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May 31, 2009

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Griff

This remains one of my favorite Lumet films. I prefer it, I think, to a lot of the pictures on which he presumably felt on firm or knowledgeable footing -- he really serves the idea of the Markfield novel here and gets across a lot of the (very funny) Herb Sargent screenplay. All right, some of it is a botch, but it isn't the collapsed soufflé Lumet thinks it is. The cast is great, and while the movie is occasionally too thoughtful even for what it is... it keeps moving at a good clip.

ratskiwatski

I've always had a soft spot for Lumet's comedies. All of them contain varying degrees of clank, but none deserve to have fallen quite so far down between the cracks. Especially fond of Garbo Talks, a broad, sweet, sad New York picaresque, as well as the so very... loud Just Tell Me What You Want (wherein Alan King got to do his Alan King thing at unusual length, and Ali McGraw blessedly and expertly (!) did not do her usual Ali McGraw thing.)

The thing that finally smokes me out of lurkdom - Sidney Lumet comedies. Jesus. Maybe I'll drop back by when GK weighs in on a batch of lost Antonioni two-reelers. Some biblioteca or other collapses around Monica Vitti, Keaton-style. At 48 fps.

Stephen Bowie

Zohra Lampert was a very eccentric actress (pure Method, I'm guessing) and sexy in her weird way.

Glenn, you left out the best scene: the one with Godfrey Cambridge as the black cab driver who's more Jewish than the "real" Jews. I don't know how "good" BYE BYE BRAVERMAN is, but it sure cracks me up.

Somebody reminded me recently how rare it's been until now -- didn't seem so to me, since I caught it on TV just when I was becoming a movie geek. Now, when's the Archive gonna deliver THE LAST OF THE MOBILE HOT SHOTS / BLOOD KIN, the impossible-to-see late-60s Lumet movie that I actually haven't seen?

Stephen Bowie

PS - I'm not sure Lumet can handle anything that's not grounded in realism. That's why THE WIZ and CRITICAL CARE are so close to unwatchable.

The main thing I like about FIND ME GUILTY, though, is the dark comedy.

walter trale

late to the party as i was away from computers but just chiming in to say i've longed to see this film for years as the wallace markfield novel, "to an early grave", is a masterpiece. brilliant and hilarious. as per joyce, his second novel "teitlebaum's window", is very much a joyce in jewish brooklyn novel. both are available from dalkey archive. his third saddly remains out of print. while not up to the standard of the first two its account of a lenny bruce type comic has some amazingly funny moments (speaking to a jewish woman's group: "ladies, never be ashamed that you're jewish. its enough i'm ashamed you're jewish"). so yes, read "to an early grave", perhaps the definitive book on the jewish new york 50's/60's intellectual scene.

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