Sunday, September 12, 2010

#37. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

DVD Synopsis: On a hot Brooklyn afternoon, two optimistic nobodies set out to rob a bank. Sonny (Al Pacino) is the mastermind, Sal (John Cazale) is the follower and disaster is the result. Because the cops, crowds, TV cameras and even the pizza man have arrived. Pacino and director Sidney Lumet (collaborators on Serpico) reteam for this boisterous comedy thriller - based on a true incident - that earned six Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture) and won an Oscar for Frank Pierson's streetwise screenplay.

Al Pacino is easily one of the finest actors of the last 50 years, and many of his films are now considered classics thanks in large part to his performances in them. 

In Dog Day Afternoon, Pacino delivers not only the best performance of his career, but one I rank among the top ten of all time. 

His Sonny is a lightning rod of emotions, an angry, confused man who has gotten himself into something much more dangerous than he ever imagined. Pacino is absolutely stellar from start to finish, taking Sonny from high to low and back again very convincingly. 

In a career that has seen its share of notable roles, Dog Day Afternoon represents the absolute cream of the Pacino crop.


Anonymous said...

First movie I can remember that perfectly captures the inept, slow-witted, anti-hero, and his low-rent environment. The juxtapositioning of his mundane life crisises with the action drama is riveting and hysterical. One of my favorites of all time.

Anonymous said...

Now this is a good movie Doctor Shock not horror though and for the life of me I cant understand why you only have 2 small paragraphs for this and you wrote a book on that dumb looking Rod Serling movie.


DVD Infatuation said...


I agree: This is a very good movie, one I could easily watch over and over again.

As for how short the avobe is, there is (or should I say "was") a reason for it. I'm going to re-post a comment I made on THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, when another person asked why my review of that film (which I loved) was so short when compared to that of the 2nd CHAINSAW MASSACRE (which I disliked). Here's the explanation I gave:

"Yeah, the above write-up is brief, to say the least. This is because, back when I first started this blog, I figured if I was going to get through 2,500 movies, I'd have to do so writing no more than 150-200 words on each one. I've since changed that philosophy (right around the beginning of 2011), and am writing more complete pieces (an average of 550 or so words) on each film."

Now, looking at what I have for DOG DAY AFTERNOON above (Which, at #37, was one of my earliest entries), it's not even 150 words (it's just barely over 120)! So, yes, it definitely bothers me that a movie like DOG DAY AFTERNOON is covered in only a few sentences while ENCOUNTER WITH THE UNKNOWN has 5 full paragraphs! I know that, at some point in time, I'll have to go back and expand my reviews for these early blog entries. It's just a matter of finding the time to do so!

Anyway, thanks so much for the comment, and once again, thanks for listening to Planet Macabre.

Unknown said...

I first watched this film while in high school and I remember liking a lot though I don't recall much about it. That was at a time when my taste for the 70s style of filmmaking didn't exactly vibe with me. Perhaps it's time to revisit it.