Film Reviews, Short Review

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

4/4

With Sidney Lumet’s best work, the devil is always in the detail, and so it is with Dog Day Afternoon. In the hands of a lesser director, this would have been just another heist film, with perhaps some interesting performances. In Lumet’s hands, it becomes a film that tastes and smells of New York, bursting with the life of its actors, filled with passing details and seemingly unimportant moments that add up to a snapshot of a much wider picture. Not only that, but here is a film from the 1970s—only a few years after Stonewall bought gay rights to the forefront—treating its LGBT characters not as caricatures, but as human beings. It is surely one of Al Pacino’s best roles too, edgy, nervous, but completely fully-rounded, to say nothing of the rest of the cast, which includes one of only five feature film performances from John Cazale.

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