Today we bring you some very sad news, directing legend Sidney Lumet has sadly passed away at the age of 86. He leaves behind a back catalogue of nearly 40 movies. The man was a genius, he made a string of great movies and although starting in television, his cinematic debut was 12 Angry Men, now considered one of the greatest films of all time, and the brilliance continued from there. But his talent as a filmmaker didn’t stop after that, particularly his paranoid movies of the 70s which he will mostly be known for.
His name becomes known with mainstream audiences when you bring up films like Serpico and the wonderful The Murder on the Orient Express, Prince of the City, The Verdict and more recently Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. He was also the first person to bring Peter Shaffer’s controversial play Equus to the screen, starring Richard Burton.
The film which probably defines his career, and is still one of the most angry and spiky films ever made, is Network, the brilliant insider movie on the machiavellian plans of production executives at a television station to exploit the growing madness of a news anchorman before his honest truth telling to mass audiences leads them to silence him once and for all. It is a dark allegorical film which is a perfect depiction of post-Nixon America, the performances from Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Ned Beatty and Robert Duvall are fantastic and the sharp script by Paddy Chayefsky is still relevant today.
We have lost a true great. Sidney Lumet (1924 – 2011).