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
Early in the writing proceedings, Frank Pierson considered dropping out of the project but had to continue because he had already spent his advance. Struggling to find a hook, he discovered while researching the story of Sonny Wojtowicz, that everyone who knew him had a contradictory story about the man. One thing they all agreed on was that Sonny was always saying "I'll take care of you. I'll make you happy." Pierson then knew that he had found his way in to the story. See more »
In the opening scene, when Sonny is walking to the bank, he
holds his gun in some gift wrap. The blue ribbons are crossing where the flower is. In the next shot, the crossing is moved much closer to the top, as if to make it easier to open the box. But when Sonny tries to open the box to get the gun out, the ribbon is back to its starting position. See more »
It was so freshening and attractive to see His Majesty, Mr. Al Pacino, in this breathtaking movie of 1970s. The first thing that a discerning eye would notice throughout the film is the undying uniqueness of Pacino's originality. This was just another movie destined to reassuring viewers of Al's status of an icon. The movie itself is endearing and entertaining. Though the movie is supposed to appear like a bank robbing, and in a sense it is, but deep in the heart robbing is simply a way to achieve a totally different goal, of course other than money! It is about affection and mutual caring. It's about what situations a person is ready to embark into in order to show how much he cares for another one. And I guess this is the point of the whole movie, which is stylistically decorated with dozes of sarcasm and pleasantry with sporadic undertones of bravery. The characters are all innocent which innocence seems to relate them to each other. What I deem as very courageous here are the thematic elements, homosexuality. I guess the time when the movie was made the society had still been ruled by prejudiced mentalities that could really ruin this innocuous piece of art. For this, I praise the very daring Sidney Lumet, one of my favorite directors. 10/10
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