The Verdict

(1982)

Genres: Drama

David Poland: Sidney Lumet

Transcript for David Poland: Sidney Lumet

CHRISTY LEMIRE
Ok, he brought us more than 50 films. Among them, “Dog Day Afternoon,” “Network” and “The Verdict.” Sidney Lumet died April 9th in New York. David Poland takes a look back at Lumet’s remarkable career. 

DAVID POLAND
The great director Sidney Lumet has passed away.  Some people define him by the fact that he always shot in New York City, some people say he wasn’t much of a stylist because he didn’t believe in great big fancy camera moves.  I would say he was one of the great stylists of the human heart.  And perhaps his specialty was taking the strongest of men and the most beautiful of men and breaking them down, making them go places we never considered that they might be able to go.

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DAVID
People loved Henry Fonda in Lumet’s 12 Angry Men understandably.  But it wasn’t until a couple years later when they made Fail-Safe together, that he as the president, had to confront an idea that was almost beyond comprehension.

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DAVID
Lumet transformed Al Pacino from the very uptight Michael Corleone in The Godfather to Serpico, a man of the moment.  A man of sex and energy and violence.  But that was nothing compared to what he did a few years later in Dog Day Afternoon when Pacino played a gay, married, very frustrated bank robber.

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DAVID
In Network, he took the legendary and beautiful William Holden and made him face his mortality on camera. 

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DAVID
So many actors working with Lumet looking to do something they had never done before and perhaps would never do again. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke in Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead, Nick Nolte in Q&A.  A 38-year-old Albert Finney as Hercule Poirot.  And Sean Connery pushing away from all things Bond in 6 movies with Lumet.

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DAVID
And of course, there’s Paul Newman in The Verdict. 

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DAVID
We thank you Mr. Lumet.  We thank you for all the work, we thank you for defining manhood the way you did.  We thank you for the movies.

CHRISTY:
Thanks for that David, we really appreciate it.  You know I love Fail Safe, it is so precise and so powerful and then you look at something like Network and it’s so relevant still today.

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY
You know one of my favorite Lumet films if not my favorite Lumet film is Find Me Guilty.  His second to last movie which stars Vin Diesel and he gets this amazing performance out of Diesel and just speaks to Lumet’s talent for working with actors.