though Lumet broke into film directing with a flourish, he spent the next few years toiling on mediocre fare that nonetheless starred the biggest stars of the day. He again directed Henry Fonda, this time in "Stage Struck" (1958), a remake of the Katharine Hepburn triumph, "Morning Glory" (1933). After clumsily directing an otherwise stunning Sophia Loren in "That Kind of Woman" (1959), Lumet drew a finely nuanced performance out of Marlon Brando in "The Fugitive Kind" (1960), based on the Tennessee Williams play, Orpheus Descending. Lumet continued his early penchant for adapting classic plays for both film and television, directing a live television version of "The Iceman Cometh," Eugene O'Neill's grim tale of a happy-go-lucky drunk (Jason Robarbs) dealing with his newfound sobriety, and "A View From the Bridge" (1962), a big screen telling of Arthur Miller's psychological drama about a working-class Italian-American family coping with two illegal immigrants who have come to live in their Brooklyn home. Thanks to working in television and choosing material with limited locations, Lumet had already honed his fast-paced and economical shooting style that later served him well on his more recognized work.

Lumet returned to his feature debut form with Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey Into Night" (1962), starring Katharine Hepburn in a bravura performance that resulted in one of her many Oscar nominations. Though limited to choice of locations – the play took place entirely in one room – Lumet nonetheless helmed a taught and emotionally gripping film that was voted one of the year's Ten Best Films by The New York Times. Lumet's reputation for bringing extraordinary performances from his actors reached a high water mark with "The Pawnbroker" (1965), a stark and surprisingly stylized drama about Holocaust survivor Sol Nazerman (Rod Steiger), who is paralyzed by guilt for being the only member of his family to escape the Nazis. "The Pawnbroker" marked one of the rare instances that Lumet utilized a more noticeable and vibrant cinematic style, incorporating French New Wave techniques and a subliminal editing style that allowed the audience to journey into Nazerman's subconscious and witness the horrors he experienced in the concentration camps. For his efforts, Lumet earned the British Academy Award for Best Director.

After helming "The Hill" (1965), a powerful drama of wretched life in a British military prison that starred Sean Connery, Lumet entered a middling phase of his prominent career, directing such pedestrian films as "The Group" (1966) and "The Deadly Affair" (1967). He returned to theatrical material with his take on Anton Chekhov's "The Sea Gull" (1968), then took a further step back directing "The Appointment" (1969), a romantic melodrama about a young lawyer (Omar Sharif) who marries a young woman (Anouk Aimee) accused of being a high-class call girl. Lumet showed signs of breaking out of his creative doldrums with "The Anderson Tapes" (1971), a high-tech thriller that reunited him with Connery, who played a career criminal just released from prison being used by law enforcement to ensnare several mafiosos. But Lumet promptly returned to mediocrity with "Child's Play" (1972) and "The Offense" (1973), two failed adaptations of stage plays, though a sojourn into the documentary world with "King: A Filmed Record Montgomery to Memphis" (1970) – a compilation of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights movement – earned Lumet plenty of critical kudos.

Just when his career had seemingly hit its nadir, Lumet managed to resurrect himself with "Serpico" (1973), the first of four seminal films he made in the 1970s that staked his claim for being one of the greatest filmmakers of his generation. The story of power and betrayal in the New York City police force, Lumet hit upon a theme that later coursed throughout many of his films to follow – how the flaws of the criminal justice system have a negative impact on the democracy it supposedly serves. Coupled with the idea that innocence is lost in the face of corruption, "Serpico" laid out a blueprint Lumet returned to again and again, one that took place a world of amoral cops, lawyers and hoods, with only an idealistic lone wolf battling seemingly impossible odds. Based on Peter Maas' best-selling biography, "Serpico" starred Al Pacino as a rookie policeman who refuses to take extortion money from fellow cops, causing his youthful idealism to erode in the face of a stifling, hypocritical bureaucracy. Lumet drew almost universal praise for adeptly combining gritty action and thought-provoking social commentary in what many consider his finest work.

