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Movie Reviews

Dog Day Afternoon  

124 mins
dir - Sidney Lumet
stars - Al Pacino - Sonny Wortzik
John Cazale - Sal
Penelope Allen - Sylvia
Sully Boyar - Mulvaney
James Broderick - Sheldon
Charles Durning - Moretti

You must see this movie as soon as possible. I can safely say that I've not enjoyed watching a film as much as this one for quite a while, and who have I got to thank for that - Mr Richard Bates. The result of another smash & grab swap run, Dog Day Afternoon was recommended to me by B2 of BBM fame who informed me that his dad (see above) said it was a top film so I took his advice, which I really shouldn't have done considering the last movie that B2 of BBM fame recommended was Any Given Sunday but I said well what the heck, Al Pacino's in it so lets check out, and I'm glad I did.

The movie is based on events that actually took place so already it promises to be a great movie. Two guys attempt to rob the Brooklyn Bank but almost as soon as they have put their plan into opperation things start to go wrong and what was meant to last only a few minutes turns into a twelve hour seige. I'll tell you the tag line here because it sums up the movie in a few lines rather than me typing out a load of bullshit -
The robbery should have taken 10 minutes. 4 hours later, the bank was like a circus sideshow. 8 hours later, it was the hottest thing on live T.V. 12 hours later, it was all history. And it's all true.

And here's the plot outline - A man robs a bank to pay for his lovers sex change operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.
This situation makes for a fantastic movie. I thought it was an incredibly funny film, not because there are any jokes in it or anything but I found myself laughing as we see the slow degeneration of the two robbers and the staff that had been taken hostage. We also see how the media makes it into a big farce and how Sonny plays up to the crowds and the camera and of course just the fact that Al Pacino is in it makes it even better.

Every time I see a Pacino movie that I haven't seen (and I have only recently taken the time to start watching those that I haven't seen) he impresses me even more. The way that he acts in his mannerisms and actions and what he says and of course his voice just make him in my opinion the perfect movie actor because he's so enjoyable to watch, this is especially so in films like this and Scarface and Carlito's Way where there is a really good character for him to develop and bring to life. Look out for a BBMPacino site in the near future.

The other crook is played by John Cazale who is best known for playing Fredo in the Godfather alongside Pacino. His character in the movie is very different to Pacino's, whilst Sonny still keeps his cool and some sort of control over their situation we see that Sal is a less able to cope with the deteriorating situatuion and the subtle performance from Cazale is in its own way equally as good as Pacino's. I found out on the few extras that appear on the DVD that John Cazale died of bone cancer in 1978 the same year as The Deerhunter was released in which he also appeared, he was 43. When you look at the movies that he appeared in (The Godfather & Godfather II, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon, The Deer Hunter) it is a safe to say that he would have made many more great movies.


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