[Press release from the Cleveland Museum of Art.]
For 50 years, Sidney Lumet (1924–2011) was one of America’s most prolific, heralded, and dependable filmmakers. His movie career, which produced such classics as Network, Fail-Safe, The Pawnbroker, and The Verdict, began in 1957 with Twelve Angry Men. But during the five years before that he directed almost 40 episodes of TV shows. Born to two Yiddish theater performers, Lumet dabbled in acting until he turned to directing. His films, many adapted from acclaimed stage plays and novels, were celebrated for their superb performances. They also reflected his progressive political bent, his concern for societal justice, his fascination with personal conscience, and his love for New York City, where many of his best movies were set.
Lumet is now the subject of a new documentary, showing on November 11. During subsequent weeks we will screen nine of Lumet’s more than 40 feature films, all from 35mm prints. Some of his best-known works (Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon) will rub elbows with others that are lesser known but equally well regarded. Three of the movies feature Lumet’s favorite actor—not Al Pacino, but Sean Connery.
Curator of Film
All films (except the first) directed by Sidney Lumet. All shown in the Morley Lecture Hall. Except as noted, all films are $11; CMA members, seniors 65 & over, students $9; no CMA Film Series vouchers.
By Sidney Lumet Fri/Nov 11, 7:00. Directed by Nancy Buirski. Four-time Oscar-nominated director Sidney Lumet (Network, Serpico) discusses his five-decade film career in a revealing interview recorded three years before his 2011 death. Ample film clips. “An entertaining, beautifully assembled film” —Hollywood Reporter. Cleveland premiere. (USA, 2015, color/b&w, Blu-ray, 104 min.) Admission $9; CMA members, seniors 65 & over, students $7; or one CMA Film Series voucher.
Murder on the Orient Express Sun/Nov 13, 1:30. Wed/Nov 16, 6:45. With Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, et al. Agatha Christie’s ace detective Hercule Poirot questions the first-class passengers on board a posh 1930s train to discover which of them murdered an American businessman found stabbed in his cabin. (UK, 1974, color, 35mm, 128 min.)
Serpico Wed/Nov 23, 6:45. Fri/Nov 25, 6:45. With Al Pacino. An idealistic, maverick New York City cop blows the whistle on his corrupt brethren in blue, imperiling his own safety. Based on a true story. (USA/Italy, 1973, color, 35mm, 130 min.)
Dog Day Afternoon Wed/Nov 30, 6:45. Fri/Dec 2, 6:45. With Al Pacino and John Cazale. A bungled Brooklyn bank robbery by a first-time thief spirals into a tense hostage crisis and chaotic media circus. This outrageous, Oscar-winning drama was inspired by a true case. (USA, 1975, color, 35mm, 130 min.)
Running on Empty Sun/Dec 4, 1:30. With River Phoenix, Christine Lahti, and Judd Hirsch. A fugitive family consisting of two former radicals and two children, on the run from the FBI since the 1970s, comes to a crossroads when the older teen son wants to embark on a life of his own. A neglected, wrenching masterpiece. (USA, 1988, color, 35mm, 116 min.)
The Hill Wed/Dec 7, 6:45. With Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, and Ian Bannen. Soldiers serving time in a British military prison in North Africa during World War II bristle at the demeaning dictates of the camp’s brutal commander. (UK, 1965, b&w, 35mm, 122 min.)
Prince of the City Sun/Dec 11, 1:30. With Treat Williams and Jerry Orbach. In this masterful crime epic based on a true story, a New York City cop who blows the whistle on departmental corruption no longer knows who his friends are. “Serpico all over again, but revised, enlarged, and immeasurably improved” —Time Out Film Guide. (USA, 1981, color, 35mm, 167 min.)
The Group Wed/Dec 14, 6:15. Fri/Dec 16, 6:15. With Candice Bergen, Joan Hackett, Elizabeth Hartman, et al. This kaleidoscopic film charts the loves and lives of eight diverse female classmates at a Vassar-like college, from their graduation in 1933 to the eve of World War II. “A beautifully crafted and brilliantly acted adaptation of Mary McCarthy’s novel” —Time Out Film Guide. (USA, 1966, color, 35mm, 150 min.)
The Offence Wed/Dec 21, 7:00. Fri/Dec 23, 7:00. With Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, and Ian Bannen. A veteran police detective snaps while interrogating an accused child molester. “My choice for the best Sidney Lumet film you’ve probably never seen . . . Connery gives his most fearless performance” —Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly. (UK/USA, 1973, color, 35mm, 112 min.)
The Fugitive Kind Wed/Dec 28, 6:45. Fri/Dec 30, 6:45. With Marlon Brando, Anna Magnani, and Joanne Woodward. In this film version of Tennessee Williams’s Orpheus Descending, a disreputable drifter in a small Mississippi town begins a love affair with his female employer, angering her ailing husband. (USA, 1960, b&w, 35mm, 120 min.)