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Sidney Lumet quotes Showing 1-14 of 14

“All good work requires self-revelation.”
Sidney Lumet, Making Movies
“In drama, the characters should determine the story. In melodrama, the story determines the characters.”
Sidney Lumet, Making Movies
“I don't know how to choose work that illuminates what my life is about. I don't know what my life is about and don't examine it. My life will define itself as I live it. The movies will define themselves as I make them. As long as the theme is something I care about at the moment, it's enough for me to start work. Maybe work itself is what my life is about.”
Sidney Lumet, Making Movies
“All great work is preparing yourself for the accident to happen.”
Sidney Lumet
“The varying physical characteristics of the actors may also necessitate changes. Sean Connery is six feet four. Dustin Hoffman isn't.”
Sidney Lumet, Making Movies
“My job is to care about and be responsible for every frame of every movie I make. I know that all over the world there are young people borrowing from relatives and saving their allowances to buy their first cameras and put together their first student movies, some of them dreaming of becoming famous and making a fortune. But a few are dreaming of finding out what matters to them, of saying to themselves and to anyone who will listen, “I care.” A few of them want to make good movies.”
Sidney Lumet
“But he meant beauty in the sense of its organic connection to the material. And this is the connection that, for me, separates true stylists from decorators. The decorators are easy to recognize. That's why critics love them so.”
Sidney Lumet, Making Movies
“Dolby was in the driver’s seat. “Surround Sound” was added. Now we had three speakers behind the screen, two more on the left side of the theater, and two on the right. A closely guarded secret about all this is that you hear the correct balance only if you’re sitting in the center of the theater. On the left or right side, those speakers tend to dominate.”
Sidney Lumet, Making Movies
“For any director with a little lucidity, masterpieces are films that come to you by accident.”
Sidney Lumet
“The basic 110-volt AC power line moves the electrons at 60 cycles. If a transformer is close to the power source (and all speakers have transformers), the 60 cycles produce an audible hum. Crackling, caused by dirt on the sound head, can also be heard.”
Sidney Lumet, Making Movies
“The word ‘actress' or ‘authoress' always struck me as condescending. A doctor's a doctor, right? So I've always referred to ‘actors' and ‘writers,' regardless of their sex.”
Sidney Lumet, Making Movies
“When I began making movies, the only crew jobs available to women were as script girls and in the editing department. As a result, I still think of movie crews as male. And in fact, they still predominantly are.”
Sidney Lumet, Making Movies
“Like all boses—and on set, I'm the boss—I'm the boss only up to a point.”
Sidney Lumet
“Sometimes, on particularly good takes, I’m so moved that I stop “doing” the scene and just watch in awe at the miracle of good acting. As I said earlier, that’s life up there. When it flows like that, that’s when I say “Print.”
Sidney Lumet, Making Movies


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