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Sidney Lumet: A Life

Sidney Lumet: A Life

by Maura Spiegel


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The first-ever biography of the seminal American director whose remarkable life traces a line through American entertainment history

Acclaimed as the ultimate New York movie director, Sidney Lumet began his astonishing five-decades-long directing career with the now classic 12 Angry Men, followed by such landmark films as Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, and Network. 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.

Renowned as an “actor’s director,” Lumet 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 eighteen Oscar nods for his actors along the way.

With the help of exclusive interviews with family, colleagues, and friends, author Maura Spiegel provides a vibrant portrait of the life and work of this extraordinary director whose influence is felt through generations, and takes us inside the Federal Theater, the Group Theatre, the Actors Studio, and the early “golden age” of television.

From his surprising personal life, with four marriages to remarkable women—all of whom opened their living rooms to Lumet’s world of artists and performers like Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson—to the world of Yiddish theater and Broadway spectacles, Sidney Lumet: A Life is a book that anyone interested in American film of the twentieth century will not want to miss.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250030153
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/10/2019
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 542,904
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Maura Spiegel is a born and bred New Yorker, and has been teaching literature and film at Columbia University for over two decades. She is co-director of the Division of Narrative Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she teaches film to first year medical students. She has published articles on many subjects including the history of the emotions, Charles Dickens, Victorian fashion and film, and diamonds in the movies.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

1 Yiddish Roots 5

2 Family Stories 15

3 Mother and Son 31

4 A Broadway Education 41

5 Brother and Sister 66

6 A Second Home: The Group Theatre 81

7 What the Camera Sees 97

8 GI Jew: Eating Ham for Uncle Sam 108

9 Coming Home 129

10 Marriage Take One: A Season in Bohemia 137

11 Television: Worlds Within Worlds 153

12 Marriage Take Two: Mr. and Mrs. Mouse 169

13 The Making of 12 Angry Men 183

14 Career Moves 199

15 Marriage Take Three: Maybe This Time … 227

16 Men at Work 251

17 Marriage Take Four: Print It 272

18 Acquainted with the Night 285

19 Parents and Children 299

20 Make It Personal 314

21 Life All Around 337

22 All in All 361

Filmography and Sources 365

Bibliography 369

Index 383

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