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Sidney Lumet

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February 20, 2006
"We're all ... big snobs about action heroes. It's what we used to do with beautiful actresses ... if you're an action hero and a star, it means you cannot act -- despite the fact that we know different." Sidney Lumet on how he over came snobbery about action heroes to cast Vin Diesel in Find Me Guilty.
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By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | January 14, 2011
The AFI Silver celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day each year with free screenings of "King: A Filmed Record … Montgomery to Memphis. " It's never been more pertinent. This year, at this moment, it provides a tonic for the soul. The movie delivers nuance and power simultaneously. Its central message is shaming, inspiring and stunning, all at once. When the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. urges his supporters to fight "physical force" with "soul force," his eloquence and tempered zeal can still bring you to your feet.
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FEATURES
October 8, 2001
You can say all you want that ER and Law & Order are television's best dramas, and I won't argue. But my absolute favorite drama is Sidney Lumet's 100 Centre Street, which returns for its second season tonight at 9 on A&E. Alan Arkin's performance as Joe Rifkind, a highly ethical and battle-tested night court judge in Manhattan, would be reason enough to sing the praises of this series. Arkin acts the way B.B. King plays guitar: not one extraneous note. It's a performance as pristine, precise and resonant as haiku.
NEWS
By Stephen Kiehl | December 3, 2006
Memo to: New York From: Stephen Kiehl and the citizens of Baltimore Yo, New Yorkers! Listen up, you arrogant punks: We want John Waters back. Sure, we allowed you to flirt with him for a while, to seduce him with your 24-hour pizza parlors and cultural riches. We understood: John turns trash into gold. He would be an asset to any city. But he belongs to us. So we weren't threatened when he took an apartment in Greenwich Village. We didn't lose sleep when we saw pictures of him at those fancy-pants New York parties.
NEWS
By Joan Mellen and Joan Mellen,Special to The Sun | March 19, 1995
'Making Movies,' by Sidney Lumet. 220 pages. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. $23TTC Sidney Lumet is our urban movie director. From his first, '12 Angry Men' to 'Guilty As Sin,' Lumet's films tackle issues. Their characters are policemen, lawyers, criminals, outcasts and they often find themselves in trouble on the streets of New York. A storyteller first, Lumet has been an actor's director: 'I love long speeches,' he admits. The 'Pawnbroker,' 'Serpico,' 'Dog Day Afternoon' and 'Network' are all his. If he hasn't won an Oscar, it's in part because he's made only one of his 39 movies in Hollywood, 'The Morning After.
FEATURES
By Michael Ollove and Michael Ollove,SUN STAFF | May 16, 1997
"Night Falls on Manhattan," a drama ostensibly about police corruption and situational ethics, leaks credibility like a birthday balloon with a pinprick.The punctures are delivered by a plot that is implausible, characters who are caricatures and twists you can spot a subway stop away. By its climax, "Night Falls on Manhattan" doesn't have a prayer of delivering any appreciable pop at all.Who would believe that director and screenwriter Sidney Lumet, whose credits include "Twelve Angry Men" and "The Verdict," could make a movie so lacking in authority?
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | January 15, 2001
I have a new favorite prime-time drama: Sidney Lumet's "100 Centre Street." Yes, that Sidney Lumet, the 76-year-old director of such splendid feature films as "Serpico"; "12 Angry Men"; and "Dog Day Afternoon." He created this exquisitely stark series about the grit and grind, life and death, inside New York City's criminal courts at 100 Centre Street. It's A&E's first weekly drama, and I hope it runs forever. The series is so dark it's almost film noir, from the lonely jazz trumpet notes wafting over the opening credits to the deadly consequences that result when characters give in to their passions.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | November 13, 2001
NEW YORK - It was a backstage, pop-culture moment to be treasured. Last week, I came to New York - to an old, rambling, rust-belt warehouse across the East River from Manhattan in Queens, where the A&E cable series 100 Centre Street is filmed. I came on a kind of pilgrimage to see the making of this gritty series about life in and around New York's night court and to meet its creator, Sidney Lumet, the legendary 77-year-old director of such acclaimed films as 12 Angry Men, Network and Dog Day Afternoon.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 17, 2006
"I'm no gangster, I'm a gagster" is the line most apt to be quoted from Find Me Guilty, the story of a convict who was both. It's not that funny even when you hear it in the movie. Vin Diesel plays the fact-based role of Giacomo "Jackie Dee" DiNorscio. Already in prison, he refused to cut a deal, then served as his own counsel during the longest criminal trial in U.S. history: the federal prosecution of 20 members of New Jersey's Lucchese crime family on 76 racketeering-related charges.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | June 4, 1993
In "Guilty as Sin," Don Johnson plays the role he was made for -- a geek bearing a gift: himself.The movie is essentially a remake of "Jagged Edge," without the jags or the edge. Johnson plays the socially prominent, sexually menacing yet darkly attractive defendant in a complex murder case, while the beautiful lawyer who defends, possibly loves and is terrified by him is played by Rebecca De Mornay. Not even close!Johnson is suspected of giving his wealthy wife the heave-ho from 26 floors up to a rude landing on Chicago's Michigan Avenue, and his prints are all over the window and the sill.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | March 17, 2006
"I'm no gangster, I'm a gagster" is the line most apt to be quoted from Find Me Guilty, the story of a convict who was both. It's not that funny even when you hear it in the movie. Vin Diesel plays the fact-based role of Giacomo "Jackie Dee" DiNorscio. Already in prison, he refused to cut a deal, then served as his own counsel during the longest criminal trial in U.S. history: the federal prosecution of 20 members of New Jersey's Lucchese crime family on 76 racketeering-related charges.
