The Sidney Lumet Movie Listby brickley220 | created - 09 Apr 2011 | updated - 11 Apr 2011 | Public
It was sad to hear that one of my favourite Directors passed on today. Sidney Lumet was born in Philidelphia, Pennsylvania on the 25 June 1924 and passed away on Saturday 9 April 2011 at his family home in Manhattan of lymphoma. In addition to a large amount of Stage and TV work, Sidney was responsible for bringing many socially aware movies to the big screen for our education and enjoyment. A lot of his movie material originated as plays and he very often retained the Ensemble element in the film. Known as 'The Actor's Director' he was well respected in the Industry, although being based on the East Coast kept him out of the Lime Light enjoyed by some of his contemporaries. This is the second list where I am paying tribute to the artist's work by including film titles that I have not seen (yet) in Chronological Order. I doubt that there is any reader who will not have seen at least one of the following, please enjoy:
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1. 12 Angry Men (1957)
Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama
A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.
After an active career on the stage and learning how to shoot quickly whilst filming hundreds of TV episodes, Lumet turned his hand to the 'Art' of moviemaking. With Henry Fonda leading an ensemble cast of twelve top drawer actors in this acclaimed piece of movie legend, based upon the play, filmed in a single room and subject to many parodies since. Nominated for three Academy Awards this debut as a Director reflected the quality of Sidney Lumet's apprenticeship within the profession. "Well, I'm not used to supposin'. I'm just a workin' man. My boss does all the supposin' - but I'll try one. Supposin' you talk us all out of this and, uh, the kid really did knife his father?"
2. Stage Struck (1958)
Approved | 95 min | Drama, Romance
A young woman arrives in New York City determined to become a great theatrical star, but discovers that her goal may not be as easily attainable as she had hoped.
Another movie based upon a stage production with Henry Fonda as the leading man, this film was less claustrophobic, albeit filmed entirely in New York. New Englander Eva Lovelace (Susan Strasberg) intends to make her mark on Broadway whatever the consequences. Whilst Katherine Hepburn had set the standard for this role in the 1933 film 'Morning Glory' based upon the same play, Mr Lumet's cast managed to exceed it, thus proving that Sidney was not a 'one trick pony'. "You're a hungry little girl - the theater's offering you a feast."
3. That Kind of Woman (1959)
92 min | Drama, Romance, War
In June 1944, Kay and Jane travel on an overnight train from Miami to New York, accompanied by Harry. Kay is the mistress of "The Man", a rich industrialist, whom they are to meet so that ... See full summary »
Another Ensemble cast with the story that starts upon a train travelling from Miami to New York City. Kay (Sophia Loren) and her friend Jane (Barbara Nichols) meet two paratroopers Red (Tab Hunter) and George (Jack Warden). Kay and Red form a relationship but she is surprised when he calls at her New York apartment. Will she give up her wealthy sponsor 'The Man' (George Sanders) for True Love with Red? "Being in love creeps up on you."
4. The Fugitive Kind (1960)
Approved | 119 min | Drama, Romance
Valentine "Snakeskin" Xavier, a trouble-prone drifter trying to go straight, wanders into a small Mississippi town looking for a simple and honest life but finds himself embroiled with problem-filled women.
Based upon Tennessee Williams' play 'Orpheus Descending' this film takes place in the Deep South where guitar playing drifter Valentine "Snakeskin" Xavier (Marlon Brando) gets a job working for a Lady (Anna Magnani) and gets pursued by the unladylike Carol (Joanne Wooward). The usual Williams chemistry set starts bubbling with Xavier as the catalyst. "It's been said that a woman can burn a man down... I can burn a woman down."
5. A View from the Bridge (1962)
110 min | Drama
Eddie Carbone, a Brooklyn longshoreman is unhappily married to Beatrice and unconsciously in love with Catherine, the niece that they have raised from childhood. Into his house come two ... See full summary »
This film is based upon Arthur Miller's play 'A View from the Bridge' and is a traditional tragedy brought up to date in 1950's New York. Eddie (Raf Vallone) and his wife Beatrice (Maureen Stapleton) look after his neice Catherine (Carol Lawrence). Eddie becomes jealous of illegal immigrant Rodolpho (Jean Sorel) who starts seeing Catherine and decides to inform the authorities. It ends horribly for all concerned and lessons should be learned from the stupidity of ego. "It is you that have killed my children."
6. Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)
Not Rated | 174 min | Drama
Over the course of one day in August 1912, the family of retired actor James Tyrone grapples with the morphine addiction of his wife Mary, the illness of their youngest son Edmund and the ... See full summary »
Another film based upon a successful Broadway play with an excellent cast, Katharine Hepburn (Mary Tyrone) was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress in a Leading Role, although Anne Bancroft won the Oscar in 1963 for the Miracle Worker. This film concentrates upon a day in the life of the troubled Tyrone family, another talented and powerful Ensemble that really gets the tale told. "This damned library of yours: Voltaire and Rousseau and Schopenhauer. And Ibsen... Atheists, fools and madmen! And your poet, this... "Baudelaire." And Swinburne, and Oscar Wilde. Whitman and Poe... Whoremongers and degenerates! When I've got three good sets of Shakespeare there you can read..."
7. The Pawnbroker (1964)
Approved | 116 min | Drama
A Jewish pawnbroker, victim of Nazi persecution, loses all faith in his fellow man until he realizes too late the tragedy of his actions.
This time the screenplay was adapted from the novel about the after effects of a man's suffering during the Holocaust in Europe in WWII. I will always remember the graphic scenes as Sol Nazerman (Rod Steiger) has flashbacks of his terrible experiences. Unfortunately he alienates himself from the community and even his own staff, resulting in a tragic climax to the movie. It was one of Steiger's favourite roles, he was nominated for the 1966 Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, losing to Lee Marvin in 'Cat Ballou'. "No, no, Miss Birchfield, I am not 'bitter'. No, that passed me by a million years ago. I'm a man of no anger. I have no desire for vengeance for what was done to me. I have escaped from the emotions. I am safe within myself. All I ask and want is peace and quiet."
8. Fail-Safe (1964)
Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Thriller
American planes are sent to deliver a nuclear attack on Moscow, but it's a mistake due to an electrical malfunction. Can all-out war be averted?
I will always remember reading 'Fail-Safe' and then thinking that Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove was based on its premise. Then I saw this movie which made me realise how close to total extermination the Human Race had brought itself. It was nobody's fault, just a glitch in the system is a common excuse today when that 'Glitch' could still mean a tragedy beyond our comprehension. With Henry Fonda as the President who has to call the shots (literally) it paints a stark reality on this everyday story of Military folk. "They're good men, we've seen to that. If their orders are attack, the only way you're going to stop them is to shoot them down."
9. The Hill (1965)
Approved | 123 min | Drama, War
In a North African military prison during World War II, five new prisoners struggle to survive in the face of brutal punishment and sadistic guards.
Again I remember reading the book about 'The Hill', a moving punishment for military offenders in a desert 'Glasshouse' during WWII, before seeing the film. It may not appear to be an ensemble play at first glance but it is and a very powerful one too. Just watching this film starring Sean Connery, Harry Andrews, Ian Bannen and Ian Hendry with Michael Redgrave as the Medical Officer, made me want to be a good soldier and stay on the 'straight and narrow'. Filmed very effectively in Black and White, this was Lumet's first of five movies with Connery. "We're all doing time. Even the screws."
10. The Group (1966)
Approved | 150 min | Drama
In June 1933, eight young women, who are close friends and members of the upper-class group at South Tower College, to graduate and start their adult lives. The film documents the years ... See full summary »
It is back to New York for this story of College Graduates during the 1930s from the Play of the Book. Candice Bergen leads the core of talented female artists who raised some contraversial stones (for the 1960s) on subjects from lesbianism to contraception and free love to abortion. I believe that although it was placed in the 30s this film had messages for the young people of the 60s. It was beautifully filmed with some excellent cameo appearances throughout the plot. "I'm appalled by all this vulgar breeding."
11. The Deadly Affair (1966)
Not Rated | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A British agent sets out to uncover the hidden facts behind a British government employee's suicide.
