Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Summer in the City
In an effort to catch up on classic movies I've missed, I rented Dog Day Afternoon. Wow. What a brilliant film. The realistic writing, believable performances and tension-building direction were all terrific. No wonder it was nominated for so many Academy Awards. Unfortunately, it only won Best Original Screenplay. I hadn't realized the film was also based on a true story, which adds to its impact.
While Al Pacino does a bang-up job as a desperate bank robber, his slow-burning sidekick John Cazale really steals the show with his quiet, perspiration-drenched turn as Sal.
In many ways the film made me recall Spike Lee's terrific Inside Man. Dog Day Afternoon was referenced in the recent release literally and structurally, although Inside Man was bigger, shinier and noisier. Both films are gritty, often funny and masterfully made. Evidently crime does pay when it comes to the cinema.