After momentarily faltering with "Lovin' Molly" (1974), Lumet scored big again with the star-studded "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974), a thoroughly enjoyable box office romp based on the Agatha Christie novel. One of the most ambitious British production in years, "Orient Express" boasted a who's-who of accomplished thespians of the day while giving Lumet a rare lush palette from which to paint this extravagant period piece. Returning to gritty post-noir crime territory, Lumet helmed the second of his truly great films, "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975), again starring Al Pacino. Written by Frank Pierson and based on a true events involving the disastrous attempt by three criminals to rob a Brooklyn bank in August 1972, "Dog Day Afternoon" deftly straddled the line between farce and tragedy. In order to maintain realism, Lumet used no artificial light, relying instead on natural fluorescents inside the bank and augmenting light for certain dark scenes just enough to get an exposure. Meanwhile, "Dog Day Afternoon" boasted outstanding performances from John Cazale, Charles Durning, Chris Sarandon and James Broderick. But it was Pacino as the desperate ringleader looking to pay for his lover's sex-change operation who stole the show, earning his second Oscar nomination under Lumet's direction.

Lumet followed "Dog Day Dafternoon" with the brilliant satire on television "Network" (1976), his greatest commercial success to date. Scripted by legend Paddy Chayefsky, "Network" chronicled the story of fading anchorman Howard Beale (Peter Finch) and his sudden messianic rise in the ratings after he gets "mad as hell" and becomes a modern-day prophet angrily denouncing the hypocrisies of our time. At the same time hysterical, preachy and just plain bizarre, "Network" also made a compelling statement about the often ludicrous nature of our entertainment. Outrageous as it was on the surface, however, the story possessed more than just a kernel of truth, and on a certain level was eerily plausible, predicting many of the coming changes in television. Fueled by strong performances from a stellar cast that also featured William Holden, Ned Beatty, Faye Dunaway and Beatrice Straight, "Network" earned 10 Oscar nominations, including one for Lumet's direction, and went on to win four statutes for Finch, Dunaway, Straight and Chayefsky.

Though Lumet went on to a long, busy career, he never again achieved the artistic and commercial heights he achieved with "Network." His next film, the screen version of Peter Shaffer's play "Equus" (1977), Lumet was back in the creative doldrums he suffered in the late-1960s. Although generally admired, particularly for Richard Burton's portrayal of a psychiatrist trying to understand why a young man (Peter Firth) has been mutilating horses, "Equus" fell well below the high standard Lumet had been setting throughout the decade. But Lumet's fall from his "Network" highs bottomed out with "The Wiz" (1978), a bizarre amalgam of R&B musical and social commentary that proved to be his most ill-advised and financially disastrous movie to date. A rehashing of "The Wizard of Oz" with an all African-American cast, which included Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor and Nipsey Russell, "The Wiz" was universally panned, with some critics accusing Lumet of stereotyping blacks with his G-rated allusions to gangs, drug addicts and shady politicians. Lesser directors would have lost their careers over such a stinker, but Lumet was able to weather the storm.

After "Just Tell Me What You Want" (1980) failed to generate much enthusiasm, despite a fine performance by Alan King, Lumet was back in familiar territory with "Prince of the City" (1981). Another story of power and betrayal among NYC cops – a natural successor to "Serpico" – was inspired by the true story of a Manhattan detective (Treat Williams) whose undercover work with the Knapp Commission led to 52 indictments of fellow officers, and two suicides. To emphasize the cop's increasing sense of alienation, Lumet divided his movie into thirds, keeping the background behind in the first third extremely busy. As the movie progresses, there are fewer and fewer people in the background until the last third when there is no one, highlighting the cop's increasing isolation; in the end, he is all alone sleeping in the bed he made for himself. A rewarding experience for Lumet, and considered by some to be a culmination of his previous work, the film was ultimately doomed by its ambition – with a nearly three hour running time and too many characters to keep track of, "Prince of the City" was considered tedious by some.

