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I did not think the world of DOG DAY AFTERNOON when it premiered in 1975, but since it currently rates 8.0 at the IMDb, perhaps I should have caught on sooner. It has mesmerizing performances by Al Pacino, John Cazale, Chris Sarandon and others, and the genuine feel for a hot sweaty summer afternoon in New York, right down to the trash on the streets and our knowledge that the Big Apple was floating general-obligation bonds just to pay salaries, which led directly to the city's bankruptcy the following year. There are nice comic touches, too, perhaps unintentional, which this gritty movie needs, such as the fact that this Warner Bros. production has Warner Bros. cartoons like the Road Runner playing on the TV in the bank. If you haven't seen it before, please do so, as it's one of director Sidney Lumet's hallmark movies -- but my advice is to devote a full evening to it and keep little kids away.
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on June 7, 2012
I previously owned the double-disc DVD and purchased this BD based on other reviews saying the picture quality upgrade was astounding. They weren't lying - it is. Background details (pictures on walls, Christmas club bank advertisements, etc.) now stand out, making the movie set feel much more realistic. I noticed things in the outdoor scenes (signs of surrounding businesses, for example) that I never noticed before. Speaking in general, the overall level of detail is far superior to the DVD version.

Something I've noticed as my BD collection increases are continuity errors I never noticed before. I watched this BD just last night and noticed one for the first time (I won't bore you with details - an outdoor daytime scene where the sun's shadow moves dramatically - one or more hours of real time had passed, demonstrating that pieces of multiple takes were used in the final movie). But this isn't necessarily a bad thing ;)

Also, unlike some other movies, all extras included on the DVD release are present on this BD, so you won't "lose" anything.

Highly recommended.
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on September 6, 2012
"Dog Day Afternoon" has aged well. It puts us into its millieu, it puts us in touch with its characters, and like John Ford it does not call attention to its direction. (With the exception of its use of sound effects to do the work of a music track--and that's just fine). This is 1970s colors and despite the thought that when it was releasted, Lumet was criticized for a lack of sense of place within its frame (in contrast to Hitchcock who carefully gives the audience a geography lesson), we are in the place with the characters. Even as we know they are actors, we come to believe their reality. Lumet reflects the unique nature of NYC and Brooklyn in a time and place when the fact that a bank robber was "gay" was not just a freak event, but an anthem shouting gay people cannot be steroetyped. A bank robber could be masculine, an hostage taker and gay. At a time when the New York Times avoided the word "gay," on radio a homosexual was a reality check. Gay people exist, all over. Viva the lifestyle!

Notice how well Lumet keeps the set getting dingy over time. It is nice, as is the lighting which goes from flourescent harshness to cold night.

Almost 50 years after Stonewall, almost 40 years after its release, "Dog Day Afternoon" brings us deftly back and presents a narrative more compelling than it seemed wehn first released.
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on August 15, 2013
This is one of my very favorite movies of all time. Since it's everything a true story, I had to look up and read the book written by the real "Sonny". He cast himself In a different light, of course, but the movie is dead on; Poor Sonny trying to rob a bank with no money and getting stuck with a large number of hostages he doesn't know what to do with.
The police and FBI totally play mind games with him, furthering frustrating him,
John Cazzel give his usual great performance Sal, the reluctant side-kick. If you have never see it buy it immediately.


hte movie is deadon and Pacino is wonderful playing the frustrated would be bank robber where everything that cold go wrong z\does. No money, hostages that he treats nicely, the police and FBI making things worse. John Cazelual as usual plays his part to perfection. If you have never seen
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on April 19, 2009
In mood, acting, location and plot, this story delivers. Al delivers. So does his right hand man, John Cazale, who plays Sal. They really work great off each other. He is as good as Pacino in this movie, and as important; from the moments of Cazales first lines there's always something kind of powerful and not what you're expecting. The story itself is fun in a tragicomic kind of way and should hold your interest pretty well the full 2 hours. Cinematography is great and I'd have to say this is the best Sydney Lumet film I've seen with the exception of "Network" maybe.

The 2-disc edition has lots of special features which make for interesting watching, with Pacino and Lumet talking about their work and the film in "A 4-part Anniversary Documentary" which you may be inspired to watch after seeing the film. Also included is a film commentary by the director and a featurette, "Lumet: Film Maker" which was made in the 70s around the time they made this film. "Dog Day Afternoon" has subtitles in English (yes!), Spanish and French. An excellent and surprising period piece (1975) which gives a portrayal of an incident that happened 3 years prior (1972). Would appeal to fans of 'true crime' stories, 70s classics, Sydney Lumet and Al Pacino. I saw this after catching Scarecrow with Pacino and Gene Hackman, also a winner.
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VINE VOICEon November 23, 2005
After a very successful collaboration on SERPICO, Sidney Lumet and Al Pacino did everyone a favor and teamed up again to make DOG DAY AFTERNOON. Together, both films comprise some of the best work of the early 1970s. The only shame is that, despite the films' critical acclaim, the DVD releases of both films leave much to be desired.