FEATURES
February 20, 2006
"We're all ... big snobs about action heroes. It's what we used to do with beautiful actresses ... if you're an action hero and a star, it means you cannot act -- despite the fact that we know different." Sidney Lumet on how he over came snobbery about action heroes to cast Vin Diesel in Find Me Guilty.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mike Szymanski and Mike Szymanski,ZAP2IT.COM | March 3, 2005
Sure, he's known for fast driving (The Fast and the Furious), alien killing (The Chronicles of Riddick), extreme sports (XXX) and even the voice of a gentle giant (The Iron Giant), but no one could predict Vin Diesel would get along so well with babies as he did on the set of The Pacifier. "It was incredible watching him with the kids -- he's always wanted a big family, and someday he'll make a great dad," predicts Adam Shankman, who directed the action star in perhaps his most sensitive role -- as a Navy SEAL assigned to protect five kids.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | July 3, 2004
By his professional methods and by his personal stands, the legendary actor was far ahead of his time. Marlon Brando's extraordinary emotional intelligence expressed itself in every inch of his body for every second - the phrase "being in the moment" might as well have been coined for him. Of course, other actors in New York and Hollywood had been as physically expressive as Brando (think Cagney) and as naturalistic (think Barbara Stanwyck). But Brando went deeper and further: his urgent sensitivity and imagination gave his performances a poetic dimension that transcended realism.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | November 13, 2001
NEW YORK - It was a backstage, pop-culture moment to be treasured. Last week, I came to New York - to an old, rambling, rust-belt warehouse across the East River from Manhattan in Queens, where the A&E cable series 100 Centre Street is filmed. I came on a kind of pilgrimage to see the making of this gritty series about life in and around New York's night court and to meet its creator, Sidney Lumet, the legendary 77-year-old director of such acclaimed films as 12 Angry Men, Network and Dog Day Afternoon.
FEATURES
October 8, 2001
You can say all you want that ER and Law & Order are television's best dramas, and I won't argue. But my absolute favorite drama is Sidney Lumet's 100 Centre Street, which returns for its second season tonight at 9 on A&E. Alan Arkin's performance as Joe Rifkind, a highly ethical and battle-tested night court judge in Manhattan, would be reason enough to sing the praises of this series. Arkin acts the way B.B. King plays guitar: not one extraneous note. It's a performance as pristine, precise and resonant as haiku.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Mike Szymanski and Mike Szymanski,ZAP2IT.COM | March 3, 2005
Sure, he's known for fast driving (The Fast and the Furious), alien killing (The Chronicles of Riddick), extreme sports (XXX) and even the voice of a gentle giant (The Iron Giant), but no one could predict Vin Diesel would get along so well with babies as he did on the set of The Pacifier. "It was incredible watching him with the kids -- he's always wanted a big family, and someday he'll make a great dad," predicts Adam Shankman, who directed the action star in perhaps his most sensitive role -- as a Navy SEAL assigned to protect five kids.
NEWS
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | June 16, 1996
NEW YORK -- They look like an unlikely pair -- the Baltimore producer and the New York playwright.The producer, Kathy Levin, is tall, blond and bristling with energy. The playwright, Cynthia Ozick, is short, gray, bespectacled and, as she puts it, "older than Kathy's mother."But they've been working together a long time. After seven years and 18 drafts, "The Shawl," the first play by Ozick -- a distinguished novelist and essayist -- opens off-Broadway at Playhouse 91 on Thursday. And it probably wouldn't have happened without Levin's persistence.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | January 15, 2001
I have a new favorite prime-time drama: Sidney Lumet's "100 Centre Street." Yes, that Sidney Lumet, the 76-year-old director of such splendid feature films as "Serpico"; "12 Angry Men"; and "Dog Day Afternoon." He created this exquisitely stark series about the grit and grind, life and death, inside New York City's criminal courts at 100 Centre Street. It's A&E's first weekly drama, and I hope it runs forever. The series is so dark it's almost film noir, from the lonely jazz trumpet notes wafting over the opening credits to the deadly consequences that result when characters give in to their passions.
FEATURES
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | July 5, 1998
Since television was introduced to the throngs at the New York World's Fair in 1939, TV and the movies have had a curious relationship: at times hostile, at times mutually supportive and even, on rare occasions, spurring each other to greater creativity.Film and television have become so symbiotic it's difficult to believe that when TV was first introduced, the movie industry refused to have anything to do with it. Until the mid-1950s, the studios forbade their stars from appearing on television, and banned their films from being shown on the dreaded box.By 1956, the folly of such strategies had been made clear by two groundbreaking TV events: The huge success of ABC's "Disneyland" series, which not only was a hit with audiences but also provided valuable cross-promotion for Disney's theme park and feature films; and the 1956 airing on CBS of "The Wizard of the first feature film ever to be shown on television, and proof positive that Hollywood's movies could be invaluable programming fodder for the networks.
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