Lumet scaled down for his next film, "The Verdict" (1982), a taut courtroom drama written by David Mamet and buoyed by one of Paul Newman's best screen performances. The story of an alcoholic lawyer (Newman) seeking redemption by taking on a difficult malpractice case, "The Verdict" earned Lumet a fourth nomination without a win at the Academy Awards. His next project, "Daniel" (1983), loosely based on the lives of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (fictionalized as the Isaacsons), followed the attempts of their children to come to terms with their appalling family legacy. Though some critics bristled at Lumet's bleeding-heart presentation of the condemned couple, most agreed that "Daniel" was a provocative and extremely well made film despite its flaws. After three subpar films – "Garbo Talks" (1984), "Power" (1986) and "The Morning After" (1986) – Lumet returned to form with "Running on Empty" (1988), a quiet and believable tale of 1960s radicals on the run, featuring superb performances from Judd Hirsch, Christine Lahti and River Phoenix.

Lumet returned to the police milieu for "Q&A" (1990), picking up his first solo writing credit in his adaptation of Edward Torres' novel. Unfortunately, the gritty and well-acted story was bogged down by the slow unraveling of a predictable conclusion. He inhabited similar terrain, though less successfully, with "A Stranger Among Us" (1992), in which he miscast Melanie Griffith as a New York cop living among Brooklyn's Hasidic community to uncover a murderer. The farfetched finale made it one of Lumet's least satisfying cop dramas. Harkening back to his days as an acting teacher, Lumet published Making Movies, a virtual how-to of making films masked in a personal memoir. Back on the big screen, he provided better fare with "Night Falls on Manhattan" (1997), which seemed to pick up where "Prince of the City" left off, depicting the ethical compromises of middle-aged cops who inherently are descent people. Again scripted by Lumet, the bleak police drama depicted a compromise with evil at the end, leaving some viewers cold with the film's moral ambiguity. He continued addressing ethical concerns, this time in the medical profession, with "Critical Care" (1997), a rather inconsequential addition to the Lumet canon.

If "The Wiz" was Lumet's biggest box office flop, his remake of John Cassavetes' "Gloria" (1999) may well have been his most universally derided movie. With a much-maligned Sharon Stone assuming Gena Rowland's Oscar-winning turn as an aging gun moll who becomes the reluctant guardian of a young boy hiding from the mob, critics pounded on Lumet for his clumsy handling of a previously well-regarded film. It was a time some thought that perhaps the prolific director may have finally lost his touch. In fact, Lumet's output hit a considerable downturn following the "Gloria" disaster. He did, however, make a jump back to series television as the director and executive producer of "100 Centre Street" (A&E, 2000-02), a short-lived drama that told the stories of prosecutors, judges, defense attorneys and accused criminals in a New York City night court.

After directing "Strip Search" (HBO, 2004), a compelling look at how crime and punishment changed since Sept. 11th, Lumet – after having always been a bridesmaid, but never a bride – won an honorary Academy Award in 2004 for a lifetime of achievement in motion pictures. He returned to the big screen with "Find Me Guilty" (2006), an amusing, but flawed courtroom drama based on real events about a mafioso (Vin Diesel) serving a 30-year sentence who refuses to testify against the Lucchese and instead decides to represent himself in what became the longest and most controversial criminal trial in U.S. history. Meanwhile, Lumet once again defied the critics and returned to top-notch form with "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" (2007), a kinetic, time-bending crime noir about two brothers (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke) who plan to rob their parent's jewelry store, only to have the seemingly perfect crime go awry and forever damage their family. Hailed as one of his best films since "Prince of the City," Lumet was again the recipient of high praise from critics who had previous written off his career.

