One of film’s greats er borte. Lumet begynte karrieren med å lage 12 Angry Men, eller 12 edsvorne menn, med bla. Henry Fonda. En uforglemmelig film. Å debutere med en slik film sier noe om talentet.
Lumet laget 45 filmer, deriblant Dog Day Afternoon, the Pawnbroker, the Verdict, Network. Hans siste var Before the Devil knows you’re Dead, med Philip Seymour Hoffman og Ethan Hawke, et ganske mørkt, eksistensielt familiedrama.
Lumet er en ekte new yorker, ujålete, direkte.
Rolling Stone hadde et fint intervju med ham i 2008:
Q: I’ll start by saying congratulations. It’s been fifty years since you made your first movie, 12 Angry Men. Devil is your forty-fifth feature.
You’re putting me on. I’m not, and you know it. Are these tributes getting to be a pain in the ass? In all honesty, I don’t look at my movies. When they’re over, they’re over. If I run across one of them on the box, I might look in for five minutes. As for that honorary Oscar, I think maybe they’re saying, «We’re surprised you’re still alive» [laughs]. You usually get these things a few months before you die. The last thing I know anything about is the thinking on the West Coast. They called me out there from New York when 12 Angry Men came out and got nominated. I was the hot thing, you know, the new flavor. They had this picture they wanted me to do with 5,000 battleships, the works. And I said to the studio head, «Look, all you see in my movie is twelve guys in a jury room. How do you know I can do this?» And he said, «We’re looking for a young Lewis Milestone.»
Q: Didn’t he win an Oscar for directing All Quiet on the Western Front?
Right. Lewis was in his early sixties, and I happened to know that he had developed a case of shingles because he couldn’t get a fucking job. The irritation and frustration had mounted to such a degree that he was wearing white gloves to hide the rash. So I asked, «What’s wrong with the old Lewis Milestone?» That broke up the meeting fast [laughs].