Sidney Lumet Movies

Want to know the best Sidney Lumet movies?  How about the worst Sidney Lumet movies?  Curious about Sidney Lumet box office grosses or which Sidney Lumet movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Sidney Lumet movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

Sidney Lumet (1924-2011) is a 5-time Oscar® nominated writer, producer and director. He received a Honorary Oscar® in 2005.  His IMDb page shows over 73 directing credits from 1952-2007. This page ranks 43 Sidney Lumet movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, shorts, video games and documentaries were not included in the rankings.

Sidney Lumet directing Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2007’s Before The Devil Knows Your Dead

Sidney Lumet Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

  • Sort Sidney Lumet movies by co-stars of his movies.
  • Sort Sidney Lumet movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Sidney Lumet movies by yearly box office rank
  • Sort Sidney Lumet movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations each Sidney Lumet movie received and how many Oscar® wins each Sidney Lumet movie won.
  • Sort Sidney Lumet movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Sidney Lumet Table

  1. Five Sidney Lumet movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 11.63% of his movies listed. Dog Day Afternoon (1975) is his biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Sidney Lumet movie grosses  $47.90 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using’s 60% fresh meter.  27 Sidney Lumet movies are rated as good movies…or 62.79% of his movies.  12 Angry Men (1957) is his highest rated movie while Lovin’ Molly (1974) is his lowest rated movie.
  4. Twelve Sidney Lumet movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 27.90% of his movies.
  5. Three Sidney Lumet movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 6.97% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 40.00.  14 Sidney Lumet movies scored higher that average….or 32.53% of his movies.  Dog Day Afternoon (1975) got the the highest UMR Score while Garbo Talks (1984) got the lowest UMR Score.

Sidney Lumet directing Marlon Brando in 1960’s The Fugitive Kind

Possibly Interesting Facts About Sidney Lumet

1. Sidney Arthur Lumet was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1924.

2. Sidney Lumet served the United States Army as a radar technician in the Far East during World War II.

3. Sidney Lumet began his directorial career in Off-Broadway productions, then became a highly respected TV director. His first movie was 1957’s 12 Angry Men  12 Angry Men is currently ranked as the 5th best movie on

4. Sidney Lumet was nominated for 5 Oscars® (4 directing & 1 writing) and 6 Golden Globes® (all for directing).  He won the Golden Globe® for 1976’s Network.

5. Sidney Lumet’s Honorary Oscar® was for his “brilliant services to screenwriters, performers, and the art of the motion picture.”

6. Sidney Lumet was considered “an actor’s director”.  Want proof?  Lumet’s movies earned a combined 41 Oscar® nominations.  18 of those nominations was acting nominations.

7. Sidney Lumet directed 17 different actors in Oscar®-nominated performances: Katharine Hepburn, Rod Steiger, Al Pacino (two times), Ingrid Bergman, Albert Finney, Chris Sarandon, Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch, Beatrice Straight, William Holden, Ned Beatty, Peter Firth, Richard Burton, Paul Newman, James Mason, Jane Fonda and River Phoenix. Bergman, Dunaway, Finch and Straight won oscars for their performances in one of Lumets movies.

8. Sidney Lumet was married 4 times and had two children.  His daughter, Amy Lument, is a movie producer while his daughter, Jenny Lument is an actress.

9. Sidney Lumet directed Sean Connery 5 times.  He was one of Connery’s favorite directors.  Lumet directed James Mason and Jack Warden 4 times.  Lumet directed Henry Fonda 3 times as well as Henry’s daughter Jane once.  Lumet was one of the first people to use Bruce Willis in a movie.  In the following You Tube video you get Saw’s Jigsaw and Die Hard’s John McClane behind and to the right of Paul Newman.


10. Check out Sidney Lumet’s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

Just for Bob: According to Roger Ebert, Sidney Lumet had a theory about why Marlon Brando‘s performances were so uneven. In a review of a bad film starring Brando, Ebert outlined this idea in detail: Lumet said that on the first scene he filmed for any director, Brando would do exactly two takes. In one of the takes, Brando would be putting technical skill and background research into his reading, and in the other he would simply recite his lines as blandly as possible. If the director used the bland take, Brando would proceed to sleepwalk though his performance for the entirety of filming.

Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.  Golden Globe® is a registered trademark of the Hollywood Foreign Press.


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22 thoughts on “Sidney Lumet Movies

  1. Hi STEVE 1 Bruce’s new page on Sidney Lumet has made me keen to see how your video on him matches up and as I’ve already posted quite a few comments on this site about Sidney I’ll go straight to a ‘review’ of the video.

    2 I loved the POSTERS for Risky Business, Fail Safe and Sir Maurice’s Death Trap and both of the ones for 12 Angry Men impressed me with their originality. I was glad to see that you included Guilty as Sin, a little Lumet film in his declining years but one which I’ve always particularly liked. Certainly when he began making movies in the mid 1950s he wouldn’t have gotten away with some of the scenes that he gave temptress Rebecca DeMornay in that one!

    2 You have strayed onto Work Horse’s front lawn by giving stats on grosses instead of artistic ratings though you have not been as reckless as him in trying to give supporting players like Loy, Brennan and Thelma credit for the grosses. Though you have apparently ranked the selections according to size of gross it is hard to quarrel anyway with the 5 that have risen to the top in your video and indeed 3 of those 5 are in WH’s ranked Top 5 Lumet movies.

    3 I have been meaning to look in on some of your director videos but have been prevented by the rate at which you and WH keep throwing new profiles at us so I’ll not try to rate this Lumet video until I have seen sufficient of you director ones to establish reasonable standards of comparison but you may be assured that I have thoroughly enjoyed your homage to Sid.
    4 Incidentally I was very taken with your Pacino solo still. “At college we called him Little Al but he’s Big Al now” said a friend of the diminutive Alfredo James after the release of Godpop. It is a pity that my Alan hadn’t got into a Godfather as maybe he too would have become known as “Big Al” though on a site like this I cannot apply the nickname beyond Alan!

    1. Hi Bob, thanks for checking out my Sidney Lumet video, much appreciated.

      Did he direct Risky Business? I’m confused, isn’t that the Tom Cruise comedy our commandante has put near the top of Cruise’s ‘best films ever’ chart on his page? [wink]

      So, is it ‘Loo Met’ or ‘Loo May’? I’m guessing it’s ‘La Met’.

      I wonder who’s taller Pacino or Hoffman? They’re both tiny human beings but they still tower over Danny De Vito who’s only about 3ft 6.

      1. Hey Steve….funny comment…..though Mr. DeVito might not think so. Risky Business is a classic from our youths….but Mr. Lumet had nothing to do with it. Paul Brickman was the director….and he only directed two movies….the other one? 1990’s Men Don’t Leave. 🙂

  2. 1 BRUCE Sidney’s The Verdict sits in my DVD library alongside classics like On the Waterfront, his own 12 Angry Men and his Guilty as Sin. I consider 12 Angry Men to be the best ensemble-dependent movie that I personally have ever seen and it along with the likes of Liberty Valance, Shane, Sir Maurice’s A Shock to the System, Godpop and Waterfront is one that my brother in Australia takes down from his DVD shelf at least once a year for repeat viewing [and orders anyone else in the room to either stop talking or “get out!”]. Indeed my brother who like me is a Brando/Wayne/Peck/Laddie fan gave me as a present my copy of 12 Angry Men.

    2 As for the Verdict which too is one of my all-time favourite films I loved the ironic scene at the end where a now-successful, sober Newman an alcoholic ambulance-chaser at the start of the film sits drinking coffee whereas his girlfriend who betrayed him takes to the booze and he won’t return her phone calls! Wonderful stuff! [Never knew that H of Demi was in that one until you mentioned it].

    3 Other Lumet movies that appealed to me especially were Q and A, The Hill, Sir Maurice’s Death Trap and the little known 1993 Guilty as Sin starring Don Johnson and the “where is she now?” sexy Rebecca DeMornay.

    4 I liked your little miniature from the Verdict and the one from The Fugitive Kind depicting the two Young Greats in their prime. Matt Damon has made a party piece in interviews of poking fun at his great pal Matthew McConaughey’s alleged compulsion to bare his chest in movie so I wonder how Damon would react to Sidney in your still! Anyway to Steve’s now signature “Vote up” I will add my own Thumbs Up to this excellent profile.

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