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Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 25. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

September 14, 2011

25. Dog Day Afternoon [DVD] (1975)

Plot: On a hot summer afternoon, a bank in Brooklyn is held up by Sonny Wortxik (Al Pacino) and Sal (John Cazale). Although the bank manager and female tellers agree not to interfere with the robbery, Sonny finds that there’s actually nothing much to steal, as most of the cash has been picked up for the day. Sonny then gets an unexpected phone call from Police Captain Moretti Charles Durning, telling him the place is surrounded. Having few options, Sonny bargains with Moretti, demanding safe escort to the airport and a plane out of the country in return for the hostages.
Also Starring: Chris SarandonCarol KaneLance HenriksenSully BoyarPenelope AllenJames Broderick

Directed by: Sidney Lumet
Written by: Frank Pierson
Length: 125 min
Budget: N/A
Gross Revenue: $50,000,000 (USA)

Favorite Quote:
What country do you want to go to? 
Sal, Wyoming’s not a country. 

Review: Written by Frank Pierson who wrote Cool Hand Luke, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Al “Michael from the Godfather” Pacino as a gay man trying to rob a bank to pay for his boyfriend’s sex change operation, with the help of John “Fredo from the Godfather” Cazale!!

Seriously, could it get any better than this!?
Well actually, it could. And apparently 24 times since I have 24 more posts to do on this list… And not to spoil anything, but some of those post might be trilogies which I’ve counted as “one” movie, which makes it.. Nevermind, I hate math.

Nerdiest Movie Trivia: Sal (John Cazale) at one point berates one of the bank tellers for smoking, saying he didn’t smoke because “I don’t want to get the cancer”.

Ironically, Cazale himself died from cancer three years later.

I have a feeling Dog Day Afternoon is pretty unknown, at least among my friends. Every time I talk about this masterpiece, none of them have seen it. It’s actually the same with “Serpico“! And “Cruising“!! And “Author! Author!”!!! … What the hell!? Isn’t watching the entire back catalogue of Al Pacino something everyone does? If only just to impress the ladies?

Maybe that’s just me… I’m such an Al Pacino-fan I even bough Revolution

BUT, even though I sometimes spend money on shit movies (and that one is bad, sooo bad) I know when a movie is great, and Dog Day Afternoon is just that. Great.

And Al Pacino is brilliant as usual*!!

Oscar Count:
1 Win: Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Frank Pierson)
5 Nominations: Best Picture (Martin Bregman, Martin Elfand) Best Director (Sidney Lumet) Best Actor in a Leading Role (Al Pacino) Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Chris Sarandon) Best Film Editing (Dede Allen)

*For my own personal moral reasons, I have to add that the phrase “brilliant as usual” in that context excludes movies like Gigli, Revolution and S1m0ne…


PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 26. See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)


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