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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic from 70s, one of Pacino's best performances...
Recently I encountered a TV review with Al Pacino (at 2004 Golden Globe ceremony perhaps), where he was asked to tell the names of three greatest films in his career. The answer: "Serpico", "Scarecrow", and "Dog Day Afternoon"

Directed by veteran director Sidney Lumet, "Dog Day Afternoon" captures masterfully the social and political zeitgeist of the early...
Published on 13 Aug. 2007 by Serkan Silahsor

versus
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
As I mentioned before if you like the actor I recommend it especially if you can can buy it second hand
Published 12 months ago by Alia Toama


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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic from 70s, one of Pacino's best performances..., 13 Aug. 2007
By 
Recently I encountered a TV review with Al Pacino (at 2004 Golden Globe ceremony perhaps), where he was asked to tell the names of three greatest films in his career. The answer: "Serpico", "Scarecrow", and "Dog Day Afternoon"

Directed by veteran director Sidney Lumet, "Dog Day Afternoon" captures masterfully the social and political zeitgeist of the early 1970s, where optimism and morale was shaking due to post-Vietnam trauma, cynicism, new wave of Communist threat, distrust of any authority, oil crisis and imminent stagnation in economy. In this background, humane but equally awkward Sonny Wortzik (played by Al Pacino) come on the scene as an ANTI-HERO with a Brooklyn bank robbery, which would end up with a real tragedy.

The movie have them all: robbery, hostages, negotiations, ineptness, cunningness, frustration, deception and death. The direction and characterizations are sharp and brilliant. Lumet makes perfect use out of limited locations. Although 80 percent of the movie takes place inside the bank, there's never a dull or wasted moment. It is beautifully scripted and shot all along. Pacino gives a stellar performance as Sonny, one of the most interesting movie characters in motion picture history. Performances of John Cazale as Sonny's sociopathic accomplice, Sal and Charles Durning as Detective Moretti were wondrous too.

