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Dog Day Afternoon [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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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.
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.
The film is one of Lumet's best and most relevant ones, inspiring all the bank robberies that will follow in cinema history (from Code Swordfish to Inside Men) and representing one of the most original and impressive film from the Seventies. Lumet adopts an almost theatrical approach (all set in the same place from start to end) but shows as well all his cinematic skills, from editing to photography, from script to acting direction, to convey the sense of disorientation, confusion, anger, and potential chaos of those times.
Like it is not enough, there is also an original and surprising gay story, that contribute to make the film even more dramatic.
Despite it all, the film has also a surreal, ironic, almost mocking side that make the story entertaining and yet even more effective, because as it takes you up with a smile then it brings you down, back to the ongoing tragedy.
Pacino and Cazale give one of their best performances.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Warner bros have decided to reissue the Al pacino classic Dog Day afternoon on blu-ray again
cause it's the films 40th Anniversary since it's cinema release
but Guess... Read more
Pachino stars in an early classic, and incredibly, it's the true story of two guys who commit a bank robbery after less planning than most people would invest in deciding what to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Rocket Man
Great film and performance by Pacino, totally different to his roles as a mobster. A great watch.Published 4 months ago by League of Shadows
A present for someone so don't know what they thought of it.Published 4 months ago by Christine Gooday