Based upon a real-life story that happened in the early seventies in which the Chase Manhattan Bank in Gravesend, Brooklyn, was held siege by a gay bank robber determined to steal enough money for his male lover to undergo a sex change operation. On a hot summer afternoon, the First Savings Bank of Brooklyn is held up by Sonny and Sal, two down-and-out characters. Although the bank manager and female tellers agree not to interfere with the robbery, Sonny finds that there's actually nothing much to steal, as most of the cash has been picked up for the day. Sonny then gets an unexpected phone call from Police Captain Moretti, who tells him the place is surrounded by the city's entire police force. Having few options under the circumstances, Sonny nervously bargains with Moretti, demanding safe escort to the airport and a plane out of the country in return for the bank employees' safety. Written by
Although he had initially agreed to play the part of Sonny, Al Pacino told Sidney Lumet near the start of production that he couldn't play it. Pacino had just completed production on The Godfather: Part II (1974) and was physically exhausted and depressed after the shoot. With his reliance on the Method, Pacino didn't relish the thought of working himself up to a state of near hysteria every day. Lumet unhappily accepted the actor's decision and dispatched the script to Dustin Hoffman. Pacino changed his mind when he heard that his rival was in the fray. See more »
When Sgt. Moretti and Sonny are negotiating for the cops to bring pizzas, soft drinks, and aspirin, Moretti is holding a bullhorn in his right hand. In the next shot, he's gesturing with his empty right hand. Then the bullhorn is back in his right hand again. See more »
I've seen this movie and for me it's Al Pacino at his best! The movie has a very simple premise, two guys rob a bank, but everything that can go wrong does. In the beginning the women who work in the bank are afraid, but once the situation escalates into a sideshow, some the women become comfortable with the situation. Basically, the entire movie is in the bank and all types of comedy and drama surrounds it. This is Al Pacino early in his career and for anyone who hasn't seen the movie, I definitely recommend it. Just keep in mind between all the madness you see in the film that this is a true story, and very entertaining!
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