Dog Day Afternoon: The Real Story
Posted on July 19, 2017 at 8:00 am
Bilge Ebiri explores the real story behind one of the most indelible movies of the 1970’s, Dog Day Afternoon. The gritty reality of Sidney Lumet’s direction, the strangeness of the story (according to the film, the motive for the robbery was money to pay for the sex reassignment surgery of the transgendered romantic partner of one of the robbers) and the stunning performances by Al Pacino, John Cazale, and Chris Sarandon captured the moment. Audiences of the era remembered the bungled bank robbery as it unfolded, with the hapless criminals stuck inside the surrounded bank ordering pizzas and the hostages and the crowd outside rooting for the robbers.
Ebiri looks at the contemporary coverage of the robbery and the film. According to this story, there was a mob involvement as well. And the guy behind it all learned that “moviemaking, like crime, does not pay.”