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Director SIDNEY LUMET, right, prepares actor RIVER PHOENIX for an upcoming scene during filming of Warner Bros.' contemporary drama "Running on Empty."
About the Filmmakers...
SIDNEY LUMET (Director) is recognized as one of America's most prominent film directors. A tough-minded director who seeks projects with social significance, Lumet has explored prominent themes and issues more frequently--and more daringly--than any other contemporary filmmaker.
Lumet was originally a child actor, appearing in numerous Broadway productions, including "Dead End." He made his only film appearance at age 15 in "One Third of a Nation" (1939).
After returning from World War II service (1942-46) he organized an off-Broadway group and became its director. In 1950 he joined CBS where he amassed more than 250 credits ("Alcoa Hour," "Omnibus," et al.) in less than 10 years.
Lumet made his directorial debut in 1957 with "Twelve Angry Men" starring Henry Fonda, which was nominated for three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. "Twelve Angry Men" earned Lumet a nomination for the coveted Directors Guild Award in addition to an Academy Award nomination for Best Director.
He has transposed to films such major plays as Tennessee Williams' "Orpheus Descending" (released in 1960 as "The Fugitive Kind"); Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge" (1962); Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey Into Night" (1962); and more recently "Equus" (1977), "The Wiz" (1978) and "Deathtrap" (1982).
His other films include the tense political drama "Fail Safe" (1964); "The Pawnbroker" (1965), starring Rod Steiger; "The Anderson Tapes" (1971); the police drama "Serpico" (1973), starring Al Pacino; the Agatha Christie mystery "Murder on the Orient Express" (1974); and "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975), also starring Pacino, which was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Lumet scored one of his biggest successes with "Network" (1976), a scathing satire on television. The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film won four Oscars, including a posthumous one for Peter Finch as Best Actor, Best Actress (Faye Dunaway) and one for Paddy Chayefsky's screenplay.
Lumet's films have been nominated for more than forty Academy Awards. With "The Verdict" (1982), Lumet earned his fourth nomination as Best Director. He also received a nomination for co-writing "Prince of the City" (1981) with Jay Presson Allen.
His most recent films include the adaptation of E.L. Doctorow's bestseller "Daniel" (1983); the touching comedy "Garbo Talks" (1984); "Power" (1985), a film about media manipulation in politics; and the murder mystery "The Morning After" (1986).
GRIFFIN DUNNE and AMY ROBINSON (Producers) began working together in 1977, when they teamed with Mark Metcalf to organize Triple Play Productions. Their first project was a film based on Ann Beattie's novel Chilly Scenes of Winter, directed by Joan Micklin Silver, and starring John Heard. The film was released in 1979 under the title "Head Over Heels," although it was later re-released in 1982 under its original Ann Beattie title.
In 1982, Dunne and Robinson activated Double Play Productions to produce "Baby, It's You." Based on a story by Robinson, the film starred Rosanna Arquette and Vincent Spano and was directed by John Sayles from his own screenplay. Their next project together was Martin Scorsese's successful black comedy "After Hours," which starred Griffin Dunne and Rosanna Arquette.
Dunne and Robinson are currently in pre-production on "Once Around," to be directed by Lasse Hallstrom ("My Life as a Dog") for Cinecom. Upcoming projects include "The Foreigner," based on a play by Larry Shue to be directed by Jim Abrahams ("Big Business") and the film adaptation of Glenn Savan's book "White Palace" to be produced in conjunction with Sydney Pollack and Mark Rosenberg.