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Sidney Lumet and His Concerns Essay

Each person who creates a piece of art has certain concerns that are usually presented with the help of interesting and thought-provoking themes, strong charismatic characters, and an appealing and attention-grabbing story. In this respect, it is necessary to analyze the movies created by an outstanding director Sydney Lumet who managed to provoke thoughts in his audience teaching them abut the life values and essential principles that should be followed.

A Stranger Among Us (1992) A Stranger Among Us (1992) starring Melanie Griffith who played a role of Emily, a detective undercover, is the first movie that should be assessed in terms of theme, characters, and story. Emily lives in the family of rebbe and investigates a case of robbery committed by a step-daughter of rebbe who knew nothing about her past life.

This story is full of spirituality and seriousness because the main character is depicted as an independent and emancipated woman who thinks that her life is her own business and she is the only person who can decide for her.

This idea is suggested as a contrast to the fact that an arranged marriage will take place between the rebbe’s son and a girl he never saw before. In this respect, we can clearly see the relationships between American culture where women can do whatever they want and a highly spiritual Hasidic culture in accordance to which people can get married without knowing each other well enough.

So, the investigation intertwines closely to the spiritual development of Emily as the main character and gaining of understanding about other people and motives behind their actions.

One of the most powerful scenes is the one that took place in the store where Ariel (the rebbe’s son) cuts diamonds; two gangsters came to the place and demanded a sum of money given to them monthly for their services of protecting the store from all problems and concerns.

This scene ended ambiguously as Emily saw the actions of gangsters but did nothing to prevent them from doing so; it is clear that she worked undercover though she could inform her colleagues about that gang. Moreover, neither Ariel nor his sister made efforts to prevent those criminals from extorting money from them.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More The story told in the movie A Stranger Among Us (1992) is similar to all stories used by Sydney Lumet where the director manages to introduce characters who by all means choose the side of observing the laws or the side of illegal actions. In this respect, the character of Melanie Griffith represents the positions believed by Lumet as she chooses the side of legal actions and protects the right of others to be in safe.

Though some characters really choose the side of good guys, other are definitely bad and the director does not show changes in characters in terms of their life way. However, he manages to show that the main character develops spiritually and recognizes her behavior as inappropriate for the Hasidic community.

Family Business (1989) The second movie that should be discussed I terms of themes, characters, and story is the Family Business (1989) starring such celebrated actors as Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, and Matthew Broderick. Thus, we can see Sean Connery as the grandfather, Dustin Hoffman as his son while Matthew Broderick plays the role of son of Dustin Hoffman’s character.

Relationships between the members of one family that were ruined due to the desire of one of them to change his destiny and live a good life without criminal matters can be considered the major theme of the movie.

As the crimes were associated by Dustin Hoffman’s character with his father played by Sean Connery, he decided to protect his own son from the influence of criminal principles advocated by his own father. In this respect, the director managed to show the true family relations in the background of criminal activity exercised by all three men.

This story shows that men cannot change though every person should remember about his/her relatives and strive to keep in contact with them regardless of the conflicts and misunderstandings that could have happened in the past. All three main characters are shown as similar in one way and absolutely different in another. Thus, the grandfather has a ‘career of criminal’ as he likes what he does and is not going to give it up.

At the same time, his son is sure about the rightness of his decision to keep his own son farther from his grandfather whereas the mystery is revealed and the boy demonstrate interest and enthusiasm about performing some robbery together with his grandfather. It is clear that the relations between these people become better only when all three are operating together. This story also shows that the power of habits can make a person commit crimes again and again.

We will write a custom Essay on Sidney Lumet and His Concerns specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Sydney Lumet does not introduce anything new but approach for showing of basic principles of life. Talent of actors and the director enable them to create something outstanding whereas the story for this movie can be traced in a great number of families all over the world. Generation gap and attempts to do quite the opposite what a father has done can separate people for the whole life.

In this respect, the audience likes movies directed by Lumet because of the ideas and principles advocated by the director who manages to convey his message with the help of the story and characters. The Family Business (1989) directed by Sydney Lumet can be considered one of the feature films that provoke thoughts about relations with other members of the family and importance of keeping connections.

The themes and characters used by Sydney Lumet contribute greatly to the stories chosen for a screen version. The director feels the audience and chooses the themes that can evoke certain emotions in people and make them rethink their life positions and beliefs. The positions believed by Lumet find their reflection in the characters of his movies; this can be found in every movie because he manages to make every character distinctive and unique.

Though he can repeat what he said earlier, all words pronounced by characters are filled with specific meaning which is wise and thought-out.

These two movies A Stranger Among Us (1992) starring Melanie Griffith and Family Business (1989) starring Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, and Matthew Broderick can be compared to The Hill (1965) starring Sean Connery where the story reveals the actions that took place in a detention camp. The similar thing in these stories is that they have strong characters who know what they want from life and are sure what side to support.

“Continental Drift” a Book by Russell Bank Term Paper

Nursing Assignment Help Table of Contents Introduction

Economic Imbalance


Poor Livelihood



Introduction In his book Continental drift, Russell Bank reveals some very important facts that have developed and caused very major differences between distinct parts and societies in the world.

He narrates the life encounters that two main characters underwent in their quest to escape their poor conditions that they viewed as having originated from their locality and their overall society. Hence, they chose to migrate to a different continent that was more developed and economically stable and which they thought was a land of opportunities (Banks, 1994).

