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Dog Day Afternoon (Widescreen/Full Screen)

4.6 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen, Sully Boyar, Beulah Garrick
  • Directors: Sidney Lumet
  • Writers: Frank Pierson, Leslie Waller, P.F. Kluge, Thomas Moore
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: Dec 16 1997
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews
  • ASIN: 6304712960
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,608 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Dog Day Afternoon

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

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
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.
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This film is based on a true story and stars a young Al Pacino as a bank robber who leads a heist in Brooklyn on August 22, 1972. He holds 9 people hostage as he makes his demands to the 250 policemen and FBI agents gathered outside. Also gathered outside are crowds of people and the news media, making them the hottest thing on TV. Sonny even has fans who chant his name every time he appears at the door to make negotiations for his escape.
Most notable of Sonny's lack of experience in crime is when he orders pizza for his hostages via the FBI, then thinks he has to pay for it. He gets some marked $5 bills for this. The pizza guy is cheered as he delivers to Sonny, then waves to the crowd and yells "I'm a star!" because this routine duty was broadcast live.
There is also some Stockholm syndrome going on as Sonny's hostages start to like him.
As the movie plays out, we learn why Sonny wanted to rob the bank so badly, and it is truly unexpected, especially for 1972. In addition, I appreciate that Sonny's wife is played by a compentent actress who knows how to deliver her lines, and she is overweight and harried, not a supermodel in denim overalls which is how they would cast her today. She is believable and adds to the gritty feel of the whole dog day afternoon.
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I can't say enough good things about this film. The very fact that the versatile director Sidney Lumet was even able to pull it off--and so convincingly--is amazing. It's also Pacino doing the finest work of his career. He is incredible in a difficult role; his stamina holds up throughout without any breaks in continuity, and he is able to make Sonny both tragic and likeable, even for all of the character's flawed logic and bumbling ineffectiveness as a robber. The scene towards the end when he dictates his will to the bank teller who writes it up is one of the most moving scenes in all of cinema. Lumet and crew are to all to be commended. The film's atmosphere is perfectly captured--you can FEEL the stifiling, sweltering heat inside the bank as if you are sitting in there with the hostages. If DDA hadn't been released during the same year as "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (which swept almost ALL the Academy Awards in almost every major category for 1975) it would have won all of the same awards, hands down, as far as I'm concerned. As it turned out, it unfortunately won only one award, for screenplay. But awards or not, you will NEVER forget this movie. Pacino has never been this good, even in the Godfather series.
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"Dog Day Afternoon" brings to the screen a bank robbery that supposedly happened in Brooklyn on a sweltering August day in 1972. Two down-and-out losers, Sonny and Sal, terrifically played by Al Pacino and John Cazale, stroll into a bank near closing time, with the purported intention to rob it. They are accompanied by a third accomplice who has the good sense to get cold feet before the deal even beings to go down. We're like, wassup with these bozos... Sonny almost drops the rifle taking it out of the box it's gift-wrapped in as he and Sal proceed with the fell deed. It should be a piece of cake, in-and-out, right? Well, guess what: Sonny, who acts like he's about as smart as a pet rock, gets the brilliant idea to set the bank records afire, sending smoke billowing out of the exhaust system, which is promptly noted by a concerned citizen, and next thing you know, New York's Finest is swarming over the vicinity. The whole block is jammed with rubberneckers and police, and now it's a standoff: Sonny and Sal have the bank managers and the tellers hostage. Sonny knows how to play to his audience, though; he's out on the sidewalk hurling bundles of green into the crowd and almost starts a riot. We start thinking, maybe this guy is crazy like a fox. The crowd clearly loves Sonny and he's a media star on the 6 o'clock news, until it becomes clear why he pulled the robbery: he needed the money for a sex change operation for his gay lover. Ut oh... the crowd that loved Sonny because he was making New York's Finest look like idiots now despise him because he's bi-sexual. Things come to a climactic resolution in the movie's final scenes, and the ending is kind of what we expected, but the movie is great fun to watch through its various twists and turns to reach the inevitable.Read more ›
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