Back to the UK with an excellent spy story based upon John le Carré's novel 'Call For The Dead'. Charles Dobbs (James Mason) is a British Intelligence Officer who is carrying out a routine investigation when evidence fails to match up. He calls in a favour from a retired policeman, Inspector Mendel (Harry Andrews) as he suspects a leak inside his department and then things really kick off. Dobbs get pressure from above to drop the case whilst he and Mendel walk further into jeopardy. Five BAFTA nominations, but no wins, unfortunately. "Why him? Why did you have to kill an old boy who wasn't even a threat to you?"
12. Bye Bye Braverman (1968)
Approved | 94 min | Comedy, Drama
Four Jewish intellectuals carpool to the funeral of their old friend Leslie Braverman, who died suddenly at age 41.
I have only ever seen this film on TV although I believe that a DVD release is now available. The film is from Wallace Markfield's novel 'To An Early Grave' and is full of Jewish humour as four intellectuals attempt to attend a friend's funeral (The belated Mr Bravreman) with comic results. Irony and sarcasm abound as the quaint quartet travel around New York City trying to arrive at the right cemetary in time to honour their late lamented pal. Norman Wisdom would have felt quite comfortable with this ensemble, who are constantly scene stealing with their witty comments. "That on the Day of Judgment in the Valley of Jehoshaphat you'll be called up. Either to everlasting life or to such a shaming there's no imagining how terrible."
13. The Sea Gull (1968)
G | 141 min | Drama, Romance
An aging actress named Irina Arkidana pays summer visits to her brother Pjotr Nikolayevich Sorin and her son Konstantin on a country estate. On one occasion, she brings Trigorin, a ... See full summary »
An excellent Anglo/ American version of Chekov's 1896 classic play about people using each other. Lumet fills his characters with actors that he knows and trusts, Trigorin (James Mason), Arkadina (Simone Signoret), Sorin (Harry Andrews), Nina (Vanessa Redgrave) and Konstantin (David Warner). It is a difficult subject to present but I believe that Lumet caught the essence of Chekov's work in this splendid production. "Here I am talking to you, I'm all worked up, and still I can't forget for a minute that I've got a story to finish."
14. The Appointment (1969)
R | 115 min | Drama, Romance
The lawyer Federico Fendi has reasons to believe that his wife Carla in secret is Rome's highest paid prostitute.
Italian lawyer Federico Fendi (Omar Sharif) believes that his new wife Carla (Anouk Aimée) is moonlighting as a highly paid prostitute in Rome. In this psychological drama based on the story by Antonio Leonviola, the plot ends in a disaster for all concerned. I have not seen this movie but I understand that the suits at MGM panicked and chopped up a perfectly good production because it did not have a Hollywood ending. If it is a Lumet film, it will not have a typical Hollywood ending chaps. Such tardy film executives should end their days serving at tables or selling second hand cars. "I will never do any harm." - Hippocrates. Should apply to Film Studios as well.
15. The Last of the Mobile Hot Shots (1970)
X | 100 min | Drama
After winning a game show contest, a newlywed couple travels to New Orleans where the husband seeks to reclaim his ancestral plantation mansion from his biracial stepbrother.
The screenplay by Gore Vidal is based on the Tennessee Williams play 'The Seven Descents of Myrtle'. Myrtle (Lynn Redgrave) and Jeb (James Coburn) are newlyweds who get married on a television show shortly after meeting. They return to Jeb's ancestral home, a decaying mansion occupied by his multiracial half-brother Chicken (Robert Hooks). Myrtle shuttles back and forth between the two men while all their sordid pasts unfold via a series of flashbacks. In the meantime the river is threatening to break its banks and flood everything. This film was made in New Orleans and St. Francisville, Louisiana and apparently it was released as 'Blood Kin' in Europe. Sorry that I have not seen it, not sure but I hope that you will comment.
185 min | Documentary, Biography, History
Follows Martin Luther King's life and decades long civil rights activism.
This is a 1970 American documentary film biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., presented in the form of newsreel footage and segments of recordings by Dr. King, framed by celebrity narrators. It was originally shown at theatres as a "one-time-only" event on 24 March 1970, and ran 3 hours and 5 minutes. The proceeds from the $5 admission price was donated to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Special Fund. It was later shown on US television, unedited and with limited interruption. This sounds like an epic production and worth a watch sometime.
