Dog Day Afternoon (1975): Sidney Lumet’s Best Picture, Starring Al Pacino, John Cazale (Masterpiece, Cinema of the Absurd)

Arguably Sidney Lumet’s best picture, Dog Day Afternoon is an incredibly lunatic, fact-based story of a loser named Sonny (played with great panache by Al Pacino), who holds up a Brooklyn bank to raise money for his lover’s sex-change operation.

Grade: A (***** out of *****)

Frank Pierson’s Oscar-winning scenario is based on the vivid magazine article by P.F. Kluge and Thomas Moore about the attempt to rob a branch of the Chase Manhattan Bank on August 22, 1972. In the movie, the bank is renamed as First Brooklyn Ban

Dog Day Afternoon is a rather accurate yet eccentric feature, in many ways a logical follow-up to Lumet’s previous film, the vitally fact-based policier, Serpico, which also starred Al Pacino.

The film depicts a seemingly “simple” heist tale, which goes awfully and hilariously wrong, snowballing in many unpredictable directions until it becomes a citywide incident, going way beyond the two inept robbers, the bank and its diverse employees, the police department, and growing crowd of city residents.

The New York Times critic Vincent Canby has correctly noted that Lumet’s quintessential New York movies are as much aspects of the city’s life itself as well as stories of the city’s life, in this case Brooklyn.

On one level, “Dog Day Afternoon” is a fact-inspired melodrama about a disastrously ill-planned bank robbery. On another, the film is a wild satire about the desperation of marginal, lunatic characters to get their share of the American Dream.

By not taking sides or making value judgments, the film achieves great emotional impact, while remaining grounded, but not serious or earnest, in its particular concerns.

Sharply scripted, “Dog Day Afternoon” begins with a major irony, that the bank’s vault on that particular day has only $1,100. After the first reel, the film becomes a gaudy chronicle of street-carnival, which encourages the viewers to wonder and laugh at the madness on screen, almost up to the end, often at the most inappropriate moments.

The two hoodlums, Sonny (Pacino) and partner Sal (Cazale), are motivated by different goals. Seeking money for a sex-change operation for his boyfriend, Pacino Sonny failed miserably after they held the bank’s employees hostage for fourteen, during which they appeared live on TV and became the center of a neighborhood Mardi Gras, trying to negotiate for a Jet plane to fly them out of the country.

Only briefly, “Dog Day Afternoon” gets out of the bank or, for that matter, away from the lower-middle-class neighborhood. At least half of the yarn stays within the bank itself, centering on the shifting group dynamics between the hoodlums and their hostages. This concentration in space and time is at least partly responsible for the film’s dense intensity and overall emotional impact.

The precisely-etched characterization is vividly brought to life by a brilliant cast of lead and supporting actors; there is not a single bad performance in the picture. Right after the first scene, we get a concrete sense of the complex tangle of a city in a state of crisis, distress, anger, and ultimately senseless violence.

Sonny comes across as a mad mini-mind of the holding, a demented, confused man in his personal relationships. He vows his love for wife and child and at the same time declares passion for his boyfriend whom he had “married” in a drag wedding some months earlier with his mother as a witness. In a bravura scene, he recalls his full-dress white wedding to a man, attended by no less than seven male bride-maids. A man of grand delusions, Sonny says he needs and wants not a little but a big jet.

John Cazale is hilarious as Sal, Sonny’s seemingly quiet and passive sidekick in crime.  He is a lunatic who believes in physical fitness, claiming that he doesn’t smoke, “because the body is the temple of the lord.”

As Sonny’s boyfriend Leon, Chris Sarandon brings the right mixture of fear, dignity, and silliness. At one point, he testifies that his would-be patron had tried to kill him on several occasions.

The film offers a current vision of the absurd dilemmas of city life, as populated by characters that are on the periphery of American society and thus seldom get ion screen time. Like other seminal films of the 1970s, such as Spielberg’s “Sugarland Express,” made in 1974, “Dog Day Afternoon” shows the power of the media to create a fictional reality that seems more important than life as it’s lived on the street. Director Lumet should be commended for the bravura style when depicting the crowds outside of the bank.

“Dog Day Afternoon” may be the first American movie about a bank robbery that’s staged and acted as a wild social satire, which in moments assumes the tone and shape of a farce; you don’t know whether to laugh or cry, feel sorry or empathize with the characters.

Unlike most heist pictures, this movie describes a bank robbery that’s not so much suspenseful, scary, or even dramatic. In fact, it is an anti-climactic event that consists of small and peculiar scenes, unexpected courtesies, absurd wishes, surreal reveries, acts that need to be seen in order to be believed.

Gradually, the bank begins to take on a domesticated look, with a newly formed social community, in which the hostages are bonding with their captor-tormentors. How else can you explain that midway, the two men send for a pizza to soothe their hostages, some of them are elderly men and women.

It doesn’t help that the robbery occurs in one of the summer’s hottest days, with temperature of 97 degrees and rising, and though, almost from the start, the bank is surrounded by police, it takes a long time for the force to intervene and take any action.

Using a novel device of 1970s Hollywood cinema, Lumet keeps a TV screen in the bank, which shows the events while they are happening. Dog Day Afternoon suggests a crazy human behavior, which is both controlled and modified by the very fact that it’s publicly and simultaneously reported.

There is no doubt that he heist’s publicity affects the line of action, making it crazier, more feverish, and ultimately totally out of control. Sonny is perceived as an American “original,” a doomed but sympathetic anti-hero, at once a product and a victim of showbusiness. One of the film’s most human touches is the notion of Sonny’s inability to handle all the responsibilities he has assumed, as he is trying to do the right thing by everybody–his wife, children, suicidal Leon, hostages in the bank

The film is full of surprises, good and bad ones. While there’s a ritualistic scene between Sonny and his very Jewish mother, strangely for a Jewish director like Lumet, race is ignored, or at least not dwelled upon. On the other hand, the expected scene between Sonny and lover Leon never happens. They handle their contact by phone; in fact, Sonny’s anxiety and Leon’s distress are so pure and complete that there’s no need to appeal for our sentiments or sympathy.

Sony is a doomed working-class hero who behaves crazily, irrationally but spontaneously, who the audience accepts, or at least doesn’t laugh at because American society of the 1970s is so normless and amoral that as citizens we no longer believe in patterns of behavior or codes of ethic anymore, just in behavior itself.

Pacino is brilliant in conveying both the funny and tragic sides of Sony Persona as a street tough, who creates and then becomes the victim of his own lethal situation.

As played by Cazale, Sal is equally compelling and pathetic–he is a simpleton who doesn’t know the difference between a state and a country. When Sonny asks him what country he wants to go to, Sal replies in earnest, “Wyoming.”


Sonny (Al Pacino)
Sal (John Cazale)
Moretti (Charles Durning)
Leon (Chris Sarandon)
Mulvaney (Sully Boyar)
Sylvia (Penny Allen)
Sheldon (James Broderick)
Jenny (Carole Kane)
Angie (Susan Peretz)
Margaret (Beulah Garrick)

Running time: 130 Minutes

Critical Status:

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) honored Dog Day Afternoon with 3 major awards:

Best Picture (in a tie with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)

Best Director: Sidney Lumet

Best Actor: Al Pacino


xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbethttps://bsport.fithttps://onbet88.ooohttps://i9bet.bizhttps://hi88.ooohttps://okvip.athttps://f8bet.athttps://fb88.cashhttps://vn88.cashhttps://shbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88
Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter