Filmmaker in 5: Sidney Lumet

Dog Day Afternoon

Sidney LumetUSA130 minutes1975ColourEnglish

Mar 11
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    Reuniting Lumet and Al Pacino, the duo's second great NYC true-crime movie of the '70s was even more spectacularly successful than their previous hit Serpico. Pacino and John Cazale play sadsacks Sonny and Sal, whose fumbled attempt to rob a Brooklyn bank leads to a hostage situation when the building is surrounded by cops. Over the course of the long, hot day, the stand-off becomes a virtual three-ring media circus as the hostages and their captors develop a strange affection for each other, Sonny is elevated to the status of underdog hero (thanks to his defiant, cop-baiting chant of "Attica! Attica!"), and the motive for his bungled robbery attempt is revealed. "One of Sidney Lumet's best jobs of directing and one of Al Pacino's best performances come together in a populist thriller with lots of New York juice.… an astonishing fusion of suspense and character" (Jonathan Rosenbaum).