17. The Anderson Tapes (1971)
GP | 99 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
After Duke Anderson is released from prison after ten years for taking the rap for a scion of a Mafia family, he cashes in a debt of honor with the mob to bankroll a caper.
Votes: 5,756 | Gross: $5.00M
Back to a movie I have seen. This story revolves around a robbery being planned by Duke Anderson (Sean Connery) and his girlfriend Ingrid (Dyan Cannon). This story would not be too outdated today except that now we accept surveillance as a normal part of our lives. Not so in 1971 when Duke suddenly finds that every move he has made has been recorded for posterity. Nonetheless it is a toss up as to which party are more embarrassed, the hapless crooks or the various agencies and police who failed to co-ordinate their activities. It is egg over everyone's faces in the big finale when the raid goes awry. "Some business guy steals a bank, he's a big success story. Face in all the magazines. Some other guy steals the magazine and he's busted."
18. The Offence (1973)
R | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A burned-out British police detective finally snaps while interrogating a suspected child molester.
Back to Britain for this story about Police brutality based upon the play 'This Story of Yours' by John Hopkins. Detective Sergeant Johnson (Sean Connery) kills a suspect (Ian Bannen) whilst questioning him during an investigation on a series of attacks upon children. The film deals with the pressures that affect Johnson in the course of his job and I can remember scenes from nearly forty years ago as if I had seen them yesterday. Lumet shot so efficiently that he completed the filming in one month at a cost of $1 Million. "But they're scum. I'm not like that at all."
19. Child's Play (1972)
PG | 100 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
At an exclusive boys' school, a new gym teacher is drawn into a feud between two older instructors, and he discovers that everything at the school is not quite as staid, tranquil and harmless as it seems.
Based upon the play of the same name by Robert Marasco this film is about the rivalry between two faculty members at St. Charles, an exclusive Roman Catholic boarding school for boys. Joseph Dobbs (Robert Preston) is an easy-going, well-liked English teacher, while Latin and Greek instructor Jerome Malley (James Mason) is feared and hated by his students. Paul Reis (Beau Bridges) is a former pupil who returns as a PE teacher and who unsuccessfully tries to mediate between the two antagonists. Again it has a strong ensemble with violence occurring amongst them, but not in an horrific manner. It is a subtle outbreak of mayhem that appears to inconvenience rather than shock this staid establishment.
20. Serpico (1973)
R | 130 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
An honest New York cop named Frank Serpico blows the whistle on rampant corruption in the force only to have his comrades turn against him.
Votes: 91,371 | Gross: $29.80M
Starring Al Pacino as Detective Frank Serpico who was a real New York cop that ended up giving up a lot of corrupt officers that had been on the 'take'. The film covers about twelve years of Serpico's service up until he gave evidence to the 'Knapp Commission'. The film is a 'Must See Movie' as Serpico is threatened and betrayed by his corrupt colleagues on the force. It was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Screenplay. "The reality is that we do not wash our own laundry - it just gets dirtier."
21. Lovin' Molly (1974)
R | 98 min | Drama, Romance
Spanning nearly 40 years from 1925 to 1964, two Texas farm boys, straight-arrow Gid and laid-back Johnny, fight over the affections of the beautiful and headstrong Molly Taylor, who ... See full summary »
Based on Larry McMurtry's novel 'Leaving Cheyenne' this story is about Molly Taylor (Blythe Danner) and the two men that she keeps turning down. Apparently it was not one of Lumet's best films, possibly because it was set in Texas and not Manhatten. "A woman's love is like the morning dew: it's as apt to settle on a horse turd as a rose."
22. Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
PG | 128 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
In December 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before.
Ah! Back to an ensemble cast in a confined space and one of Agatha Christie's best mystery murders. I have often agreed with the comment that the train itself was a character in this period piece of Hercule Poirot's (Albert Finney) pinnacle of perplexion. You do not need to know the plot, just sit down for two hours and enjoy yourself. I am sure that you will pleased to learn that Ingrid Bergman won her third Academy Award for her performance in this movie. "Only by interrogating the other passengers could I hope to see the light, but when I began to question them, the light, as Macbeth would have said, thickened."
23. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
R | 125 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.
Votes: 209,244 | Gross: $50.00M
Inspired by P.F. Kluge's article "The Boys in the Bank", which tells a similar story of the robbery of a Brooklyn bank in 1972, the script by Frank Pierson of this exciting film, was the only winner out of six nominations for an Academy Award. Most of you know the plot already, Sonny (Al Pacino) and Sal (John Cazale) go to the Bank to make a withdrawal, of the armed variety. It starts to go wrong and before long the local police want to interview them and so the drama really kicks off. "What's he doing? Go back there man! He wants to kill me so bad he can taste it! Huh? ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA!"
24. Network (1976)
R | 121 min | Drama
A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit.
This is more like it, nominated for Ten Academy Awards, winner of Four. Peter Finch (posthumous - the first actor to do so) for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Faye Dunaway for Best Actress in a Leading Role, Beatrice Straight for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Paddy Chayefsky for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. It is a satire about a fictitious Broadcating Network which fires its News anchor man Howard Beale (Peter Finch). Mr. Beale is not the average employee however and his performance on camera starts to increase his ratings.....How will it all end? "But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!" "
25. Equus (1977)
R | 137 min | Drama, Mystery
A psychiatrist attempts to uncover a troubled stable boy's disturbing obsession with horses.
Back to Britain with a cast headed by Richard Burton as psychiatrist, Martin Dysart, who is involved in an investigation into the savage blinding of six horses with a metal spike in a stable in Hampshire, England. Whilst interviewing the lad responsible (Peter Firth) Dysart has to confront some demons of his own. Based on Peter Shaffer's play of the same name the plot is heavy going but worth hanging in there if you are a serious film fan. Nominated for Three Academy Awards, won none. "I only know that he was my little Alan - and then the devil came."
26. The Wiz (1978)
G | 134 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
An adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" that tries to capture the essence of the African-American experience.
Votes: 12,034 | Gross: $21.05M
This movie was adapted from the Broadway show of the same name and is an African-American version of the classic childrens story by L. Frank Baum. Dorothy (Diana Ross) is a 24 year old schoolteacher from Harlem who gets lost in a snowstorm and has adventures with a Scarecrow (Michael Jackson), a Tinman (Nipsey Russell) and a Lion (Ted Ross). It was a critical and commercial failure in the cinemas at the time but has made a comeback over the years as children's entertainment with a certain adult appeal. It received Four Academy Award nominations but no Awards. Evilene the Witch (Threatening to burn Toto) "Would you like sauerkraut or mustard, my dear, on your hot dog?"
27. Just Tell Me What You Want (1980)
R | 112 min | Comedy, Romance
A TV producer who is the mistress of her boss, tries to have him make their relationship more permanent, and begins a relationship with a younger man. When her boss hears of this, he tries ... See full summary »
Votes: 468 | Gross: $2.09M
This is a RomCom with attitude as Bones Burton (Ali MacGraw) a upwardly mobile television producer tires of her married boyfriend Max Herschel (Alan King) who apart from being her Boss, will not commit to her. Bones starts dating playwright Steven Routledge (Peter Weller) but Max is not one to give in without a fight. Max's secretary Stella Liberti is played by the wonderful Myrna Loy in her last motion picture appearance. "Marriage, it's the quintessential deal... just tell me what you want."
28. Prince of the City (1981)
R | 167 min | Crime, Drama
A New York City narcotics detective reluctantly agrees to cooperate with a special commission investigating police corruption. However, he soon discovers that he's in over his head, and nobody can be trusted.
Votes: 5,933 | Gross: $8.12M
This movie is a crime drama about an NYPD officer who chooses to expose police corruption for idealistic reasons. Daniel Ciello (Treat Williams) was based on a real Narcotics Detective, Robert Leuci from Robert Daley's book of the same name. This was Jerry Orbach's career changing role, leaving the stage for the screen and he is great at stealing scenes. 'Prince of the City' was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, but lost to 'On Golden Pond'. "You got your mind made up to try me? Go ahead and try me. But not for a lousy 400 dollars. At least get me for assault."
29. Deathtrap (1982)
PG | 116 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery
A Broadway playwright puts murder in his plan to take credit for a student's script.
