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Sidney Lumet: His Life and His Films is the first-ever biography of this seminal American director whose remarkable life traces a line through American entertainment history. His biography takes us from the world of Yiddish theater to Broadway spectacles, then inside the Federal Theater, the Group Theatre, the Actors Studio, and the early “golden age” of television - all of which precede Lumet’s astonishing five-decades-long adventure in movie making.
Acclaimed as the ultimate New York movie director, Lumet began his directing career with the now classic Twelve Angry Men, and there followed such landmark New York films as Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, and Network. Most noted for contemporary urban dramas, his remarkably varied output included award-winning adaptations of plays by Anton Chekhov, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, and Eugene O’Neill, whose Long Day’s Journey into Night featured Katharine Hepburn and Ralph Richardson in their most devastating performances.
His renown as an “actor’s director” attracted an unmatched roster of stars, among them: Henry Fonda, Sophia Loren, Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, Ethan Hawke, and Philip-Seymour Hoffman, accruing 17 Oscar nods for his actors along the way.
His personal life was full of surprises, with four marriages to remarkable women, all of whom opened their living rooms to Sidney’s world of artists and performers, from Marilyn Monroe to Leonard Bernstein and Michael Jackson. With the help of exclusive interviews with family, colleagues, and friends, author Maura Spiegel provides a vibrant picture of the extraordinary life and work of a director whose influence is felt through generations. This is a book that anyone interested in American film of the twentieth century will not want to miss.