I must admit that this is a kind of movie that really does deserve special edition treatment. Eventually, this new 30th-Anniversary 2-disc edition has a great collection of extras. Most notably, it contains a commentary by Sidney Lumet which is amazing to hear from that great director. Second disc has an extensive documentary "The Making of Dog Day Afternoon" that consists of 4 featurettes (including interviews with Lumet, Pacino, Durning and Sarandon) that can be viewed separately or altogether. Not just Lumet or Pacino fans, this is a must have for any movie collector.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Edge of your seat heist, 28 Nov. 2005
By 
Mr. J. WARE "wolvieware" (London) - See all my reviews
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This cracking little thriller really surprised me. It was a non-stop edge of your seat bank heist where I really couldn't guess what was going to happen next.
When Al Pacino and his partner try to rob a bank, things start to go wrong. It becomes a media circus, and little by little facts about Pacino and why they were robbing a bank start to come out.
Once again, Pacino pulls out a superb performance, and it's his energy that really keeps this film flowing. He's a huge ball of action, and it's great to see his character slowly lose control of the heist situation.
The film slightly drags two thirds of the way in when a lot of conversation is conducted over a telephone, and the action slows down to a stillness. But it isn't long before it picks up again for the finale.
Everything that could happen does happen in that bank, and you really feel for Pacino's character and his partner. You want them to succeed, but then they are breaking the law, so should they be allowed to get away with it? Exciting and nail biting, this was brilliant entertainment I would recommend to anyone.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Film, 3 Dec. 2007
By 
Ms. Hr Jackson "Hannah Jay" (England) - See all my reviews
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I am utterly convinced that this is Pacino's best performance, to the point where nobody could convince me otherwise! This film is literally brimming with energy and the acting is pretty much impeccable. It's got drama, humour, and a poignant ending. You end up feeling like you knew the central characters, particularly Pacino's ever optimistic Sonny. Watch this at least once, you won't regret it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Empathic masterpiece, 24 Jan. 2005
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This review is from: Dog Day Afternoon [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
This high-tension thriller captures the true events of one summer afternoon when accomplices Sonny [Pacino] and Sal [Calzale] walk into a Brooklyn bank, and rob it.
Of course not all goes to plan.
An hour later they're still inside and the bank is surrounded. Cops, media, crowds of fans and the FBI are each hanging to Sonny's every word - and why? Because he has 9 hostages as pawns, a bank as his board and all the time in the world to think up a strategy.
Inside the bank however is a different story. You can't help but sympathise with Sonny [due to Pacino's terrific performance] as the first-time bank robber who's unprepared, out of his depth, and just trying to think up a way out. Even the audience begin to feel the effects of Stockholm Syndrome as Pacino's character gains our affections. The 'villain who's a nice guy at heart' could have been disastrously cliché but Pacino's portrayal is nothing short of brilliance. Even Sal with his morbid disposition is magnetising as his childlike innocence shines through. Calzale was wonderfully cast as this awkward accomplice, wordlessly following Sonny.
A huge success combining the skills of Lumet with the talent of Pacino for the second time in Pacino's best role to date. A true story that's compelling and tragic but most of all tangible - and that's what makes it so powerful.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pacino at his best, 20 April 2002
By 
John Peter O'connor - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dog Day Afternoon [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
This is one of the best "based on true events" movies that you will ever see. It tells the story of a bank robbery that first turned into a hostage taking and then became a piece of street theatre in New York one hot summer's day in the early seventies.
Sonny (Al Pacino) wanted to rob a bank to raise money for his boyfriend to have a sex change. Together with Sal (John Cazale) he held up a small bank in New York at closing time. They bungled the robbery and, instead of getting away with the money, they found themselves inside the bank surrounded by cops and with the entire staff as hostages.
Over several hours, they tried to negotiate a way out with the police and FBI. The negotiations took place on the street outside the bank in full view of a growing audience and, despite the attempts of the negotiators, the whole thing turned into a piece of street theatre.
Al Pacino does a brilliant job in the role of Sonny. It is easy to believe that this character could plan the robbery and then think and react as he did in what then became a siege. John Cazale does not make such an impression but, in part, that is because of the way that his part is scripted and set as a quiet, introverted type. Penelope Allen, in the role of Sylvia the chief cashier, is a fine support to Pacino. Like him, her character is always on the brittle edge but holding her staff together.
Nobody else really makes much of an impression, the cops, lead by Charles Durning as Detective Eugene Moretti and James Broderick (I) as FBI agent Sheldon are pretty much standard issue out of the hollywood box of stock characters. Sonny's weird assortment of relations who get wheeled on to the scene seem almost as much an irritation to the audience as they are to him.
That does not detract from the movie though which is all about Pacino's barnstorming performance and an Oscar winning script that just buzzes along. This is a great movie, it is full of tension and drama but also lightened with some very funny moments and we get to see a great actor giving his all.
One of the strongest attractions of this movie is Al Pacino who is as his raw, edgy best. If you liked his performance, you should check out "Serpico", "Panic in Needle Park" and "Scarecrow" which all allow him to display the same talents that he shows in "Dog Day Afternoon".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neo-realism meets Hollywood, 24 Nov. 2008
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Other reviewers have rightly singled out Pacino's performance as a career best, as Sonny, the twitchy eternal optimist ("We're going to make it, right?"), and also John Casale's haunting and haunted performance as Sal, the sad loner with a dog-like devotion to Sonny.

The essence of Pacino's performance is the brilliant balancing act between comedy and pathos, because he always plays the emotional truth of the moment, and lets the reaction come out of that. Improvisation is at the heart of his playing, and thirty years on it seems as fresh and "lived" as ever.

But it's also worth commenting on the superb ensemble playing in the beseiged bank between the two robbers and the bank staff held hostage. The director Sidney Lumet gives a valuable commentary on the making of the film, and he puts his finger on what makes the film seem so "real". Partly it's in the single-day time frame of the script; partly it's in the austere refusal to use any music apart from Elton John over the opening credits; partly it's in the use of an extensive rehearsal period and allowing the actors to improvise; partly it's in the creation of the bank set on the real New York street so that characters go inside and outside in real time, without any sense of movie trickery.

