Best Movies by Farr

Dog Day Afternoon

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What's it About

Forced to take hostages after a botched bank heist, Sonny Wortzik (Pacino) and his none-too-bright accomplice, Sal (Cazale), negotiate a tense standoff with Police Captain Moretti (Durning) over the course of a sweltering New York City afternoon. With a local TV station covering the situation live, Sonny becomes an unlikely celebrity, especially once the poignant true motives behind his heist attempt are revealed.

Why we love it

Reuniting director Lumet and Pacino, who'd worked previously on "Serpico," this Oscar-nominated drama (based on a true story) tracks two scheming misfits who've witlessly imprisoned themselves in a no-win situation. Pacino's ruffled and passionate evocation of working-class Brooklynite Sonny, who riles the gawking crowd outside the bank with chants of "Attica!", stands alongside his best works of the 1970s. The late Cazale, who played weak brother Fredo in the first two "Godfather" entries, is heartbreaking as Pacino's imbecilic partner-in-crime. Gritty, suspenseful, and superbly crafted, this "Day" is worth seizing.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"