(Review originally written at 1 October 2005)

"Dog Day Afternoon" is a movie that works on several levels. As a thriller it is good. The tension in the movie is at times really notable and has a very realistic feeling. Also as a character study this movie works. Not that often do we get to see the side of- and sympathize for a bank robber in a movie. The character of Sonny Wortzik gets really deepens out in the movie and we get to see him from many different sides in the movie. That he also has an homosexual affair is really daring for the time when this movie was made but director Sidney Lumet doesn't make this a prominent element in the story and is just one of the sides of Sonny Wortzik. I think that is a really good approach towards the character which works really well for the movie. If it was made a big deal in the movie that Sonny had an homosexual affair, it would had only worked distracting from the main story and for the character as well. The fact that everything in the movie is also based on a true story only makes the movie more interesting.

The movie sounds heavy but thank goodness it isn't. "Dog Day Afternoon" is a very fun movie that is filled with some comical situations and dialog, without making this movie look ridicules or entirely comical. It makes "Dog Day Afternoon" a light movie to watch, even though it still has some heavy moments in it of course. Therefor this is a movie that should be appealing and watchable for everyone.

The movie is filled with a very realistic atmosphere- and camera-work by Victor J. Kemper. The movie has a gritty depressing like atmosphere which makes the movie its story work really well.

There is no holding back Pacino! He puts lots of effort and passion in his character. It truly is one of his most memorable roles. I especially like the scene's between him and actor Charles Durning who plays Det. Sgt. Eugene Moretti, there is a certain thrust but also rivalry between them. John Cazale also plays one fine role but his role is rather limited. It was also fun to see Lance Henriksen in this movie, in one of his very first movie roles.

Yet another perfect masterpiece from the golden age of American cinema; the '70's.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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