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
Director
Find Me Guilty (2006)
Director
Strip Search (2004)
Director
Gloria (1999)
Director
Night Falls on Manhattan (1997)
Director
Critical Care (1997)
Director
Guilty As Sin (1993)
Director
A Stranger Among Us (1992)
Director
Q&A (1990)
Director
Family Business (1989)
Director
Running on Empty (1988)
Director
Power (1986)
Director
The Morning After (1986)
Director
Garbo Talks (1984)
Director
Daniel (1983)
Director
Deathtrap (1982)
Director
The Verdict (1982)
Director
Prince of the City (1981)
Director
Just Tell Me What You Want (1980)
Director
The Wiz (1978)
Director
Equus (1977)
Director
Network (1976)
Director
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Director
Serpico (1974)
Director
Lovin' Molly (1974)
Director
Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
Director
The Offense (1973)
Director
Child's Play (1972)
Director
The Anderson Tapes (1971)
Director
King: A Filmed Record ... Montgomery to Memphis (1970)
Connecting seq Director
The Last of the Mobile Hotshots (1970)
Director
The Appointment (1970)
Director
The Sea Gull (1968)
Director
Bye Bye Braverman (1968)
Director
The Deadly Affair (1967)
Director
The Group (1966)
Director
The Hill (1965)
Director
The Pawnbroker (1965)
Director
Fail Safe (1964)
Director
Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)
Director
A View From the Bridge (1962)
Director
The Fugitive Kind (1960)
Director
That Kind of Woman (1959)
Director
Stage Struck (1958)
Director
12 Angry Men (1957)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

Based on a True Story (2005)
Himself
The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (1998)
Fonda On Fonda (1992)
Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones (1990)
Himself
William Holden: The Golden Boy (1989)
Funny (1989)
50 Years of Action! (1986)
Himself
...one third of a nation... (1939)
Joey Rogers
The 400 Million (1938)
Voice

Writer (Feature Film)

Find Me Guilty (2006)
Screenplay
Night Falls on Manhattan (1997)
Screenplay
Q&A (1990)
Screenplay
Prince of the City (1981)
Screenplay

Producer (Feature Film)

Critical Care (1997)
Producer
Daniel (1983)
Executive Producer
Just Tell Me What You Want (1980)
Producer
The Last of the Mobile Hotshots (1970)
Producer
Bye Bye Braverman (1968)
Producer
The Sea Gull (1968)
Producer
The Deadly Affair (1967)
Producer

Film Production - Main (Feature Film)

The 400,000,000 (1939)
The following actors contributed their voices

Production Companies (Feature Film)

Fail Safe (1964)
Company

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
Other
Based on a True Story (2005)
Other
Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones (1990)
Other
Funny (1989)
Assistant
50 Years of Action! (1986)
Other

Director (Special)

The Count of Monte Cristo (1958)
Director
The Showoff (1955)
Director

Cast (Special)

The AMC Project: Hollywood and the Holocaust (2003)
Interviewee
New York at the Movies (2002)
Eugene O'Neill: A Haunted Life (2002)
Interviewee
The Tramp and the Dictator (2002)
Himself
Paul Newman - Bravo Profile (2001)
Quincy Jones: In the Pocket (2001)
AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills (2001)
Anthony Perkins: A Life in the Shadows (1999)
Hometown Heroes (1998)
Interviewee
NYTV: By the People Who Made It (1998)
Intimate Portrait: Sean Connery (1997)
Rod Serling: Submitted For Your Approval (1995)
Night of 100 Stars III (1990)
Unauthorized Biography: Jane Fonda (1988)

Misc. Crew (Special)

The Tramp and the Dictator (2002)
Other

Cast (Short)

The Sun... the Sand... the Hill. (1965)
Himself

Life Events

1926

Moved to New York with family

1931

Performed in Yiddish radio serial, "The Rabbi from Brownsville," with members of his family; Baruch Lumet wrote, directed and acted the leading man and grandfather roles, while Eugenia played the leading lady

1935

Broadway acting debut, Sidney Kingsley's "Dead End"

1938

Acted on Broadway in "Sunup to Sundown," directed by Joseph Losey

1939

Only screen credit as an actor, "One Third of a Nation"; had played in Broadway version earlier in the year

1947

Founded own experimental acting group in Greenwich Village; began to direct Off-Broadway