Votes: 10,140 | Gross: $19.28M
Deathtrap is a 1982 thriller film based on Ira Levin's play of the same name about a playwright, Sidney Bruhl (Michael Caine) with writers' block. One of his students, Clifford Anderson (Christopher Reeves) has a worthy script and accepts Sidney's invitation to discuss it. The acting is great and brave but I shall leave it to the audience to make up their mind about the plot, which is clever but in my opinion somewhat contrived. "Darling, though I might be capable of killing Clifford Anderson, I am not up to the criminal behavior of a Broadway producer."
30. The Verdict (1982)
R | 129 min | Drama
A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.
Votes: 30,251 | Gross: $54.00M
This film was adapted by David Mamet from the novel by Barry Reed and deals with a down and out Lawyer. Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) has been given an easy case by his ex-partner (Jack Warden) but decides not to settle out of court in the usual manner. What follows is a tense courtroom drama which was nominated for Five Academy Awards. "You know you guys are all the same. You don't care who gets hurt. You're a bunch of whores. You'd do anything for a dollar. You got no loyalty... No nothing... You're a bunch of whores."
31. Daniel (1983)
R | 130 min | Drama
Daniel Isaacson attempts to determine the true complicity of his parents Paul and Rochelle Isaacson, who were executed for espionage in the 1950s.
Votes: 958 | Gross: $0.28M
This film was adapted by E. L. Doctorow from his novel The Book of Daniel and is the fictionalized story of Daniel Isaacson (Timothy Hutton) whose parents were executed as Soviet spies. Daniel becomes involved in the antiwar protest movement at College and decides that his parents were wrongfully convicted. It is a thought provoking piece of artwork concerning those who are martyred for their cause. The execution scenes were filmed in the former death chamber at Sing Sing Prison utilizing the electric chair that once sat there.
32. Garbo Talks (1984)
PG-13 | 103 min | Comedy, Drama
The son of a woman dying of a brain tumour tries to fulfil his mother's last wish: to meet Greta Garbo.
Votes: 1,272 | Gross: $1.49M
This is a comedy-drama picture about a dying mother, Estelle Rolfe (Anne Bancroft) who wants to meet the elusive film star Greta Garbo before she passes on. Her son Gilbert Rolfe (Ron Silver) is tasked with making his mother's last wish come true and in doing so changes his whole lifestyle to accomodate the task. The plot moves slowly towards a satisfying climax but the moral has nothing to do with Garbo but with how we treat each other in life. "If your head's in the toilet, don't blow bubbles."
33. Power (1986)
R | 111 min | Drama
After a close friend drops out of politics, a political consultant helping to find a replacement finds a web of corruption and deceit as well.
Votes: 2,373 | Gross: $3.80M
This political drama focuses on the activities of consultant Pete St. John (Richard Gere). Pete is asked by an old friend, Senator Sam Hastings of Ohio (E.G. Marshall) to assist his replacement candidate, Jerome Cade (J.T. Walsh) in attaining the Senatorial position. While he is engaged upon this task Pete finds out that all is not well in the State of Ohio and he becomes involved in some evil deeds. "You have the ballot. But who has the power?"
34. The Morning After (1986)
R | 103 min | Crime, Mystery, Romance
A washed up, alcoholic actress who is prone to blackouts wakes up next to a murdered man. Did she kill him and, if not, is she in danger?
Votes: 5,114 | Gross: $25.15M
Actress Alex Sternbergen (Jane Fonda) wakes up next to a murdered man and remembers nothing from the night before. Whilst at the airport, Alex meets an ex-policeman Turner Kendall (Jeff Bridges) who believes in her story. Alex's hairdresser husband Joaquin Manero (Raúl Juliá) wants to divorce her, as he has fallen in love with socialite Isabel Harding (Diane Salinger). The chemistry between Alex and Turner is good but they keep tripping over the murder, especially when the body reappears. Jane Fonda was nominated for an Academy Award and she might have got it too, if only she had left her blonde wig on. "Honey, I'm a drag queen, not a transvestite. I don't buy no house dresses."
35. Running on Empty (1988)
PG-13 | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Music
The eldest son of a fugitive family comes of age and wants to live a life of his own.