But, regardless of the quality of the DVD transfer and the lack of features, this film finds both Pacino and Lumet at the height of their powers. DOG DAY AFTERNOON begins with the stark realism that I have come to expect from Lumet. There is nothing hyped about his style: there is not an ounce of Hollywood. Many directors, upon getting a hold of a "bank robbery" script, would have gone hog wild: special effects, quirky plot devices, etc.. Instead, we suddenly find ourselves on the streets of New York in the 1970s. You really feel like you're there. It is not a special day; in fact, it could be any day of the week. And yet, two men are about to change their lives forever. For it's closing time at the bank and they have one last stop to make.

Their plan was perfect. They were going to rob the bank around closing time and they knew all of the tricks of the trade. But slowly, and surely, their plan begins to unwind. Everything goes to hell in a matter of minutes. After taking way too much time, Pacino discovers that the armored car has already emptied the bank's vaults, leaving our two robbers with nothing but a little petty cash for their troubles. By then, the cops have arrived. The rest of the story is about watching Pacino's character unfold, a character that has little to gain and nothing to lose. Sonny (Pacino) is one of the most interesting characters in all of cinema and there is a reason that, of all Pacino's performances, this is one of his most memorable.

DOG DAY AFTERNOON also provides a nice critique of the media, as the media becomes entranced with the bank robbery. The scenes in which Pacino "works" the crowd, despite holding several hostages, is magnificent, inspiring the film's most famous line: "Attica! Attica!" For many in the city of New York, Sonny is their hero. He is tired, fed-up, and marginalized by society because of his bisexuality. Of course, the fame can only last so long, for when the media and crowd learn of his bisexual relations, they turn on him in an instant. It is fascinating to watch the hostages at the bank become excited and wrapped up in the idea of being on television--so much so that they choose to stay in the bank rather than be set free!

DOG DAY AFTERNOON ends the way it begins: not with a bang, but with a whisper, and the same stark realism that opens the film sees it through to its conclusion. If you haven't seen DOG DAY AFTERNOON, I suggest that you remedy it. Check this film out. You won't be disappointed.
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on February 28, 2014
it has been ages since i saw this was when it first came out in the theaters.i saw this at least 3 times back then.i love al pacino such a great actor.i completely forgot this was a true story.if you are an al pacino fan YOU have to get this movie! it is serious but it is funny or i just have a wierd sence of humor.all the acting in this movie is fantastic.the scene where you see all coming out of the bank and talking to the police and the people waving the white hankerchief is identical to he actual film footage from the news reale they show of the actual robbery. they captured it in detail. i just think this is one of al pacinos best works. i guess he has sandra seacat to thank for prepping him in his career.
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on July 14, 2016
Director Sidney Lumet's bold venture into relatively charted territory holds up pretty well after more than forty years (made in 1975). The key to his success, of course, is a riveting performance by Al Pacino, as a regular guy, married with kids, who holds up a Brooklyn bank to get money for his transsexual lover's sex-change operation. Chris Sarandon does a nice restrained turn as Pacino's lover.
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on May 4, 2002
I can't say enough good things about this film. The very fact that the versatile director Sidney Lumet was even able to pull it off--and so convincingly--is amazing. It's also Pacino doing the finest work of his career. He is incredible in a difficult role; his stamina holds up throughout without any breaks in continuity, and he is able to make Sonny both tragic and likeable, even for all of the character's flawed logic and bumbling ineffectiveness as a robber. The scene towards the end when he dictates his will to the bank teller who writes it up is one of the most moving scenes in all of cinema. Lumet and crew are to all to be commended. The film's atmosphere is perfectly captured--you can FEEL the stifiling, sweltering heat inside the bank as if you are sitting in there with the hostages. If DDA hadn't been released during the same year as "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (which swept almost ALL the Academy Awards in almost every major category for 1975) it would have won all of the same awards, hands down, as far as I'm concerned. As it turned out, it unfortunately won only one award, for screenplay. But awards or not, you will NEVER forget this movie. Pacino has never been this good, even in the Godfather series.
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on June 2, 2014
I'm a fan of Al Pacino, so anything he puts out, I go and see. This movie was a movie with a serious message and Pacino delivered it well with his superb acting.

And, fans ... it's a 'Two-Disc Special Edition': with a '30th.- Anniversary' Documentary and Commentary by the Director. I must admit, I didn't view this part but I have viewed the movie several times and I am a HUGE Al Pacino fan!

I bought it for it's price and fast service. I found both in this seller. In other words, I would do business with them again!!
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