ByAbi Toll, writer at
Abi Toll

When passed away two years ago, he left behind six decades worth of legendary work; from his first feature film 12 Angry Men, to the last: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.

Understandably, Indiewire have alluded to the feeling of intimidation they are met with when attempting to tackle his entire filmography.

They commented that before 12 Angry Men, Lumet:

Had already directed hundreds of television episodes from ‘50s shows such as Danger and You Are There. The Seventh Art has recently discovered one of his more obscure works which was never picked up. It was posted on YouTube a few years ago 'by Princeton University with barely over 1,000 views, entitled The Challenge'.

Apparently, the show was co-produced by the Fund for the Republic which bestowed grants for original creative works. The Challenge was supposed to be a pilot episode that sought to address social issues such as:

Racial discrimination, blacklisting, academic freedom, and the legality and effectiveness of loyalty oaths.

Directed by Lumet, and written by and , it tells the story of:

A school bus driver who’s been fired by the school board of his district after refusing to sign a loyalty oath.

You can view this episode below:


The episode (as described by the Princeton website via Indiewire):

Questions whether loyalty oaths were effective in their efforts to prevent Communists from subverting American institutions, whether they were constitutional, and if they led to additional rights or ethics violations.

Just because it's amazing, here's a picture of the 16 year old Sidney Lumet playing a twelve-year-old Jesus, in Maxwell Anderson’s Journey to Jerusalem. The picture was featured in the a 1940's edition of Vogue:

Thankyou to Princeton and Indiewire for bringing this absolute treasure to our attention. May Lumet's The Challenge finally get the recognition it deserves.



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