"Dog Day Afternoon"
September 1, 2002 10:57 AM   Subscribe

"Dog Day Afternoon" Is one of my favorite movies. In it, Al Pacino plays a born loser who attempts to rob a bank in order to pay for his lover's sex-change operation. It's based on a true story, and you can read the original article that inspired the movie here. Strangely, the real-life robber was able to pay for the sex-change operation with money he got from the proceeds of the film. Also of interest is this French documentary about the crime.
posted by grumblebee (17 comments total)
It's one of my favorite movies, too--I still consider it Pacino's best performance. Unfortunately, we seem to have pushed the Tripod server a little far, but thanks anyway for the link!
posted by Acetylene at 1:29 PM on September 1, 2002

The Guggenheim Museum in New York currently has an exhibition called "Moving Pictures" (open through January.) It includes a nifty installation that shows pieces from the movie adjacent to Woytowicz's (the robber) recollections and recreations of that day.

Worth checking out if you're in NY.
posted by Vidiot at 1:29 PM on September 1, 2002

Woytowicz is the 59,042nd most popular last name (surname) in the United States (source).
posted by stbalbach at 1:44 PM on September 1, 2002

Great flick. But did you have to put three spoilers about it on the front page?
posted by dobbs at 2:15 PM on September 1, 2002

Egads, slap my wrist!!! I HATE spoilers, and I never thought I be responsible for any. I'm terribly sorry. I just wasn't thinking.

Here's a google cache of the page I linked to.
posted by grumblebee at 2:59 PM on September 1, 2002

I'm guessing that someone complaining about "spoilers" for a twenty-seven-year-old movie has his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, grumblebee. Otherwise he might be terribly disappointed to learn that Bambi's mother gets shot by hunters.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:30 PM on September 1, 2002

Ohmigosh, she DOES? That's as bad as telling us that Mister Ed didn't really say all his own lines. (shyeah...AS IF!)
posted by Vidiot at 8:16 PM on September 1, 2002

Whoops -- just realized that the "French documentary about the crime" is the same piece referenced in my link to the "nifty installation" at the Guggenheim. (D'oh!) Apologies.
posted by Vidiot at 8:25 PM on September 1, 2002

I agree. What sort of cattle-brained idiot are you Dobbs?
posted by ttrendel at 1:18 AM on September 2, 2002

Well, at the risk of self-flagellation, I'll come down against spoilers -- even for 27-year-old films. What difference does it make how old it is? There are still folks who haven't seen it (sometimes simply because they are young). A few months ago, I finally got around to reading "War and Peace." It's been around much longer than "Dog Day afternoon," but I would have still been pissed if someone had revealed the plot. I'm less interested in reading "Anna Karenina," because ending has been spoiled for me.
posted by grumblebee at 6:27 AM on September 2, 2002

ttrendel: What sort of cattle-brained idiot are you Dobbs?

the kind that shaves off one of your eyebrows and calls you bitch.

and the kind that loves movies and hates when people give away character motivations and endings of films people might not have seen yet.

and, so this post isn't completlely useless, anyone who likes DDA should read this book.
posted by dobbs at 8:27 AM on September 2, 2002

I have never seen the movie, but I really enjoyed the book. I tend not to watch movies if I have already read the book, because they rarely live up to the expectations created.
posted by dg at 7:58 PM on September 2, 2002

Eh? "Dog Day Afternoon" isn't based on a book. The book bobbs linked to is an autobiography by (and about) the film's director, Sidney Lumet. It's really good, but it isn't the story of DDA.
posted by grumblebee at 5:09 AM on September 3, 2002

We showed the movie at an outdoor theatre that I run in Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago. It was interesting to note that the actual crime scene was only a couple of miles away. Apparently the "location" bank was a created out of an old factory and as it was being finished, a number of people off the street wandered in asking about opening an account.

An Al Pacino Fan Site which has some more background on the film and reprints of various articles from publications from over the years.

My favorite quote...
Sonny: So what country do you want to go to?
Sal: Wyoming.
Sonny: Sal, Wyoming's not a country.
posted by lampshade at 8:13 AM on September 3, 2002

... "Dog Day Afternoon" isn't based on a book.

"Dog Day Afternoon" - the book
posted by dg at 10:04 PM on September 3, 2002

dg, though you're correct, there is a book, the film was not based on it. (and yes, i realize that you didn't say it was. however, your statement about movies not living up to the books implies you thought they were connected.) the film came out in sep 1975. the book came out in july of the same year. if it had been based on the book, that would be quite a feat. :)
posted by dobbs at 8:21 AM on September 7, 2002

dobbs, I should have worded my comment better, but I did realise that the book was basically the screenplay published to promote the movie.

I always find that movies fail to live up to the book, perhaps because the movie does not match what I see in my imagination when I read the book.

Of course, you are correct in that the movie was not based on a book :-)
posted by dg at 4:27 PM on September 9, 2002

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