Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
  • Time: 124 min
  • Genre: Crime | Drama
  • Director: Sidney Lumet
  • Cast: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durning


Based upon a real-life story that happened in the early seventies in which the Chase Manhattan Bank in Gravesend, Brooklyn, was held siege by a gay bank robber determined to steal enough money for his male lover to undergo a sex change operation. On a hot summer afternoon, the First Savings Bank of Brooklyn is held up by Sonny and Sal, two down-and-out characters. Although the bank manager and female tellers agree not to interfere with the robbery, Sonny finds that there’s actually nothing much to steal, as most of the cash has been picked up for the day. Sonny then gets an unexpected phone call from Police Captain Moretti, who tells him the place is surrounded by the city’s entire police force. Having few options under the circumstances, Sonny nervously bargains with Moretti, demanding safe escort to the airport and a plane out of the country in return for the bank employees’ safety.

One comment

  • A unique and deeply emotional drama, which shows a bank robbery gone awry. The movie’s great tension comes from the fact that even though it has a time span of only few hours, the mood changes constantly as the exposure of the character’s inner fears and needs gradually comes to fruition. Al Pacino is great as the clumsy, yet determined bank robber, who became sort of a celebrity through all his wrongdoings. While the robbery doesn’t go as planned, Sonny slowly shows his true self, as his insatiable desire to become a star exceeds the urge to steal the money. Unfortunately, his friend Sam isn’t as strong and charismatic. He starts to crack, and feels weaker and weaker every minute, and wants for this nightmare to end. And it ends, but not nearly as perfect as the boys imagined. A clever play on clich├ęs, with an emphasis put on the society’s reaction to a horrible event, which actually comes as more entertaining that harrowing in the final evaluation. An iconic movie, supported by electrifying performances by Al Pacino and John Cazale. A bank robbery that turned out to be a reality show for the masses. Intriguing.

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