The two characters undergo different experiences and to their disappointment they never realize their life dreams. In the contrast, they encounter very hard and humiliating experiences that are a result of their disadvantaged condition especially financially, in skills and even in the lines of race and language, causing them to lack proper employment and to be subjected to such unfortunate circumstances as poor livelihood, inequality, injustice and economic imbalance.

At the end of the day, the two characters end up in more trouble than what they had previously escaped and even Bob loses his life, leaving his family with only an option of going back home a very helpless and poor family (Banks, 1994).

In this book, Banks (1994) illustrates different social factors that have developed as a result of the drifts and separations in races and societies. He compares such differences to the physical drifts between continents, as illustrated by the theory of the drift of the continents, where different continents gained distinct features resulting to even more differences in facts such as the climate and natural resources.

In the same way, the differences in locality, cultures and even development factors have resulted to creation of distinct features between societies resulting to the many characteristics of those societies. This is even more elaborate in the economic activities and factors of the societies. This is clearly shown in the narrations made by Banks in the novel (Banks, 1994).

Economic Imbalance There were very distinct differences in economic factors between New Hampshire and Florida. First, New Hampshire was still at its development stage and hence was a developing country. However, Florida was one of the main stopping points in the USA, a developed country, and was marked by a high level of economic stability, high living standards, great economic and business opportunities and even high literacy levels that caused the society to have a lot of experiences associated to the modern world (Banks, 1994).

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More After Bob moved from his country to the state of Florida, he was expecting to have a grip in all the opportunities and advantageous experiences in that state. However, he did not have enough qualifications academically and financially to thrive in that society as he was required to have a lot of capital to start any successful business as well as having a high income to meet with the expectations of the economy due to the high standards of living.

At the end, Bob couldn’t match the expectations and ended up desperate with a lot of poverty. His family was not spared either and they lived from hand to mouth without good housing or any reliable source of income (Banks, 1994)..

On the other side, Vanise had moved to Florida hoping for better opportunities since this state seemed more economically stable than her country and was also a land full of opportunities. However, she also lacked the expected qualifications in terms of race, education and skills and hence ended up not getting an opportunity to achieve any of her dreams (Banks, 1994).

Unemployment There was a high level of employment in Florida compared to New Hampshire and other developing countries. Therefore Florida seemed to be a land of opportunities for many foreigners especially the ones coming from the developing world. Thus, it was a good reason for Bob to leave his country in search of better opportunities for employment (Banks, 1994).

However, there were so many bureaucracies and long procedures required for one to be legally employed in the developed states such as Florida. Therefore, it proved to be very hard for Bob and other foreigners to get employment opportunities.

They also faced a stiff competition from the people in Florida since they were highly qualified with very good education offered in their country. The best job opportunities landed on the people who were better qualified, and therefore it was a real struggle for Bob as opposed to his expectations for easier employment opportunities (Banks, 1994).

It is the same case for Vanise who left Haiti and went to Florida hoping for more opportunities and a better livelihood got her into a worse situation than what she was actually running from. Actually, she came to realize that there was a great disparity in those who actually benefited from the opportunities and the goodies of the land. Such benefits were dependent on different factors such as race, education level and gender amongst others.

We will write a custom Term Paper on “Continental Drift” a Book by Russell Bank specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Hence, as a foreign immigrant who was also not very educated and actually a woman as far as gender was concerned, she found herself losing a lot to her society and ended up a very helpless without a good employment yet with a lot of financial needs that plunged her deeper into the poverty pit (Banks, 1994).

Poor Livelihood There were some distinct and apparent differences in the different societies that were involved in the narrations for the main characters. One of the major differences was in the context of the differences in the living standards of the people in those societies. This includes different factors such as their housing, education levels, cultural practices and activities as well as different indicators of development and modernity (Banks, 1994).

It was clear that Bob and his family were used to poor living standards in their original home in New Hampshire. In fact, there was such a great difference in the living standards between the two states such that Bob found it very wise and desirable to migrate from his state to Florida. This way, he hoped to acquire more opportunities and finally be able to meet his life dreams coming true.

However, to his disappointment, he realized when it was too late that a lot of factors determine if one was able to venture into the modernized world and enjoy all its benefits or whether one was left behind to suffer more loss and consequences of lack of knowledge, skills and other factors that determined the class of the individual in the society. The high class and the low class in that society were determined by the individual’s gender, race and academic level amongst other factors (Banks, 1994).

In the same way, Vanise had earlier on decided that she only required changing from her locality and engaging in the life of Florida so as to be able to become more successful and hence realize her dreams. She considered Haiti life a life that was of very low standards compared to the life in Florida. Even though her assumptions were right, she was shocked to realize that she could not have been able to achieve her dreams or even to access any of the opportunities that she had hoped to access.

She was hence left in a very bad and unfortunate situation where she completely lacked a formal employment that would have helped cater for her and her family. This situation actually revealed the great challenge of racism, low education levels for immigrants and even poor living standards for immigrants who moved to Florida hoping for more opportunities there (Banks, 1994).

Conclusions The narration by Banks reveals a lot of differences that originate from the differences in localities and cultures of different societies just as there were differences that amounted from the physical drift of the continents during the time when continents drifted (Banks, 1994).

These differences are more revealed in the areas of employment, economic balance and even the living standards amongst other factors. All these factors were clearly illustrated in the narrations as the main characters undergo different experiences and challenges in their quest to free themselves from their poor and lowly standards of living.

Not sure if you can write a paper on “Continental Drift” a Book by Russell Bank by yourself? We can help you for only $16.05 $11/page Learn More Reference Banks, R. (1994). Continental Drift. New York: Harper Perennial.

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