Legendary film director Sidney Lumet died of lymphoma this morning at the age of 86. Lumet directed over 50 films, including American classics like Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, and Network. His films were nominated for over 40 Academy Awards, and Lumet himself was nominated for Best Director four times, although he never won (he was given an honorary Academy Award in 2005).
This is a guy whose career began with 1957′s 12 Angry Men and ended with 2007′s Before the Devil Knows Your Dead. Anyone who can maintain that level of quality for decades deserves our admiration and respect. His films have influenced generations worth of filmmakers, and have shaped the discourse around societal issues such as media ethics and the rule of law.
His death comes as a bit of a shock to me; Lumet kept making films basically until the end, so the idea that he’s gone now is a difficult one to get used to. He’s made an indelible mark on the history of cinema, and he will certainly be missed.
What are your favorite Sidney Lumet films? Have any of his films impacted your life? Feel free to share in the comments below.