Dog Day Afternoon is another classic film of the 70's, that thanks to a strong cast, and the sure handed direction of Sidney Lumet, still holds up quite well. Even by today's standards of having eye candy over substance, can not deminish the film's intensity.
Sonny Vorshak (Al Pacino) and his friend Sal (John Cazale)are in need of some money. After exhausting all of their options, the two men decide to rob a New York City bank,in broad daylight, on a hot Summer afternoon. When the bandit's plan goes a bit haywire, they are forced to hold hostages, and engage in a standoff with the police. Detective Eugene Moretti (Charles Durning)is put in charge of the situation and must find a way to end the seige. The task is made more difficult as Sonny soon becomes something of a hero to the city.
Lumet captures the mood and tension of a city on edge, with the some fine filmmaking skill, and a gritty realism that marked many films made during 70's. Like his classic film, 12 Angry Men, Lumet makes good use out of limited sets and locations Once again Pacino proves why he is such a great actor. He is not just an actor playing a role, he Is Sonny Vorshak, no ifs ands or buts about it. The rest of the cast is tops as well. The fact that the movie is based on a real life incident is only icing on the cake
Dog Day Afternoon is a five star film that deserves to be a better DVD. I hope that a special edition version will find its way to a release date soon. For now, the current disc features only a few production notes,in the way of extras. The film can be viewed in either the widescreen or fullscreen formats
Recommended until the special edition DVD comes along