1948

Final Broadway acting performance in "Seeds in the Wind"

1948

Taught acting at High School for the Performing Arts in New York City

1950

Joined CBS-TV as assistant director

1951

Graduated to director as replacement for Yul Brynner

1957

Feature film directing debut, "12 Angry Men"; earned Academy Award nomination as Best Director

1964

First film directed for production company "Fail Safe"

1965

Enjoyed commercial success with "The Pawnbroker"

1965

British directing debut, "The Hill"

1966

First feature as producer (also director), "The Deadly Affair"

1973

Resurrected career with the huge hit "Serpico," starring Al Pacino

1974

Helmed the star-studded blockbuster "Murder on the Orient Express"

1975

Earned second Oscar nomination for Best Director for "Dog Day Afternoon," starring Pacino

1976

Received third Best Director Oscar nomination, directing the brilliant satire on TV "Network"

1978

Directed the box-office bomb, "The Wiz"; cast then-mother-in-law Lena Horne as Glinda, the good Witch

1980

Formed LAH Film Group, with screenwriter Jay Presson Allen and producer Burtt Harris

1981

Helmed the "Prince of the City"; first screenwriting credit; earned Academy Award nomination

1982

Received fourth Best Director Oscar nomination for the David Mamet-scripted "The Verdict," starring Paul Newman

1988

Scored modest success with superb, small-scale "Running on Empty"

1990

First film as solo writer (also director), "Q & A"

1995

Wrote primer on filmmaking "Making Movies"

1995

Directed premiere of Cynthia Ozick's play "Blue Light" at Bay Street Theater in New York

1996

Wrote and directed "Night Falls on Manhattan"

1997

Released "Critical Care" with a cast that included James Spader, Albert Brooks, Helen Mirren and Anne Bancroft

1999

Helmed unsuccessful remake of John Cassavetes' "Gloria" starring Sharon Stone in role originated by Gena Rowlands

2001

Returned to TV directing for first time in over 40 years at helm of pilot for A&E series "100 Centre Street"; also penned script for first of 13 episodes and served as executive producer of series which ran for two seasons

2006

Directed Vin Diesel in "Find Me Guilty," as a mobster who successfully defends himself in a two-year trial

2007

Helmed "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke

Photo Collections

12 Angry Men - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from 12 Angry Men (1957), starring Henry Fonda. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Network - Movie Posters
Here are a few original American movie posters from Network (1976), starring Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, and Robert Duvall.

