RETROSPECTIVE OF “THE QUINTESSENTIAL NEW YORK FILMMAKER” WILL FEATURE GUEST APPEARANCES BY TREAT WILLIAMS, ARMAND ASSANTE, PAUL CALDERON, SCREENWRITER WALTER BERNSTEIN, FORMER NYPD NARCOTICS DETECTIVE ROBERT LEUCI, AND JUDGE EDWIN TORRES.
Literally born into the business as the son of actors from the Yiddish theater, Sidney Lumet began acting at the age of four, and made his Broadway debut at age 11 and first film appearance at 15. But it was as a director—first in the new medium of television and later in movies—that he found his true calling, drawing on his experience in front of the camera to become the very definition of an “actor’s director.” From 12 Angry Men in 1957 to Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead in 2007, Lumet averaged a film per year, leading 17 performers to Oscar nominations (six of whom won), and running the gamut from scabrous satires and fever-pitch melodramas to iconic police stories and even a musical—more often than not with the city of New York as his canvas. He was, in the words of Woody Allen, “the quintessential New York filmmaker,” whether telling gritty stories of urban corruption or adapting classics of the Broadway stage. On the occasion of his passing earlier this year at age 86, we remember this extraordinary career with a look back at 16 Lumet classics.