For 1975, the handling of the gay/transsexual theme was both brave and movingly done. It is cleverly introduced about halfway through the movie, after a deft feint. Sonny talks about wanting to see his "wife", and this is followed by the police interrogating a blabbermouth fat woman with two screaming kids. She is indeed his wife, but the "wife" who turns up is Leon, a drugged-up transsexual (Chris Sarandon) who Sonny has also married. It turns out that the motive for the robbery is to get money for Leon's sex-change operation. Because the film has built up so painstakingly Sonny as a character with a heart as big as a bucket, the audience took, and takes, Sonny's bisexuality in its stride. When he is finally about to leave the bank with the hostages, Sonny makes his will, leaving his life insurance divided between Leon ("who I loved more than any man has loved another man") and his heterosexual wife. This scene is the emotional heart of the movie, and lifts it way above run-of-the-mill heist films.

The essence of the film is waiting: characters waiting to escape or be released. But the movie is not at all static, because of the emotional flows between the characters. In this, director Lumet brings a kind of European cine verite feel to a Hollywood formula. It's a great achievement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT!, 8 Jun. 2011
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This film, based on a true story, concerns two inept bank robbers, Sal and Sonny, played by John Cazale, and Al Pacino respectivly. Soon after they have robbed a bank of $1100 dollars, for, thats all thats in there, the money having been picked up earlier that day, it is surrounded by 250 police, and news helicoptors hovering above, and the pair soon realise that escape is impossible. So they lock themselves in with employees of the bank, who then become their hostages, and there is a long stand off, as police try to negotiate with them.
You get drawn into this film almost immediately, as the characters are totally convincing. It then goes on to delve into Sonny's life and why he needed the money. This film shows the brilliance of Al Pacino's acting abillities, and the signs were there of what he would go onto achieve in his later career, he is now one of the best actors ever.
The transfer is in the film's original ratio of 1.85:1. Picture Quality for this release is good, the definition is pin sharp, and there are no problems with the mono soundtrack.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable, 22 Mar. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Dog Day Afternoon [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
This is an entertaining movie from beginning to end, with excellent acting all round. Even though all the action takes place almost entirely in one location, the movie never gets boring and you can never predict where the plot is going to go next. I was kept guessing up to the very end how the movie would finish, which is rare with most films. A film definitely worth seeing.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 70s cinema with PACINO at his awesome best..., 26 Mar. 2005
By 
Jeff Markham (Walton-on-Thames, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dog Day Afternoon [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
Dog Day Afternoon (1975) - Another Al Pacino/Sidney Lumet 70s classic and a film that has gathered a thoroughly deserved huge cult reputation. Al and his motley gang (including the late, great John Cazale) rob a bank in broad daylight during a hot mid-summer New York day. WHY? To finance his lover's sex change operation of course, a good enough reason for a plot device if I ever heard one. Guess what though - it's actually all true and based on real events. Stunning 70s cinema and (as SERPICO is) a reminder of Pacino's true greatness as an actor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird Bank Robbers, 17 Mar. 2006
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dog Day Afternoon [DVD] [1975] (DVD)
At times "Dog Day Afternoon" almost feels like a clever spoof of a typical heist movie , but then you remember that it is a film based on actual events. The two robbers are a pair of inept oddballs and when their bank hold up goes wrong , their panic and ad-hoc improvisation often becomes amusing ; "We want a plane to Algeria." demands Pacino. Pacino is predictably excellent as Sonny, the manic desperado hoping to fund his male lover's sex change operation and maintain his wife and children with the proceeds of the robbery. I wouldn't really describe this film as a suspense filled thriller as such. It is more of a character study of a desperate man and a strange tale of unusual events in Brooklyn which often are more comical than terrifying.
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Dog Day Afternoon [DVD] [1975]
Dog Day Afternoon [DVD] [1975] by Sidney Lumet (DVD - 2006)
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