Dog Day Afternoon
Directed by Sidney Lumet
1975, everyone! This is going to be a good year; I can feel it.
Sonny, Sal, and Stevie attempt to rob a bank. Things quickly go awry when Stevie loses his nerve and the remaining duo realize that they have arrived after the daily cash pick up, meaning they would only get around $1,000. The police are quickly alerted about the situation and it becomes a hostage negotiation. The whole premise seems rather cliche now; I think just about every crime tv show has had a hostage negotiation episode. Still, it was fresh then and it seems fresh now.
I am the first to point out when Al Pacino gets a little "carried away" with his acting, but I was actually quite pleased with his performance (excepting maybe the Attica line). It's fascinating how accurate this movie was to John Wojtowicz's story in real life. Despite knowing how it was going to end, I still was engaged in this movie for almost its entire running time. Almost. Hey, it was over two hours of Al Pacino; I am not a saint.
Almost the entire film is improvised.
Al Pacino initially turned down the role, but when he heard it was going to be offered to Dustin Hoffman, decided to take it. Meow!