To start things off, I’d like to apologise for the half-assed review of RocknRolla. Unless I posted this before that, in which case, I apologise in advance. Just don’t read it. Actually, I’m going to throw it in the trash. This sort of honesty is rare in websites, that’s why we’re different. We respect you, dear reader. You should know the truth. And it’s a cheap gimmick.

Anyway! Time do some reviewing of stuff. Dog Day Afternoon is widely unrecognised film in Al Pacino’s filmography, it demonstrates how good an actor he really is. He plays an unexperienced criminal who’s mental state deteriorates at the same rate as his botched bank heist.

By now, you should have gathered that the second paragraph is the one with the spoilers. If not, now you do.

The movie opens with a few establishing shots and then one of Pacino and his two associates, one is clearly nervous. As they walk into the bank, the less nervous associates holds up the manager under a table. When the manager finishes his call, Pacino rips open a wrapped gift, revealing some sort of rifle. He get shouty and tells the nervous guy to tell the unarmed sercurity guard to lock the door. The nervous guy bails, obviously, how else did you think it would turn out? It all goes to “plan”, if you can call it that, until it’s revealed that there is only $1,100 in the vault. Then, the phone rings. It goes tits up. What should of taken half an hour ends up taking 12 hours. What follows is tense game of negotiations.

I don't know who you are, I don't know what you want. Oh! You want accurate film references. Sorry, none here.

I don’t know who you are, I don’t know what you want. Oh! You want accurate film references. Sorry, none here.

Pacino plays Sonny Wortzik, based on the real life John Wojitowicz, an ex-Vietnam soldier who robs a New York bank with hopes of funding his husband’s sexual reassignment surgery. His sexuality isn’t made completely clear, as he has a husband, a wife and three kids. It isn’t said that she is an ex-wife, so I could only guess that he’s bisexual. Joining him, his partner in crime, is Sal Naturile, based on the person of the same name, who, in the final moments of the act is SPOILERS shot by the FBI.

The film’s intenisty is captured due to the fact that Sonny is shown to get more and more unstable as it progresses, making you fear what he is capable of. Although he says that no one will get hurt and that he’s catholic, his actions and what other characters have said about him say otherwise. On the other side, is the authorities, trying their best to calm Sonny down, following all of his requests in an attempt to get him to release hostages. However, once the FBI get fully involved, that fear is replaced by calm hostility by the chief, Sheldon. Nearing the end, SPOILERS it seem as if our anti-heroes are going to escape until Sal is shot and Sonny is taken down in utter defeat.

This is definitely one Pacino’s more underrated films, as he showcases his ability to act in an almost bipolar manner, making you, the viewer, on edge about what he’s going to do next.


Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations

Uncle Milo

2 thoughts on “Dog Day Afternoon (1975) – Review

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