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Sidney Lumet, 86, passes away

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Sidney Lumet, Oscar-nominated director of such classics as “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Network” and “12 Angry Men,” has passed away. He was 86.

Born in Philadelphia, Lumet began his career with Off-Broadway productions before graduating to TV and film work in the 1950s and 60s. He was most prolific in the 1970s and ‘80s, collaborating with giants like Paul Newman and Al Pacino.

Lumet actually received an honorary Oscar in 2005, but never triumphed in the Best Director category for his own work. Still, his body of work – which included “Serpico,” “Running on Empty,” “The Verdict” and 2007’s riveting “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” — will be studied by film lovers for generations.

We’re still trying to figure out the cause of Lumet’s death. The Hollywood legend, a powerhouse of gritty filmmaking, will be missed.

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Photo courtesy of PRPhotos.com.

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • April 9, 2011 | Permalink |

    though it is rarely listed as part of his incredible opus, ‘daniel’ is my favorite film of all time. an unheralded classic, it adapts the e.l. doctorow book ‘book of daniel’ and puts mandy patinkin and lindsay crouse unforgettably to service as the julius and ethel rosenberg-styled characters, with timothy hutton and amanda plummer both deeply compelling as tortured, fictionalized children and soon-to-be political orphans. what was the true nature of their parents’ execution? was it a government conspiracy or a planned self-sacrifice? how can some children ever fathom the depths of feeling abiding within parents who are unrepentant zeolots at the height of cold war frenzy? a largely great supporting cast led by uncle-by-default ed asner as the rosenberg’s overwhelmed lawyer. complex, challenging, rich, political, ideological, flawed, a maze of dead ends, and, oddly and remarkably, ultimately inspirational. i am not a huge movie buff but i can recite so many lines and scenes by heart. i shall forever thank lumet, doctorow and their team (who i understand worked below scale as a labor of love) to give us this gift of a film. imperfect, yet still the best of all to me. what more can i say to make you see it? or…. to a select few of you: to make you RE-SEE it?? please, please do, if you can find it. yes, we know the top-line lumet classics so well. try this one and you will add it to the list, to be sure. goodbye and thank you for all your wonderful work, sidney lumet

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