A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, while attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.
Robert De Niro,
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 »
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 »
You handled yourself real well, Sonny. A lot of men would've choked, and we might have had a death or a multiple death on our hands. But you handled it. I respect that. Now don't you try to take Sal. We'll handle him. Just sit tight and you won't get hurt.
[Sheldon turns to walk away]
Wait a minute... What are you talking about?
You just sit quiet. We'll handle Sal.
Do you think I'd sell him out? You fuck!
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Opening credits prologue: What you are about to see is true - It happened in Brooklyn, New York on August 22, 1972. See more »