Videos

Movie Clip

Group, The (1966) - More Pantheistic After the rushed wedding of a fellow 1933 graduate of an un-named New England ladies' college, Dottie (Joan Hackett) with Dick (Richard Mulligan), artist and bohemian pal of the groom, in The Group, 1966, Sidney Lumet's film from Vassar grad Mary McCarthy's novel.
Group, The (1966) - Dottie Renfrew Is Engaged Director Sidney Lumet resumes his narrative device with Kathleen Widdoes as college “class scribe” Helena typing, Joan Hackett as Dottie on the train, to a 1930-something New York party hosted by Kay and her boozy playwright husband (Joanna Pettet, Larry Hagman), Jessica Walter, Shirley Knight, et al conversing, in The Group, 1966.
Group, The (1966) - Landlord, Fill The Flowing Bowl Somewhat bawdy English traditional song Landlord, Fill The Flowing Bowl among several choral pieces opening Sidney Lumet's The Group, 1966, introducing classmates Joan Hackett, Candice Bergen, Shirley Knight, Joanna Pettet et al, and their valedictorian Kathleen Widdoes.
Group, The (1966) - Not To The Manor Born New England ladies' college graduates led by "Lakey" (Candice Bergen) at the speedily arranged New York wedding of classmate Kay (Joanna Pettet) to aspiring playwright Harald (Larry Hagman) in Sidney Lumet's The Group, 1966, from the Mary McCarthy novel.
Network (1976) - The Popular Rage TV entertainment executive Diana (Faye Dunaway in her Academy Award-winning role) first with her assistant (Conchata Ferrell) then with network big shot Hackett (Robert Duvall), raving about the anchorman gone-mad, in Paddy Chayefsky's Network, 1976.
Network (1976) - Open, Howard Beale Howard K. Smith, John Chancellor and Walter Cronkite appear in narrated opening to Sidney Lumet's Network, 1976, which also introduces Howard (Peter Finch) and Max (William Holden), from Paddy Chayefsky's script.
Anderson Tapes, The (1971) - Did I Scare You? Still unaware of the manifold surveillance operations arrayed against him, Duke (Sean Connery, title character) visits his ex-con pal “The Kid” (Christopher Walken, in his first studio feature film) in a Manhattan electronics shop, enlisting help in a high-end burglary, in director Sidney Lumet’s The Anderson Tapes, 1971.
Anderson Tapes, The (1971) - You've Had The Operation? Newly paroled thief "Duke" Anderson (Sean Connery) visits Tommy (Martin Balsam), an antique dealer sporting Nehru jacket and ascot, to discuss business in Sidney Lumet's The Anderson Tapes, 1971, from Lawrence Sanders' novel.
Anderson Tapes, The (1971) - Open, I Feel Deeply Moved Profane opening from Sidney Lumet's The Anderson Tapes, 1971, based on the trend-setting first novel by Lawrence Sanders, finds thief "Duke" Anderson (Sean Connery) in group therapy, about to be released from prison, Anthony Holland as the obsequious shrink.
Anderson Tapes, The (1971) - Diving For Sponges Just released from prison, thief "Duke" Anderson (Sean Connery) has a proposal for semi-reformed mobster Angelo (Alan King), neither knowing they're under surveillance, in this case by feds, Ralph Stanley (a.k.a. Raoul Kraushaar) the consigliere, in Sidney Lumet's The Anderson Tapes, 1971.
Anderson Tapes, The (1971) - Credits, No Hot Water Quincy Jones music and Sean Connery (as "Duke" Anderson) being released from prison, in the only credit sequence ever to feature the words "and introducing Christopher Walken," from Sidney Lumet's The Anderson Tapes, 1971, from the Lawrence Sanders novel.
Anderson Tapes, The (1971) - I Want To Eat It! Christopher Walken (as "The Kid") in almost his first movie role, ushering fellow ex-cons Duke (Sean Connery) and "Pop" (Stan Gottleib) back into society via the Port Authority Bus Terminal in The Anderson Tapes, 1971, from Lawrence Sanders' novel.

Trailer

Group, The (1966) -- Original Trailer No doubt attributable to producer Charles K. Feldman, who invested heavily in the book by Vassar graduate, novelist and political essayist/agitator Mary McCarthy, the luxurious trailer for the partly autobiographical The Group, 1966, with commentary by all the members, Joan Hackett, Elizabeth Hartman, Shirley Knight, Mary-Robin Redd, Jessica Walter, Kathleen Widdoes, Joanna Pettet and Candice Bergen.
That Kind Of Woman (1959) -- Original Trailer Theatrical trailer for the unsuccessful but ambitious racy semi-comedy, starring Sophia Loren, produced by her husband Carlo Ponti, directed by Sidney Lumet, with teen heart-throb Tab Hunter as the leading man, That Kind Of Woman 1959.
Dog Day Afternoon (1975) -- (Original Trailer) The newsy original trailer for Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon, 1975.
Stage Struck (1958) -- (Original Trailer) A young actress makes all the wrong moves trying to break in on Broadway in STAGE STRUCK (1958) starring Susan Strasberg and Henry Fonda, directed by Sidney Lumet.
Serpico - (Original Trailer) A rookie (Al Pacino) risks his life going undercover to ferret out police corruption in Serpico (1973) directed by Sidney Lumet.
Anderson Tapes, The - (Original Trailer) A thief (Sean Connery) plans a heist in a building full of surveillance cameras in Sidney Lumet's The Anderson Tapes (1971).
12 Angry Men - (Original Trailer) Henry Fonda is the lone holdout against convicting a Puerto Rican youth in the jury duty drama 12 Angry Men (1957).
Deadly Affair, The - (Original Trailer) A secret agent investigates the tangled affairs surrounding a government official's suicide in The Deadly Affair (1966) starring James Mason.
Pawnbroker, The - (Original Trailer) A Harlem pawnbroker (Rod Steiger) tries to cope with his changing neighborhood while haunted by memories of the concentration camps in The Pawnbroker (1965).
Long Day's Journey Into Night - (Wide release trailer) Katharine Hepburn and a great cast star in Sidney Lumet's movie of Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962), Eugene O'Neill's play about his own family's terrible secrets.
Network - (Re-issue Trailer) Television programmers turn a deranged news anchor into "the mad prophet of the airwaves" in Network (1976) starring Peter Finch.
Murder on the Orient Express - (Original Trailer) Belgian detective Hercule Poirot investigates the murder of a mysterious businessman on a train ride in Murder on the Orient Express (1974)starring Albert Finney.

