Monday, August 15, 2011

Dog Day Afternoon

Year: 1975
Director: Sidney Lumet
Writer: Frank Pierson
Genre: Crime

I've had Dog Day Afternoon on my list of things to watch for a while now. Owning a copy of the VHS I just kept staring it at it and thinking it might be fun. One fine evening of browsing Netflix and I came to realize the film is available for streaming! So, I sat down and watched the whole two hour feature.

This is a movie I thoroughly enjoyed. Typical crime drama stories are not my thing but this isn't one of those stories. For one, the main character may be a bank robber but he's exceedingly entertaining. Played by Al Pacino, I wasn't expecting such a lovable guy. He robs a bank with a friend of his and all the bank staff are stuck in there with him. There's the manager, a security guard, and a flock of tellers.

The police catch on to the scheme rather quickly and surround the bank. However, due to the hostages, the situation gets drawn out for a long time. During that time frame the hostages mostly lose their fear of the robbers and discuss and pal around with them. It's really unexpected and makes things a lot of fun. It's also fun when the ever-growing crowd of spectators begin to take the robber's side and see him as sticking it to the man.

One of the most interesting things in the film to me was why the Pacino character wanted the money. I won't spoil it because the reasons don't come to light until later, but it's really quite unexpected (especially for the time period the film was produced). I suppose the reason the story is so outlandish is because it is based on a true story. And you know how that goes... true life is stranger than fiction and whatnot. I'd really suggest checking this film out if you've ever got a lot of time to spare and want to see one of Al Pacino's first big works.

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