Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writer: Frank Pierson (Screenplay) Leslie Waller (Book)

Starring: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen, Charles Durning

 

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


Tagline – This movie was not dreamed up by a screenplay writer. It couldn’t have — not with all the bizarre things that actually happened that day in a real bank, with real hostages and with Sonny Wortzik – the most unreal person who ever wanted to rob a bank

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tension Biopic

 

Story: Dog Day Afternoon starts as Sonny (Pacino) and Sal (Cazale) attempt to rob a bank, they are polite with how they handle everything not wanting to hurt anybody in the process. What seemed like a simple bank robbery takes a turn when officer Moretti (Durning) calls to negotiate a peaceful outcome.

With Moretti trying to keep Sonny calm we learn just how unprepared Sonny is, as the hostage situation soon turns into a media circus spiralling out of control. We soon learn Sonny’s motivation for the robbery which gains him the support of the public leaving us to wonder how it will end.

 

Thoughts on Dog Day Afternoon

 

Characters – Sonny has planned the bank robbery, but he has only planned for the robbery not a hostage situation, he is working to stay in control as he befriends the hostages never get violent enjoying the media circus that surrounds the situation. His motivations are good and over the course of the movie we start to support his actions. Sal is the partner in the robbery, he doesn’t want to hurt anyone, he is a man of few words and doesn’t seem like he is completely all there in the head. Sylvia is the head cashier, she doesn’t want to leave her girls behind becoming the voice of reason at times between the two sides.

PerformancesAl Pacino is fantastic in this role, he showed everybody just how talented he is, the career he was about to have and how he can control, dominate a 2-hour movie. John Cazale is great in the supporting role, he shows must of his feelings in expressions which is what his character requires. Penelope Allen is strong too, while only being a supporting role she is strong throughout the film.

StoryThe story starts with the robbery starting and finishes with the outcome, we have no build up no aftermath which is what we needed for the film. while I know it isn’t real time it does feel like real time as we follow the events as Sonny and Moretti try to stay one step ahead of each other. This is based on a real event which was the circus event shown in the movie, this is one of the stories that drags you in and makes you want to see where things will go.

Biopic/CrimeThis is a biopic that shows one event on Sonny’s life, this is the only part we need to see because it is the event that changes his life. The crime is a bank robbery which goes from simple to complicated for Sonny quickly.

SettingsThe whole film is set at the bank, this is the only setting we need because it shows how the situation could get out of hand because Sonny has been backed into a corner.


Scene of the Movie –
Attica, Attica.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I couldn’t find one.

Final ThoughtsThis is an acting masterclass from Pacino, this is his best performance of his career, it shows a story that was based on the real events which keep us on edge throughout the film. This is easily one of the best movies of all time.

 

Overall: Brilliant Thriller that stands the test of time.

Rating

 

 

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The Sting (1973)

rob challengeRob’s picked for me to watch is the multi Oscar winning The Sting, let’s see what I thought.

 sting

Director: George Roy Hill

Writer: David S Ward (Screenplay)

Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning, Ray Walston, Harold Gould, Eileen Brennan

 

Plot: In Chicago in September 1936, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bit of a Drag

 

Story: The Sting starts when young con artist Johnny Hooker (Redford) steals from the mob leading to his long-time partner and mentor to be killed. Johnny has to turn to experienced Henry Gondorff (Newman) to work the one big con against ruthless crime boss Doyle Lonnegan (Shaw).

We follow as the bog con unfolds and Henry and Johnny put together a team on fellow con artists for the bigger score of their lives.

The Sting is a heist movie that follows just one long play against one man in an act of revenge, just think it pretty much does what Ocean’s Eleven does by walking us through the whole con step by step. I will have to say the film does go on for too long for my liking and it all seems to just repeat itself with each tip given to Lonnegan. Add in the hapless police officer trying to catch Johnny and it all just seems to come off too long, repetitive and lacks the impact in the final pay off.

 

Actor Review

 

Paul Newman: Henry is the experienced con artist who Johnny turns to when he wants revenge for a friend’s death, he ends up putting the con together to make it al happen with his smooth talking style. Paul gives us a good performance in the role where he out smarts the villain.

 

Robert Redford: Johnny is the slick young con artist who ends up biting off more than he can chew when he takes money from a gangster. He must avenge his partner’s death with the help of the best in the business. Robert gives us a good performance from start to finish and is the star of the show.

 

Robert Shaw: Doyle is the mobster running the town and when he has money stolen from him he needs to make up for it but ends up becoming the target of the con artist who are out for their own form of revenge. Robert does a good job in this role shining against the flair characters.

 

Charles Durning: LT Snyder is the hapless detective trying to track down Johnny but always seems to lose him just when he thought he had him caught. Charles is the only remotely funny character in this film.

 

Support Cast: The Sting has a large supporting cast that all show the different side of the con people are and how ready each member is to deal with the consequences.

 

Director Review: George Roy HillGeorge does a good job directing this film that will be remember for years to come as it paved the way for the heist movie.

 

Comedy: The Sting doesn’t really have many laughs and it leaves me wondering how it is considered a comedy.

Crime: The Sting has a great heist element filling in the crime side of the story nicely.

Settings: The Sting has good settings being used making everything look like it would be the underworld of crime.

Suggestion: The Sting is on to try but if you don’t like older films you will struggle to enjoy this one. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Poker game.

Worst Part: Too long

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 7 Oscars

Box Office: $159 Million

Budget: $5.5 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

Tagline: all it takes is a little Confidence.

Trivia: The movie was filmed on the backlot of Universal studios and the diner in which Hooker meets Lonnegan is the same diner interior used in Back to the Future (1985) in which Marty McFly first meets his father and calls Doc Brown.

 

Overall: Long heist film that all shows basic storytelling with the one heist going on.

Ratingcard