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Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Cast: Al Pacino, Al Pacino, John Cazale, more...
Director: Sidney Lumet, Sidney Lumet
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Warner Home Video
Genre: Drama, Manhunt, Classic Crime, Crime, Classic Crime, Quest, Manhunt, Manhunt
Running Time: 124 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

This title is currently out of print.

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, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Just Average by notrust August 22, 2006 - 8:45 AM PDT
1 out of 4 members found this review helpful
30+ years will definitely change a movie's impact on an audience. The shock value from the use of "F" words and alternative lifestyles is pretty close to zero these days.

So once these distractions are stripped away by the passage of time, we see what is left. Pacino give an okay performance, Cazale is interesting but underdeveloped. The script was average, and the supporting cast were above average, I thought.

Everything else is pretty dated, in an uninteresting way because we don't really get a good dose of 1975 life, just scruffy extras in dirty bell bottoms who say "man" a lot. It doesn't really qualify as a true 1970's classic like "Midnight Cowboy" because there is not really much going on except a lot of waiting.

Maybe what this film needs is to be re-released with extras and commentary. Movies like this one always benefit by being pumped up a bit by the director and a few of the surviving stars.

Tense moments and fine characters by calgodot September 29, 2004 - 7:03 PM PDT
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Fine direction by Sideny Lumet utilizes the relative strengths of each of the actors. Pacino delivers with his youthful strength and passion as the frustrated and confused Sonny. John Cazale delivers an intense portrayal of Sal. Chris Sarandon is a treat as Pacino's lover. The movie keeps you on the edge of your seat for its full running time. One of the classics of the Seventies.

lumet and pacino.. by psychodrama311 July 16, 2003 - 2:06 AM PDT
3 out of 5 members found this review helpful
a marriage made in heaven..most definitely. great script. great direction.. and a superb performance from pacino.. fresh off his godfather life.. he show's that he would become (along with de niro) THE actor of that generation. a great movie all around.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.80)
295 Votes
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Crash Course in Classic American Film (30s - 70s)
This list is from's article about Paramont Theatre's Summer Classic Film series. I thought their list and brief descriptions were pretty good so I put it up for all to enjoy. (Of course there isn't room for all the classics on one list.)
I Love Old York
great movies that show NYC in its pre-Giulliani/Disney glory

see all lists

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