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
The entire film is mostly improvised, though around the script. After rehearsing the script for weeks with his cast, Sidney Lumet took the improvisations that were made while rehearsing and made that the official screenplay. See more »
When Sonny first meets the FBI agent he holds his hand up to shield his eyes from the light, when the camera cuts to the FBI Agent from the back of Sonny's waist, his hand is immediately at his side. When we see Sonny's face again he is raising his hand to shield his eyes from the light once again. See more »
[to his mother]
I'm a fuck-up and I'm an outcast. If you get near me you're gonna get it- you're gonna get fucked over and fucked out.
See more »
Opening credits prologue: What you are about to see is true - It happened in Brooklyn, New York on August 22, 1972. See more »