One of the strongest directors of all time, Sidney Lumet (who passed away in April of last year) is often forgotten in sentences that include the great names of Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, and Stanley Kubrick. However, his passion for the art of cinema was practically unequaled by his peers and his enthusiasm was said to ignite every member of his crew. In his time, he had numerous hits, some regarded as masterpieces in the likes of Dog Day Afternoon, 12 Angry Men, Serpico, A Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Murder on the Orient Express, Network, Prince of the City, and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. But he was also not infallible as a director, as I’ll get to later on.

But often times, I find myself in complete awe of the power of his movies, and I decided to share five of those reasons with you. In many ways, Lumet is the director that turned my passion for acting into a passion for writing and directing. And in his book, Making Movies, which I’ll reference numerous times, he’s crafted one of the perfect filmmaking books that still stands up today. If you’re an aspiring filmmaker looking into any element of movie-making, then reading this book is an absolute must.

So without further ado, here’s five reasons why he’s one of cinema’s greatest directors and deserves more recognition now that he has passed.

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This article was first posted on October 22, 2012