Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Based on a true 1972 story, Sidney Lumet's 1975 drama chronicles a unique bank robbery on a hot summer afternoon in New York City. Shortly before closing time, scheming loser Sonny (Al Pacino) and his slow-witted buddy, Sal (John Cazale), burst into a Brooklyn bank for what should be a run-of-the-mill robbery, but everything goes wrong, beginning with the fact that there is almost no money in the bank. The situation swiftly escalates, as Sonny and Sal take hostages; enough cops to police the tristate area surround the bank; a large Sonny-sympathetic crowd gathers to watch; the media arrive to complete the circus; and police captain Moretti (Charles Durning) tries to negotiate with Sonny while keeping the volatile spectacle under control. When Sonny's lover, Leon (Chris Sarandon), tries to talk Sonny out of the bank, we learn the robbery's motive: to finance Leon's sex-change operation. Sonny demands a plane to escape, but the end is near once menacingly cool FBI agent Sheldon (James Broderick) arrives to take over the negotiations. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Dog Day Afternoon
Enjoyable and even exciting at the start, Dog Day Afternoon degenerates into frustration and tedium toward nightfall -- an experience no less painful for the audience than for the actors.
One of Sidney Lumet's best jobs of directing and one of Al Pacino's best performances (as a bisexual bank robber) come together in a populist thriller with lots of New York juice
[Pacino] gives an electric performance, charged with a lunatic energy that expertly captures the weird blend of confidence and self-deprecation (if not hatred) that marks the paranoid syndrome.
Dog Day Afternoon is, in the whole as well as the parts, filmmaking at its best.
The film's strength lies in its depiction of surfaces, lacking the visual or intellectual imagination to go beyond its shrewd social and psychological observations and its moments of absurdist humour.
It's beautifully acted by performers who appear to have grown up on the city's sidewalks in the heat and hopelessness of an endless midsummer.
As much as it is about a deeply troubled individual, "Dog Day Afternoon" is about a shift toward exploitation in the American media via live television.
Strong performances and forward-thinking situations make this political thriller an exceptionally vibrant experience.
Fine, but overrated Pacino vehicle directed by Lumet.
Though fact-based, Lumet's heist film (his best work) is a wild satire with farcical tones about a normless, irrational society whose (anti)heroes are crazy delusional marginal men, played with panache by Pacino and Cazale in their most spontaneous turns
[Dog Day Afternoon is] so perfectly executed that it almost feels like the wall of art is being pulled back slightly, revealing the reality of life, in all its messy, contradictory, confusing wonder.
Few fictional thrillers are as tense or as funny as this real-life recreation.
captures perfectly the zeitgeist of the early 1970s, a time when optimism was scraping rock bottom and John Wojtowicz was as good a hero as we could come up with.
Pacino simmers in this daring and brilliantly constructed treatise on the many facets of a crime.
Pacino at the top of his game. A riveting ride.
Audience Reviews for Dog Day Afternoon
Al Pacino gives arguably one of his greatest performances in this gritty & hostile film. Dog Day Afternoon supplies dramatic & classical moments with the amount of exploitation and nerve-racking elements of the actual true events coming into play, making this one of the best pictures of the 1970s. 4/5More
Zowie! Sidney Lumet's vision of the Big Apple circa 1972 sparkles with historical and cultural authenticity (which I hated when it was released for being "too gritty", not Hollywood enough, but now understand as a perfect document of the times and worthy of any museum). In the meantime the story simply motors along, led by a electric Al Pacino and aided by a wonderful supporting cast too numerous to name. A beautiful film.More
I was in Kenndy Airport the day this happen, was going to boot camp in the navy, my flight was held up for hours pissed off the drill instructors. A brilliant movie, and a mesmerizing Al Pacino. If u thought he was spectacular in GF I, II, and Scarface....then just watch him in Dog Day Afternoon. Quite simply one of the greatest performances in movie history. Definitely my favorite. The depth with which he plays Sonny is such a treat to watch that I lost count of how many times he left me in AWE. There's this indescribable nervous energy to his performance that there's no way he'll leave u NOT feeling sorry for Sonny.
Sadly, for some reason this movie is kinda forgotten when discussing Al's greatest movies/performances. That's because not many people have watched it. So please, if u consider yourself a movie fan, then go rent DDA and watch a fine movie with the legendary Al Pacino performing his art at the absolute peak of his career. 5 stars 8-20-13
Dog Day Afternoon Quotes
- Attica! Attica!
- Pizza Boy:
- I'm a fucking star!
- Hey Leon! Happy Birthday!
- Put your fucking guns down! Put your fucking guns down! Put your fucking guns down! Put your fucking guns down! Attica! Attica! Attica! Attica! Attica!
- WILL YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP AND LISTEN TOO ME!
- Why don't you smoke?
- I don't want the cancer.
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