The Top 100 Greatest New Yorkers — #61
Sidney Lumet (1924 – 2011)
One of history’s most prolific filmmakers, Sidney Lumet has set his movies in locations as diverse as London, Istanbul, and rural Russia. But he always came back to his signature city for the grit and bite that he knew how to portray like no other. From his first movie (12 Angry Men) to his last (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead), New York has been an intrinsic character that makes the story feel as though it couldn’t be set anywhere else. In between those remarkable bookends came The Pawnbroker, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Prince of the City, and Night Falls on Manhattan, to name a few. Five Best Director nominations and one Life Achievement Award later, Lumet had become indelibly identified with the city, amassing a resume filled with psychodrama, social justice issues, and Jewish guilt.
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