|Activity||American film director, with over 50 films to his name, including the critically acclaimed 12 Angry Men (1957), Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976) and The Verdict (1982), all of which, except for Serpico (1973), earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Director. He also directed Fail Safe (1964) that was involved in a law suit bought by Stanley Kubrick and Columbia.|
According to The Encyclopedia of Hollywood, Lumet is one of the most prolific directors of the modern era. He has made more than one movie per year on average since his directorial debut in 1957. He is noted for his ability to draw major actors to his projects which has allowed him to make many ambitious movies for over fifty years.
One of his steady themes during his career has been the "fragility of justice and the police and their corruption," according to Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film. He can deliver "powerhouse performances from lead actors," and fine work from character actors and is today one of the foremost figures of New York moviemaking. His sensitivity to actors and to the rhythms of the city have made him "America’s longest-lived descendant of the 1950s Neorealist tradition and its urgent commitment to ethical responsibility."
Lumet began as an off-Broadway director, then became a highly efficient TV director. His first movie was typical of his best work: a well-acted, tightly written, deeply considered "problem picture," 12 Angry Men (1957). Since then, Lumet has divided his energies among other idealistic problem pictures along with literate adaptations of plays and novels, big stylish pictures, and New York-based black comedies. As a result of directing Twelve Angry Men, he is also responsible for leading the first wave of directors who made a successful transition from TV to movies.
He is considered to be one of the most reliable and dependable talents of the last half-century. As a result, in 2005 he received an Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement for his "brilliant services to screenwriters, performers, and the art of the motion picture."
Active: 1939 -