Family

Baruch Lumet
Father
Actor, director. Born 1898; began his career in Poland, worked at the Yiddish Art Theatre in NYC, then on and off Broadway; in 1939, devised one-man show, "Monotheatre Varieties", and toured with it for seven years; appeared on TV and in films, including several of his son's; was director of Dallas Institute of Performing Arts (1953-1960); wrote and starred in play "Autumn Fever" (1975).
Eugenia Wermus
Mother
Actor.
Amy Lumet
Daughter
Actor, editor. Born c. 1965; mother, Gail Buckley; was engaged to author P J O'Rourke in 1990.
Jenny Lumet
Daughter
Actor. Born c. 1967; co-starred in father's "Q & A" (1990), among others; mother, Gail Buckley.

Companions

Rita Gam
Wife
Actor. Divorced in 1955.
Gloria Vanderbilt
Wife
Socialite, fashion designer, author. Married on August 27, 1956; divorced in 1963.
Gail Lumet Buckley
Wife
Actor, writer. Married on November 23, 1963; divorced in 1978; daughter of actor-singer Lena Horne.
Mary Gimbel
Wife
Married in 1980.

Bibliography

"Making Movies"
Sidney Lumet, Vintage Books (1995)

Notes

Comparing himself to another NYC filmmaker Woody Allen: "The world [Allen is] dealing with is really his own inner world. He is intensely self-involved and trying to figure out, 'why am I an unhappy Jew?' I'm not belittling that. But I, from that kind of New York left wing upbringing, I look at the outside for sources of unhappiness. Whatever I'm contributing to it from my own psyche I don't think is very interesting to anyone, because it's not very interesting to me." --Sidney Lumet in Daily News, May 19, 1997.

On a movie he might have made: "Well, I had 'The Last Temptation of Christ', Nikos Kazantzakis' book, under option for about three years, then dropped it. I couldn't get a deal on it anywhere. Then, of course, Marty [Scorsese] did it wonderfully. And all I could think of, with the attacks on Marty, a Catholic fellow, was, 'Thank God I didn't do it!' That's all they needed was a Jew to have directed it. There would have been blood on the street." --Sidney Lumet, The Hollywood Reporter New York Special Issue, June 10, 1997.

"My job is to care about and be responsible for every frame of every movie I make. I know that all over the world there are young people borrowing from relatives and saving their allowances to buy their first cameras and put together their first student movies, some of them dreaming of becoming famous and making a fortune. But a few are dreaming of finding out what matters to them, of saying to themselves and to anyone who will listen, 'I care.' A few of them want to make good movies." --Sidney Lumet writing in "Making Movies".

"It's not as if you're kidding anybody, it's out there and it's a stinker, and everybody can see it." Lumet also told Madison magazine: "[Directors] are capable of total self-deception. Especially since there can be 20 other motives for making the movie. Like, you want the money. About a movie, it's not a vision, it's work." --From "Page Six" in New York Post, February 23, 1999.