Have you ever had one of those days?
One of those days where you just wanna hang out with your boys, rob a bank, pay for a loved one’s operation, maybe get out of the country for awhile….. and it all goes to hell?
A more serious version of what was just described occurred on August 22, 1972 in Brooklyn, New York. The bank robbery—and the combination of surreal events and real life drama that surrounded it—was the topic of a LIFE magazine article which was in turn the basis for Sidney Lumet’s 1975 crime drama Dog Day Afternoon.
The movie centers on our two bank robbers: Sonny and Sal.
Al Pacino plays Sonny—a neurotic Vietnam vet whose impulsiveness and frenetic energy gives every scene a unique form of tension.
John Cazale is Sal—the sidekick who seems to be boiling right beneath the surface of his outward personality. Early in the film you kinda get the sense that Sal could shoot everyone—including Sonny and himself—at any moment.
Dog Day Afternoon has a visceral appeal. Desperation comes off the screen in waves. The chaotic tone of the movie makes it seem unscripted, comically real, and frightening. Just like life.