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Dog Day Afternoon

5 Ratings: 3.6
1975 movie starring Al Pacino, John Cazale, James Broderick and Charles Durning.

Dog Day Afternoon is a 1975 American crime drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and written by Frank Pierson. The film stars Al Pacino, John Cazale, Chris Sarandon, James Broderick, and Charles Durning. Based on the events of a bank robbery that took … see full wiki

Director: Sidney Lumet
Genre: Drama
Release Date: September 21, 1975
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Dog Day Afternoon

The true story of a bank job that turned into a media circus in 1972.

  • Jan 15, 2009
  • by
It was much more grim than I expected.  I do believe that I saw "Dog Day Afternoon" when it was in theatrical release back in 1975.  Frankly, I remembered none of it.   Al Pacino and John Cazale star  in a motion picture that was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture.  The plot revolves around a pair of losers who plan a bank robbery in Brooklyn on a steamy summer afternoon in 1972.  Whether it  can be attributed to poor planning, the fact that the our heroes biorhythm charts were in a down cycle that day or just plain bad luck, a simple bank job that should taken just a few minutes would evolve into a 12 hour ordeal involving 9 hostages from the bank and more than 250 armed police.  So many twists and turns and it is all based on a true story!  Now for whatever reason, I was expecting a rollicking comedy featuring the missteps of an incompetent pair of bank robbers.  After all, Warner Brothers promoted this film as a "boisterous comedy-thriller".  But there are very few yucks in "Dog Day Afternoon".  Most of the film is devoted to revealing the sad and sordid personal life of the the mastermind of this operation, Sonny (played by Al Pacino).  It seems that Sonny is a Vietnam veteran who is having a tough time re-adjusting to civilian life.  But his problems run  far deeper than that.  Sonny has a wife and two kids at home while at the same time is married to another man.  Meanwhile, his partner in crime Sal appears to  just a follower and  takes a decidely back seat to Sonny throughout the film.  We learn very little about the reasons why Sal has decided to participate in such a crazy scheme.  

While I thought that "Dog Day Afternoon" could be quite engrossing at times it was simply not as good as I expected.  Perhaps the passage of time has diminished this film.  In any event, while I found "Dog Day Afternoon" marginally enjoyable this is not a film I would ever care to see again.  I wound up donating the DVD I just purchased to my local library.   A bit of a disappointment.

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January 17, 2009
Great review drifter. I am often amazed at how differently I perceive a film compared with my memory of seeing it a long time ago. While the films are the same, the passage of time can really change how I feel about it. I just saw To Live and Die in LA which I thought was horrible, but I remembered liking it when it came out in the theater. Anyway, I will take your advice and rent another film instead of Dog Day Afternoon. Thanks
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