Votes: 11,783 | Gross: $2.84M
Danny Pope (River Phoenix) wants a normal life because ever since he was two years old his parents have been dodging the law. Arthur Pope (Judd Hirsch) and his wife Annie (Christine Lahti) were responsible for destroying a Napalm factory and accidentally injuring a janitor in the 1970s and have been running ever since. The film deals with Danny having to choose between his parents or a career as a pianist. It has some wonderful scenes in it and requires at least a pack of tissues per sitting. Also it was nominated for Two Academy Awards. "What are we doing to these kids? They've been running their whole lives like criminals, and they didnt do anything!"
36. Family Business (1989)
R | 110 min | Crime, Drama
Jessie is an aging career criminal who has been in more jails, fights, schemes, and lineups than just about anyone else. His son Vito, while currently on the straight and narrow, has had a ... See full summary »
Votes: 10,634 | Gross: $12.20M
Sean Connery is back as Jessie McMullen, a semi-retired villain who had raised his son Vito (Dustin Hoffman) to succeed him. Vito however went straight as he did not want his son Adam (Matthew Broderick) to follow the Family Business. So when Adam has a plan for a lucrative burglary Vito is shocked but Jessie is interested. The caper goes wrong and Jessie ends up paying the bill in jail, Families are funny like that. Although the film had poor reviews, the acting was great, the timing was good but somewhere it just lacked that thing that brings it all together to be perfect. Nonetheless it is worth watching to see these three masters strut their stuff. "Come on. Let's pay our respects to the grieving widow before she falls flat on her face, drunk."
37. Q & A (1990)
R | 132 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A young district attorney seeking to prove a case against a corrupt police detective encounters a former lover and her new protector, a crime boss who refuses to help him in this gritty ... See full summary »
Votes: 4,474 | Gross: $11.21M
This crime drama was also co-written by Sidney Lumet from a book by New York Judge Edwin Torres. Whilst dealing with a homicide case a young assistant district attorney Aloysius "Al" Reilly (Timothy Hutton) realises that it not a straightforward justifiable shooting by NYPD cop Mike Brennan (Nick Nolte). Brennan is bad enough but the case is complicated by his ex-lover Nancy Bosch (Jenny Lumet) and her husband Roberto 'Bobby Tex' Texador (Armand Assante). The atmosphere is thick with hate and the acting is realistically gritty. "All the time, it's our life that's on the line. It's our widows and our orphans! Now you're a rogue cop, you mick bastard! You went from our side to their side."
38. A Stranger Among Us (1992)
PG-13 | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Detective Emily Eden is a tough New York City cop forced to go undercover to solve a puzzling murder. Her search for the truth takes her into a secret world of unwritten law and unspoken ... See full summary »
Votes: 3,065 | Gross: $12.28M
In this crime caper Emily Eden (Melanie Griffith), is an NYPD homicide detective, that goes undercover to investigate the murder of a Hasidic diamond-cutter. Emily solves the case but has to be saved during the process by one of the Jews she has befriended. The film received a poor press and Melanie received the Razzie Award for Worst Actress. It was however James Gandolfini's debut film performance and the world of Orthodox Jews proved to be very interesting. "With due respect, sir, inside every honest man, there's a thief trying to get out... "
39. Guilty as Sin (1993)
R | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A female lawyer takes an accused wife-murderer as a client, but finds herself morally compelled to betray him one way or another.
Votes: 4,040 | Gross: $22.89M
This crime story had Melanie Griffith's other half as the leading man in this lawyer/ client conflict. David Edgar Greenhill (Don Johnson) engages defence attorney Jennifer Haines (Rebecca DeMornay) to represent him in a homicide case concerning the death of his wife. The more Haines gets to know her client the less she thinks of him but she is bound by their legal relationship. It all develops into a cat and mouse game between them which is going to end badly for one or the other. "Yeah, well, oh, sometimes you gotta get rid of the old to make way for the new, you know what I mean?"
40. Night Falls on Manhattan (1996)
R | 113 min | Crime, Drama
A newly elected District Attorney finds himself in the middle of a police corruption investigation that may involve his father and his partner.
