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Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

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A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation, which turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Frank Pierson (screenplay), P.F. Kluge (based upon a magazine article by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,674 ( 593)
Top Rated Movies #248 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Penelope Allen ... Sylvia
Sully Boyar ... Mulvaney
John Cazale ... Sal
Beulah Garrick Beulah Garrick ... Margaret
Carol Kane ... Jenny
Sandra Kazan Sandra Kazan ... Deborah
Marcia Jean Kurtz ... Miriam
Amy Levitt ... Maria
John Marriott ... Howard
Estelle Omens Estelle Omens ... Edna
Al Pacino ... Sonny
Gary Springer ... Stevie
James Broderick ... Sheldon
Charles Durning ... Moretti
Carmine Foresta Carmine Foresta ... Carmine
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Storyline

Based upon a real-life story that happened in the early seventies in which the Chase Manhattan Bank in Gravesend, Brooklyn, was held siege by a bank robber determined to steal enough money for his wife (a trans woman) to undergo a sex change operation. On a hot summer afternoon, the First Savings Bank of Brooklyn is held up by Sonny and Sal, two down-and-out characters. 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, who tells him the place is surrounded by the city's entire police force. Having few options under the circumstances, Sonny nervously bargains with Moretti, demanding safe escort to the airport and a plane out of the country in return for the bank employees' safety. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody could dream him up. His incredible bank robbery is all the more bizarre...because it's true. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dog Day Afternoon See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$50,000,000, 31 December 1977
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1975)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the movie takes place in three locations: inside the bank, on the street outside the bank, and in the barbershop across from the bank. Standard procedure would be to shoot the street scenes on location, and then film the bank and barbershop interiors on sets constructed at a studio (where it's much easier to control lighting, sound, etc.). But Sidney Lumet wanted realistic continuity. He wanted us to see, for example, that when a character enters the bank from the street, he's really doing so -- not walking through a location door and then entering a fake set miles away. So Lumet found a block of a Brooklyn street that suited his purposes, including a vacant warehouse that could be turned into a bank. See more »

Goofs

When Sonny first meets the FBI agent he holds his hand up to shield his eyes from the light, when the camera cuts to the FBI Agent from the back of Sonny's waist, his hand is immediately at his side. When we see Sonny's face again he is raising his hand to shield his eyes from the light once again. See more »

Quotes

Sonny: You! Manager! Fucker! Don't get any ideas, you hear?
Sheldon: Believe me, I'm on your side on this one!
Sonny: Yeah, my side, shit!
Sylvia: Look, there are young ladies, here. You could watch your language, you know!
Sonny: I speak what I feel. "Watch my language". Empty the drawer out!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: What you are about to see is true - It happened in Brooklyn, New York on August 22, 1972. See more »

Alternate Versions

Recent DVD release replaces the old Warner Bros. logo at the beginning with the newer WB/AOL logo. See more »


Soundtracks

Amoreena
(uncredited)
Written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
Performed by Elton John
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
My Ten Commandments of Dog Day Afternoon! ;-)
26 May 2005 | by Asa_Nisi_Masa2See all my reviews

I've watched this film for the third time in a few years last night. Instead of writing a straight review, I'd like to jot down ten thoughts just off the top of my head concerning this exquisite movie:

1) Watching this film will change forever your perception of the bank heist genre, making you question the contrived cinematic conventions these films usually make use of.

2) The source of this film's paradoxical and/or farcical elements spring from life itself, not from film or pre-existing cinematic conventions. Sometimes, the absurdities of life are so great, they dwarf those included in any form of fiction. Without even trying to make that point, this film captures that concept beautifully.

3) Its tone in relation to the homosexual theme is ahead of its time. In fact it's ahead of OUR time, even, in hardly making an issue out of it at all - it just IS.

4) It captures the climate of the 70s in a manner so sober, you'll remember its unshowy yet authentic feel forever.

5) Lumet's film brings to life the concept of the distorting lens of the media and how different groups with different agendas will turn an outlaw into a hero, with far more efficiency than Oliver Stone's brash, bloated, childish and repetitive Natural Born Killers.

6) Watching this film will illustrate to the younger generations exactly why Al Pacino has earned himself the legendary status he probably no longer would deserve with his performances of the last 10 years alone. **SPOILERS**: Just watch those last ten minutes of him handcuffed against the bonnet of a car, where he doesn't say a word, but speaks volumes with his eyes and his soul just oozing out of every frame at the end of the movie; you'll remember those eyes for as long as you live!

7) Watching this film, you'll realise that firing a gun-shot is a BIG DEAL in real life, and that other films make too much use of gun fire in a highly contrived way.

8) All that tension deriving from pointed guns unable to fire a shot OR move away… you realise Tarantino must've taken notes sometime along the way.

9) No genre is old or done too many times before if it's handled with this amount of freshness, inspiration and talent.

10) Watching Dog Day Afternoon for the third time has filled me with the same amount of wonder at the power of truly inspired but unobtrusive film-making as it did first time round.


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