For this year’s A-To-Z Challenge, my theme is MOVIES. I will be working my way through the alphabet during the month of April with movie titles and short blurbs about each movie. Today’s movie is “Dog Day Afternoon.”
“Dog Day Afternoon” was a 1975 American biographical crime drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and produced by Martin Bregman and Martin Elfand. It starred Al Pacino, John Cazale, James Broderick, and Charles Durning. The screenplay, written by Frank Pierson, was based on the Life magazine article “The Boys in the Bank” by P. F. Kluge and Thomas Moore. It chronicled the 1972 robbery and hostage situation led by John Wojtowicz and Salvatore Naturile at a Chase Manhattan branch in Brooklyn. The bank robbery goes wrong and evolves into a protracted hostage situation, turning the plan’s mastermind into a media celebrity and the event into a media circus.
When inexperienced criminal Sonny Wortzik (Al Pacino) leads a bank robbery in Brooklyn, things quickly don’t go as planned. As Sonny and his accomplice, Sal Naturile (John Cazale), try desperately to remain in control, a media circus develops and the FBI arrives, creating even more tension. Gradually, Sonny’s surprising motivations behind the robbery are revealed, and his standoff with law enforcement moves toward its inevitable end.
Released in September 1975, “Dog Day Afternoon” was a critical and box office success. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards and seven Golden Globe Awards. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. In 2009, Dog Day Afternoon was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress, and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
“Dog Day Afternoon” is a great movie and arguably one of Al Pacino’s finest performances. The first part of the movie is actually pretty funny, while the second part is gritty, more a drama and a thriller.