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Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Romance  |  21 September 1975 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 168,030 users  
Reviews: 245 user | 104 critic

A man robs a bank to pay for his lover's operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.



(screenplay), (based upon a magazine article by), 2 more credits »
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Top 250 Movies #222 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 13 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sully Boyar ...
Beulah Garrick ...
Sandra Kazan ...
Amy Levitt ...
John Marriott ...
Estelle Omens ...
Carmine Foresta ...


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 alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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 See more »


Crime | Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 September 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tarde de perros  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (1975)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Al Pacino originally grew a mustache as a way to help him deal with the fact that he was playing a gay man. Looking at the first day's rushes with director Sidney Lumet, Pacino quickly realized that the mustache had to go. See more »


When Sonny is having the tellers empty the money from the cash drawers, one of the teller's name signs says "Maria Sandora." When the telephone rings and the scene cuts to the manager and back to the tellers, the sign has disappeared. After the camera cuts to a different view of Sonny and the tellers walking to the next window, the sign is no longer where it was but is now located at this next teller window. After this, as the camera angles cut back and forth, the scene was obviously filmed at different times because the items on top of the counter are in different order and do not always appear in all shots. See more »


Leon: He won't listen to anybody. He's been very crazy all summer. Since June he's been trying to kill me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: What you are about to see is true - It happened in Brooklyn, New York on August 22, 1972. See more »


Referenced in Bad Company (1999) See more »


(Elton John / Bernie Taupin)
Album "Tumbleweed Connection" 1970
This Record Co. Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

great character study and a masterful actors' showcase
18 May 2005 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Sidney Lumet's "Dog Day Afternoon" is one of the most highly enjoyable and wildly funny movies I've ever seen - smart, sharp, complex, witty (and often quotable) dialogue, and superbly acted. Al Pacino stars as Sonny, an optimistic loser who decides to hold up a bank with his friend Sal (played by the late, great John Cazale) to get money for his lover Leon's sex-change operation.

The film is only worked around a few sequences, and may seem overlong to some, but it works excellently because it is held together by the fantastic acting. Al Pacino is astounding as Sonny, and his work here even eclipses the excellent work he did as Michael Corleone in "The Godfather" (and that's saying something, because I adore that movie and his portrayal). Pacino has the facial tics and the energy and the wide-eyed optimism down pat, and his performance is extremely engaging and entertaining. Take, for example, his scene where he rouses up the crowd against the police by chanting, "Attica! Attica! Put your f---ing guns down!" A lesser actor would have made it insipid, but Pacino makes it oddly poignant and hilarious at the same time. (And he was robbed of his Oscar for his role.) The late John Cazale is also superb as Sal, the dopey-eyed follower, the quiet laid-back calm to Pacino's maniacal energy. It's a less flashier role, but Cazale still brings on all the laughs, especially in his deadpan delivery of the line, "Sonny, they're saying there are two homosexuals in here...I'm not a homosexual."

Frank Pierson won an Oscar for his script for a reason - the dialogue is hilarious, sharp, and witty. Many of the lines in this movie are extremely quotable (and you can check some of them out under "memorable quotes"). This is intelligent writing, in the sense that you will laugh and be moved at the same time.

Great movie! It belongs in your VHS or DVD collection. 10/10

72 of 80 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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