Dog Day Afternoon


(out of 5)

Brilliant film version of the real-life events surrounding Brooklyn resident Sonny Wortzik, who tries with his pals to rob a bank to pay for his boyfriend’s sex-change operation. It is supposed to be a ten-minute robbery, in and out, but when the police show up the boys have to take some bank tellers hostage and the street outside becomes a war zone; when the media and the public catch wind of this, all of Brooklyn becomes a circus. and are fantastic as the criminals,  wonderful as Sonny’s suicidal boyfriend, and  my favourite performance in the film as the smart-talking head teller of the bank who instantly gains the nickname “Mouth”. Other cast members include  as the policeman in charge of handing the hostage situation and a very young  (the same year she was Oscar-nominated for Hester Street) as one of the tellers who’s worried about jeopardizing her marriage by getting home too late.  Edge-of-your-seat tension (thanks to Dede Allen’s editing) and the added bonus of some great comedy that comes from watching these guys and their lack of expertise in the matter of solid crime.

Warner Bros., Artists Entertainment Complex

USA, 1975

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on a magazine article by , , from the book by

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Award
Best Writing (Original Screenplay) (Frank Pierson)

Best Actor (Al Pacino as “Sonny”)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Chris Sarandon as “Leon”)
Best Directing (Sidney Lumet)
Best Film Editing (Dede Allen)
Best Picture (Martin Bregman, Martin Elfand, producers)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Motion Picture-Drama
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Al Pacino)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (John Cazale)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Charles Durning)
Best Director (Sidney Lumet)
Best Screenplay (Frank R. Pierson)


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