#221: Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

When and how did I watch this?

September 28th, 2015, on Amazon Prime.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

I read a bit too much of the plot synopsis because I found the story fascinating — a bank robbery turned media frenzy.  Al Pacino doesn’t hurt, either.

What do I know about it now?

The movie lived up to the hype, for me.  I enjoyed the banter, the crowds accumulating at the police barriers, the lovable characters throughout.  It really didn’t get too intense until the later portion of the film, where we’re left with a lasting image of Sonny’s cohort getting one between the eyes (who seemed destined to go down anyway).  I loved Sonny’s congeniality with the bank tellers, who at first are terrified but gradually warm up to Sonny, making the “hostage” situation seem like a party, albeit an uncomfortable one. The whole foundation of the film and the true-story robbery is hard to believe, which makes the whole thing intriguing.

What are some themes in the film?

The media, intentions/deception, police protocol, love/relationships, humanity

Did this affect me personally?

I believe it did.  I related to many of the conflicted characters, the stumbling about of the robbers who said they planned it all out and failed miserably, and the way people sympathize with flawed individuals.

Why is this ranked #221?

It’s a circus-level robbery and it happens to be true.  Al Pacino is fabulous.  The movie is funny quite often, and once again it addresses homosexuality.

Did my wife watch/like it?

Yes. She loved the human element as well.

Would I watch it again?

Yeah, it was fun.

Would I recommend it to a friend?

Yes — although Pacino’s foul mouth is in full effect, and the violent split-second at the end might be a bit much.

Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

Yes, because Al Pacino and a bank and hilarity and people being people, all captured in a tidy format that kept me interested throughout.

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