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Dog Day Afternoon (1975), directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Al Pacino (VIDEO)

Watch the trailer for Dog Day Afternoon, directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Al Pacino; No. 3 on our list of the 100 best New York movies.

New York movies: Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Al Pacino heads a stellar ensemble cast in Sidney Lumet’s tense, unbearably moving tale of a first-time crook whose plan to rob a Brooklyn bank (at 450 Avenue P) goes spectacularly awry. Though primarily confined to a single location, the film is filled to brimming with distinctly New York characters: John Cazale as a spaced-out partner in crime; Chris Sarandon as a fragile transsexual; Charles Durning as a frazzled police detective. At the center of it all is Pacino’s Sonny Wortzik, who alternates between cocky displays of street-theater bravado (his famous “Attica!” speech) and devastating moments of walls-are-closing-in introspection (the character’s lengthy phone conversations with his ex-wife and current lover are acting master classes). You can see the film’s influence in multifaceted heist movies like Reservoir Dogs and Heat (also starring Pacino), but nothing matches Dog Day’s earthy, unsentimental vision.—Keith Uhlich

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Watch the trailer for Dog Day Afternoon




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