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April 5th, 2018

Dog Day Afternoon

Classic siege drama with Al Pacino

Sidney Lumet 1975, USA, 125 mins.

In this classic from the seventies two down-at-heel New Yorkers, Sonny (Al Pacino) and Sal (John Cazale) hold up a bank for an unusual reason only to find themselves unwilling hostage-takers with a huge police presence outside. So there is drama but also great characterisation and acting, which draw us into the situation making us care about the central figures and their fate.

From a user review at Amazon:

The essence of Pacino's performance is the brilliant balancing act between comedy and pathos [as] he plays the emotional truth of the moment. Improvisation is at the heart of his playing, and thirty years on [nearly forty now!] it seems as fresh and "lived" as ever.


The plot development is just breathtaking. ... [The film] establishes Pacino as one of greats, because his performance has such depth and humanity that I can't immediately think of any serious competitors. Simply one of the all time greats of cinema, if you haven't seen it you're in for a treat.