Dog Day Afternoon [Blu-ray]
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Dog Day Afternoon (BD)
A gripping true crime yarn, a juicy slice of overheated New York atmosphere, and a splendid showcase for its young actors, Dog Day Afternoon is a minor classic of the 1970s. The opening montage of New York street life (set to Elton John's lazy "Amoreena") establishes the oppressive mood of a scorching afternoon in the city with such immediacy that you can almost smell the garbage baking in the sun and the water from the hydrants evaporating from the sizzling pavement. Al Pacino plays Sonny, who, along with his rather slow-witted accomplice Sal (John Cazale, familiar as Pacino's Godfather brother Fredo), holds hostages after a botched a bank robbery. Sonny finds himself transformed into a rebel celebrity when his standoff with police (including lead negotiator Charles Durning) is covered live on local television. The movie doesn't appear to be about anything in particular, but it really conveys the feel of wild and unpredictable events unfolding before your eyes, and the whole picture is so convincing and involving that you're glued to the screen. An Oscar winner for original screenplay, Dog Day Afternoon was also nominated for best picture, actor, supporting actor (Chris Sarandon, as a surprise figure from Sonny's past), editing, and director (Sidney Lumet of Serpico, Prince of the City, The Verdict, and Running on Empty). --Jim Emerson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Crime, Drama, 125 minutes
Directed by Sidney Lumet
Starring Al Pacino, John Cazale and Charles Durning
Al Pacino is one of the best actors of his generation and has given us many memorable characters, from Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy to his Oscar-winning portrayal of Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman. But if I had to pick my favorite character, it would be Sonny Wortzik. So, as the snow falls in Ontario, I decided to escape to the dog days of Brooklyn in the 1970s.
Pacino's performance was so full of energy. He switched from ranting like maniac to moments of quiet reflection. He appeared dangerous when required, but showed that he cared about the plight of his hostages a moment later. In fact, most of his hostages ended up rooting for him to succeed in his attempt to rob their bank. Heist movies are something I enjoy when they are executed well, and this would top my list. What's interesting is the reason Sonny attempts the robbery at all, but I won't reveal that here. It was certainly controversial back in 1975.
Sidney Lumet was responsible for the first entry on this list; 12 Angry Men. With Dog Day Afternoon, he showed us how the media was capable of turning criminals into celebrities. With his sidekick watching the hostages, Sonny ventured into the streets and performed for the gathering crowd. You'll probably find that you want Sonny to escape too because Lumet does such a good job of showing us his character and motivations. Isn't it strange how we sometimes root for the criminal?
Lance Henriksen makes an appearance toward the end of the movie and it helped launch his career. The resolution might not be what all that we were hoping for, but the movie was based on a true story.Read more ›
Al Pacino is superb as Sonny who wants the money to finance a sex-change operation for his transsexual lover (well done by Chris Sarandon). Aiding and abetting Sonny is half-wit Sal (John Cazale in a solid characterization) who chooses Wyoming as a foreign country destination for a safe haven. Charles Durning scores as Detective Moretti who spars with Sonny throughout the afternoon and arranges "safe" passage for him and Sal to JFK and their would-be flight to freedom. There are snippets of dialogue from the 1956 feature film, "The Lone Ranger", that is heard in the background during the hostage standoff inside the bank. Ironic because the Ranger's law-and-order message falls on deaf criminal ears during the commission of the felony.
Sidney Lumet's Oscar-nominated direction is sharp throughout. Based on actual events, "Dog Day Afternoon" is another great winner from the 1970s, Hollywood's second Golden Age. 5 stars out of 5.
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
In Dog Day Afternoon, Sonny, a very humanly desperate bank robber, experiences what has to be the most exasperating run of bad luck in the history of bank robberies. Not only is he saddled with a klutz for a partner (also played and written with heart-torquing humanity), but they have to take hostages, there's no money in the bank, a fire starts in a garbage can, sheer chance causes a shopper across the street to notice something strange in the bank so the police are called. Bad enough so far, especially on a swelteringly unbearable day. Eventually the police arrive, who are in turn surrounded by a mob of people who are more supportive of the bank robbers than the police (this is, after all, 1972). The bank robbers even begin to befriend their hostages, until finally Sonny's secret lover shows up to tell the gathered media how Sonny was robbing the bank to pay to get him a sex change. Sonny is baffled, the police are baffled ... only the mob seems sure of anything on this improbably crazy day in New York. And what makes the movie most unbearably sad and funny at the same time is that it's all based on true events.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Terrific classic film one of Pacino's best deffinitly belongs in any serious collectors collection.Published 3 months ago by Slade
Best actor doing some of his best acting. The quality of the DVD is superb, I don't know why others complained. Audio blared ATTICA and sound mix sounded finePublished on Aug. 17 2012 by Jesse
This has got to be one of the greatest films ever. The story, the plot, the acting is just amazing. Al Pacino is an original in this film. Read morePublished on July 14 2004 by J. Worth
"Dog Day Afternoon" is the true story of Sonny and Sal, two first-time bank robbers whose failed hold-up suddenly becomes a massive media event and hostage situation. Read morePublished on July 4 2004 by Gordon Ehrensing
Al Pacino plays a bisexual bank robber in love with a man who needs a sex change. Al is in his twenties for this film, at the beginning of his career, around his first Godfather... Read morePublished on July 1 2004 by R. A Rubin
As usual, another major studio has done a lazy job of transferring to dvd with "less-than-optimum" elements. Read morePublished on June 30 2004 by Kris C. Jones
Al Pacino is just outstanding in Dog Day Afternoon. He expresses so many different emotions in this movie, which allows us to see how talented he really is. Read morePublished on March 19 2004 by Michelle C.