Movie Review

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)


Movie Review

Directed by: Sidney Lumet

Starring: Al Pacino, John Cazale, and Charles Durning

Dog Day Afternoon is based on bank robbery that took place in Brooklyn in the seventies.  Sonny (Al Pacino) and Sal (John Cazale) attempt a bank robbery.  Things go awry however when they find that the daily cash pickup has already taken place, and only $1,100 remains in the bank vault.  Without any money, Sonny and Sal take the bank employees as hostages, and the police get involved in the matter.  This failed robbery becomes a media spectacle as the two thieves try and get themselves out of this tough situation.

The seventies and the nineties were the two greatest decades for film ever.  Sidney Lumet’s classic Dog Day Afternoon shows us just why.  The movie gives us the ideal example of great character development.  The film captures the internal workings of a hostage situation and the personal connections that can develop in such a short time.  As we get to know Sonny, Sal, and the ladies at the bank, the film continuously builds suspense and intensity.  Al Pacino, fresh from reprising his role as Michael Corleone in The Godfather: Part II, delivers an unforgettable performance as the erratic bisexual robber Sonny.  Dog Day Afternoon undeniably deserves a sober rating and shows us how great a film can truly be.


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