When watching Sidney Lumet film, one has to expect few things by default: an engrossing drama, a powerful screenplay, flawless performances and technically brilliant film. And just like most of memorable films of his prolific career, this one is surely one worthy to watch without single thought. Though it’s not as brilliant as ’12 Angry Man’ and ‘Network’, two of my favorite Lumet films; it’s surely an engaging drama well portrayed, well acted and well narrated.
Just like his contemporary Elia Kazan, he is the master who managed to get brilliant and flawless performances from his lead actors in most of his films. Even some of the finest actors otherwise wasted largely delivered their best in his cinema and won Oscar. And I must say that equally to Lumet, this is absolutely the film one has to watch for Rod Steiger’s award deserving performance as Nazerman. Though considering him as fine actor, Lumet was not much inclined to cast him initially. But Steiger maintained his character so flawlessly from beginning to end. Boris Kaufman’s fine B&W camerawork is indeed thing to watch and for Lumet, he was undoubtedly the greatest dramatic cameraman of
Hollywood he has seen.
If you’re Lumet fan, this is surely a film for you.