Dog Day Afternoon

For a New Hollywood Movie I chose was Dog Day Afternoon. The 1975 movie stars Al Pacino and was directed by Sidney Lumet. The movie takes place over a couple of hours on a summer afternoon in New York city. Sonny (Al Pacino) attempts to rob a bank with his accomplice Sal and one other who chickens out early on in the film. The robbery is shaky from the get go and something eventually goes wrong and it deteriorates into a long drawn out hostage situation. Lumet made an exceptional film in part because he did not have to follow the constraints and censorship of the studio system. There was plenty of cursing in the film which the studio system forbade as well as some violent behavior and brandishing of guns. The movie also involves the subject of homosexuality; Sonny being a gay man, and the reason for the robbery. Anything that had to do with sex and sexuality was a taboo of the old system. There is some irony in the movie that reminds me of the clean studio system and the more gritty new Hollywood. Take Sal for example frowning upon one of the female hostages smoking. Or Sonny being a rather nice and considerate bank robber like promising everybody a turn to go to the bathroom. It’s funny that these criminals seem to be devout Catholics as well. If it wasn’t for the freedom of the New Hollywood style of filmmaking I don’t think this movie would have been as entertaining or humorous to me, a younger hip viewer.

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About Daniel Agudelo

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