Votes: 5,650 | Gross: $9.88M
Sidney Lumet wrote the screenplay as well, based upon Robert Daley's novel 'Tainted Evidence'. Sean Casey (Andy Garcia) is a newly elected assistant district attorney who vows to stamp out corruption in the NYPD (sound familiar). Then Sean gets to prosecute the case against Jordan Washington (Shiek Mahmud-Bey), a local drug dealer who shot and wounded Sean's father Liam (Ian Holm). The plot proceeds like a steam train as Washington is found guilty and then the DA turns up dead. Where will it all end up? "In a city of nine million people is there room for one honest man?"
41. Critical Care (1997)
R | 107 min | Comedy, Drama
Werner Ernst is a young hospital resident who becomes embroiled in a legal battle between two half-sisters who are fighting over the care of their comatose father. But are they really ... See full summary »
Votes: 1,561 | Gross: $0.14M
One of my favourite Actresses, Helen Mirren plays the head nurse, Stella in this dark satire about the American medical system. Dr. Werner Ernst (James Spader) heads the strong ensemble cast that show up the faults and gaps that occur in the treatment of patients in USA Hospitals. Whilst I am sure that much of it is for dramatic effect I would also suggest that there is no smoke without fire. "Where have you been all your life? It's called revenue!"
42. Gloria (1999)
R | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A street-wise, middle-aged moll named Gloria stands up against the mobs, which is complicated by a six-year-old urchin with a will of his own who she reluctantly takes under her wing after ... See full summary »
Votes: 4,844 | Gross: $4.16M
This film is a remake of John Cassavetes 1980 movie of the same name, which starred Gena Rowlands in the title role. In Sidney's version it is Sharon Stone who gets out jail and into a street full of trouble as she tries to save the life of a 6 year old boy. There are those who love the original and those who can see good things in Miss Stone's interpretation of the role. However at least Sharon won an Award, another Razzie for one of Sidney's leading lady. It was also George C. Scott's final role in a feature motion picture. "Sean, if you were any dumber, I'd have to water you."
43. Strip Search (2004 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 120 min | Drama
Strip Search follows several parallel stories examining personal freedoms vs. national security in the aftermath of 9/11; two main subplots involve an American woman detained in China and an Arab man detained in New York City.
Strip Search is a two hour dramatic film made for the HBO network, and explores the status of individual liberties in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks and the approval of the USA PATRIOT Act. There are two main parallel stories, each containing almost identical dialogues. One involves Linda Sykes (Maggie Gyllenhaal), an American woman detained in the People's Republic of China, the other is Sharif Bin Said (Bruno Lastra), an Arab man detained in New York City. Both are graduate students detained with no hard evidence and interrogated about unspecified activities which may be related to terrorist plots. As per the title, they are strip-searched against their will by their interrogators. Both cases appear to have only tenuous connections with the suspected terrorist plots. The film ends with the question: "Must security and safety come at the price of freedom?"
44. Find Me Guilty (2006)
R | 125 min | Biography, Comedy, Crime
In the late 1980s, a low level gangster named Jackie DiNorscio defends himself in court in what became the longest criminal trial in American judicial history.
Votes: 30,184 | Gross: $1.17M
Giacomo "Jackie Dee" DiNorscio (Vin Diesel) is a low level mobster in the 1980s who is offered a deal to be released from jail if he will give evidence against fellow gang members. But Jackie is not a rat so he defends himself in what turns out to be one of the longest court cases in the history of the US Justice System. Much of the script is straight from the court transcripts of the trial. This film also proved that Vin Diesel is more than just an action hero, he is a committed and talented actor. "Jackie, your ignorance is second only to your arrogance."
45. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007)
R | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
When two brothers organize the robbery of their parent's jewelry store the job goes horribly wrong, triggering a series of events that sends them, their father and one brother's wife hurtling towards a shattering climax.
Votes: 87,522 | Gross: $7.08M
The alternative title for this crime drama could have been 'Oh What a Tangled Web We Weave' because it starts when two brothers plan a "Victimless Crime" which steadily becomes worse as time goes by. The film's timeline switches back and forward during the movie as the various events unravel towards a disastrous climax. " 'Sorry' ain't gonna pay the bills, Chico!"