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Presented with Bryn Mawr Film Institute
In a career that spanned more than fifty years, Philadelphia-born Sidney Lumet defied genre boundaries, resisted Hollywood's edict of moral simplicity, and silenced the chorus of critics that claimed his best work was behind him by making 2007's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. He directed it all: courtroom dramas (The Verdict); Motown musicals (The Wiz); tales of big-city corruption (Prince of the City); literary adaptations (of work by Eugene O'Neill, Anton Chekov, Agatha Christie, and others); and heist movies (Dog Day Afternoon).
Over the course of these and the other forty diverse films on his résumé, Lumet worked with a variety of settings, genres, and source material, but what remained decidedly constant over time is his depiction of, in the words of one film historian, "the quintessential hero acting in defiance of peer group authority and asserting his own code of moral values."
Join us to explore a small sampling of Lumet's work, including his debut film, 12 Angry Men (1957), as well as The Pawnbroker (1964) and Network (1976), and learn why he was called "a master of the morally complex American drama."