Roger L. Simon

Poliwood remembers Sidney Lumet, a true artist who transcended his politics

Lionel and I pay homage to the recently deceased Sidney Lumet in the latest POLIWOOD. Combing through his films for the show, it was amazing how many good ones there were. We only touch on a few of the stand-outs. You may have others.

Several salient factors made Lumet’s career now appear more impressive than some vaunted “auteurs” of yore. He worked with many terrific writers (Chayefsky, Mamet, etc.) so that his stories tend to last. He also surrounded himself with wonderful talent in all areas. On top of that, although he came from a very liberal tradition, he rarely let his politics dominate his filmmaking. And lastly, he never left New York for Hollywood. Wise move. See if you agree with Lionel and me on POLIWOOD. (BTW, photo at left is Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon… “Attica! Attica!”)