Dog Day Afternoon

Drafthouse Films

August 22nd, 1972 was just another hot summer day in New York City, at least until two men walked into a Brooklyn branch of Chase bank and made a somewhat incompetent attempt to rob it. John “The Dog” Wojtowicz and Salvatore Naturale were the two would-be robbers, and while you probably don’t recognize their names you’re most likely familiar with their exploits that day. The event — and the botched robbery most definitely became an event complete with hostages, intense media coverage and crowds of cops and civilians — inspired the Al Pacino-led film Dog Day Afternoon just a few years later. Naturale was killed by police as the situation came to a frenzied and suspenseful conclusion, and Wojtowicz went to jail, but The Dog’s story continued to grow well past his eventual release. By his own account, he had attempted the robbery so that his male lover could afford a sex change operation. That detail was disputed by none other than the lover himself, Ernest Aron, but by then the “story” of The Dog was already rolling and impossible to stop. Co-directors Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren followed Wojtowicz for a decade, speaking with him — or more accurately, letting him talk — and those in his life in an attempt to capture the truth and character of the man. There’s an abundance of the latter in The Dog, but it’s anyone’s guess how much of the former is on display. Wojtowicz enjoys not only the sound of his own voice but […]

read more...

the dog fund this

You likely already know that Dog Day Afternoon was based on a true story. But did you know the inspiration for Al Pacino’s character didn’t die until 2006? His name was not Sonny Wortzik, it was John Wojtowicz, and there’s a new documentary about him titled The Dog. Directed by Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren, the film is set to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month. The production needs some extra financial help, though, to continue working right up until the event and complete all the finishing touches in time. And for their campaign, Berg and Keraudren have gone with a new crowdfunding outlet called Seed&Spark, which lets you pick specifically what parts of the film you want to donate to from a “wish list.” This project’s options include archival footage and photo licensing ($25-$100 apiece), poster design ($500) and color correction ($25 per portion).

read more...

Over Under - Large

Sidney Lumet’s 1975 tale of a bank robbery gone bad, Dog Day Afternoon, is not only considered to be a high point in the careers of both its director as well as its star, Al Pacino, it’s also considered to be one of the key films that was a part of the New Hollywood movement, which started in the late ’60s and continued through to the blockbusters of the 80s. New Hollywood was all about a generation of filmmakers making films that were artsier, grittier, and more experimental than most commercial fare, all from within the confines of the studio system. But while Dog Day Afternoon and its tale of cross-dressing and violent crimes certainly looks at home under that classification, is it really good enough to be mentioned in the same breath as stuff like Bonnie and Clyde, The Godfather, or Mean Streets? The early ’90s saw one of the biggest boom periods in the history of sketch comedy mainstay Saturday Night Live. Cast members like Mike Myers, Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, and Chris Farley led the show to probably its most critically successful period since the original cast, and pretty much everyone on the show went on to become a star in film. Out of all of these talented comedians, however, none became quite as successful as Sandler. After starring in Billy Madison in 1995, he was off to the races, earning big paychecks, pulling in big box office dollars, and gobbling up media attention. Some of his […]

read more...

When Zoolander came out on September 28, 2001, the production had digitally removed The World Trade Center’s Twin Towers from the New York City skyline in an effort to avoid displaying a devastating image in the middle of a comedy about the world of fashion. If they’d have left it in, it wouldn’t have been the first time the buildings had been featured on film or television. Since they didn’t, it marks the first time the buildings were ever erased. With the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9/11 coming this Sunday, it’s impossible not to be consumed a bit by the gravity of an action that killed so many and lowered a different world view onto all of us. Landon and I talked on Reject Radio regarding the effect that the day had on movies and movie-watchers, but that mostly dealt with the last decade – the world that came after that morning. As a counterpart, here’s a simply-edited montage of the past. Dan Meth has built a view to the movies where the Twin Towers either stood proudly in the background, made prominent appearances in the front of the action, or acted as the set. It’s stirring in its matter-of-factness, and it’s more than a little moving, but it’s ultimately a celebration of a symbol that no longer (physically) exists. Check it out for yourself:

read more...

Legendary American filmmaker Sidney Lumet passed away today of lymphoma at the age of 86. Lumet has had a long and distinguished career directing films and television. Perhaps what’s most remarkable about Lumet’s filmography is that he made good movies in nearly every single decade that he worked, and the time between his first film and his last film was exactly fifty years (1957-2007). Lumet, in short, embodied American film history from the 1950s to now. Lumet started out as a child actor on Broadway. After returning from service in WWII, he started directing television programs like Playhouse 90 and Studio One, before making a television version of the play 12 Angry Men before turning it into his first feature film in 1957. Much of Lumet’s career can perhaps be characterized as a series of firsts. For example, his film The Pawnbroker (1964) was the first studio film to seriously deal with traumatic memories of the Holocaust and with Jewish guilt, as well as the first to have significant frontal nudity. Dog Day Afternoon (1975) was one of the first studio films with an open homosexual as its main character. Lumet was known for challenging censorship and pushing boundaries throughout much of his career.

read more...

Sidney Lumet was a master moviemaker in every sense of the word. Take a look at your all-time top ten, and he’s mostly likely got at least one spot on it. Serpico, Network (my personal #2), Dog Day Afternoon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and a list that continues (and logic-defyingly includes The Wiz) until the paper runs out. Maybe you’d like to experience more movies by the man, or maybe you’d like to introduce yourself to him after his unfortunate passing. Maybe your goal is to post up on the couch and watch Lumet movies all day. Well, you can, and we’ll be right there with you. Here are just 7 of his movies that you can watch immediately through Netflix.

read more...

I’m robbing a bank because they got money here. That’s why I’m robbing it. On Aug. 22, 1972, would-be criminal mastermind Sonny (Al Pacino) walks into a Brooklyn bank with his two inept accomplices. The instant the robbery is under way, one of the accomplices gets cold feet and bails. Then, Sonny discovers most of money has already left the bank. Plus, the security guard is having an asthma attack and the tellers want to go potty. It’s going to be a long night. Why We Love It Remember Pontius Pilate? He famously asked Jesus, “What is truth?” Jesus didn’t answer, so Pontius was like, “OK, wiseguy. It’s the cross for you!” (At least, that’s how I remember the story. It’s been a while since I read it.)

read more...

For 36 days straight, we’ll be exploring the famous 36 Dramatic Situations by examining a film that exemplifies each one. From family killing family to prisoners in need of asylum, we brush off the 19th century list in order to remember that it’s still incredibly relevant today. Whether you’re seeking a degree in Literature, love movies, or just love seeing things explode, our feature should have something for everyone. If it doesn’t, please don’t fly us to the country of Wyoming. Part 20 of the 36-part series takes a look at “Crimes of Love” with Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon.

read more...

Times are tough. You need a little extra cash. You have absolutely no regard for the law. What do you do? If you’re a total badass, you plan the perfect heist. And because Film School Rejects is dedicated to providing “news you can use” – and encouraging its readers to engage in all kinds of dangerous and illegal behavior – what follows is a handy guide to executing the perfect heist as dictated by some of the movies we love.  Or, in deference to the new John Luessenhop flick opening this weekend, you can think of the following as The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Takers.

read more...
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+
published: 12.05.2014
C+


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3