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->''"[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYl9nNIoz8o ATTICA! ATTICA!]]"''
-->-- '''Sonny'''

''Dog Day Afternoon'' is a 1975 Creator/SidneyLumet film starring Creator/AlPacino as Sonny Wortzik and John Cazale as Sal, his partner. The film is based on a RealLife incident from August 1972.

On the hottest day of the year, three men in Brooklyn decide to [[BankRobbery rob a bank]]. [[ASimplePlan The plan is simple]]: They're going to run in, steal the latest shipment of money, and leave. It'll be over quickly, and the robbers will go home with a huge stash of money that mastermind Sonny Wortzik can use to help with his wife's medical bills.

Except, [[RealityEnsues that's not what happens]]. Thanks to pure, [[DidntThinkThisThrough bullheaded]] [[StupidCrooks incompetence]], the robbers find themselves [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere down to two men]] with barely any money to steal and a building full of hostages, with the police and the media converging outside. All this, and there's no air conditioning in the bank. As the hours pass, the robbery becomes a news sensation, the crowds of onlookers grow bigger and bigger, and the story gets crazier and crazier. It's no longer a question of whether Sonny and Sal will escape with the loot, but whether they'll escape at all. And that's only the beginning of their problems...

A classic of the UsefulNotes/NewHollywood era, ''Dog Day Afternoon'' covers a wide variety of themes, from ideas about gender and personality, to Stockholm and Lima syndrome. Winner of the UsefulNotes/AcademyAward for Best Original Screenplay, and nominated for five others including Best Picture. Not to be confused with the 2011 HeroicFantasy {{Anime}} called ''Anime/DogDays.'' For a RaceLift remake starring Creator/DenzelWashington, see ''Film/JohnQ''

!!Tropes associated:

* AffablyEvil:
** Sonny is snappish, crude, and impatient, but the hostages and the viewer alike can't help warming to him. For one thing, he steadfastly refuses to go near the VillainBall, refraining from any act of wanton cruelty toward the hostages even when anonymous callers urge him to take advantage of the situation -- but even more so, he's just so urgently ''human'' that his affable side inevitably shows through. (We do hear stories [[spoiler:from Leon]] portraying his past actions in a not-at-all affable light, but the reliability of that source is questionable.) Should be noted that at the beginning of the movie, [[PetTheDog he explicitly does not start the robbery until a woman with a baby has left the bank.]]
** Sal as well, though to a much lesser extent since he's definitely pretty creepy even while relaxing with the hostages. That said, Maria gives him her rosary [[spoiler:at the airport]] as a sincere present, so he must have made a relatively favorable impression as well.
* AntiVillain: Sonny Wortzik, who's committing the robbery to pay for his wife's sex reassignment surgery.
* ArtisticLicense: The real John Wojtowicz described the film as being a 30% accurate portrayal of the real event, in particular objecting to the portrayal of his wife as an overweight nag, and his father as refusing to speak to him. It also didn't help that after a screening of the film some of his fellow prisoners tried to kill him for betraying his partner, not realizing that part didn't actually happen. Though he had nothing but praise for Pacino and Sarandon's portrayals of himself and his lover.
* ArtisticLicenseGunSafety: Subverted at the end of the film, when the FBI agent driving the vehicle asks Sal to lower his gun while he's driving so it won't cause an injury in case it goes off if they go over a bump. In actuality, [[spoiler: he does it so he can have the advantage on Sal when he draws his own hidden gun and fatally shoots him]].
* BankRobbery: Sonny and company try to pull off a quick one. It doesn't go well.
* BiTheWay: [[spoiler: Sonny is either a formerly closeted gay man or bisexual.]]
%%* TheBigRottenApple
* BittersweetEnding: Would be a DownerEnding if not for RealitySubtext.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: The LGBT slogan "Out of the closets and into the streets" is translated into Dutch as "Uit de toiletten, in het licht" (Out of the toilets, into the light).
* BriefcaseBlaster: Sal smuggled the Smith and Wesson M76 into the bank inside a briefcase. Likewise, Sonny smuggled the M1 Carbine inside a birthday present. Stevie, however, simply hid the revolver in his pocket.
* CatchPhrase: "I'm dying here". Leon says that Sonny uses it "...every day of [his] goddamn life".
* CharacterTics: Mulvaney, the bank manager, habitually puts his hands in the pockets of his suit jacket throughout the film.
* CIAEvilFBIGood: FBI evil, local cops good. Mind you, Sonny himself would call them all evil -- he constantly accuses the local Detective Moretti of trying to con him -- but it's never clear how much of this is just Sonny being paranoid, and Moretti gives the impression of trying to play the situation as honestly as possible. The same definitely can't be said for FBI agent Sheldon, who (though still acting on the side of justice) quite plainly deceives or attempts to deceive Sonny on several occasions... [[spoiler:and it's he who introduces the notion to Sonny that the two bank robbers are not necessarily heading for the same fate.]]
* TheDitz: Sal, who when asked which country he'd like to go to, responds with "Wyoming."
* DownerEnding: Bank robbers or not, the story ends tragically both in real life and fiction.
* EarlyBirdCameo: Sonny's ex-wife Angie and her kids are briefly seen during the opening montage.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: The whole movie takes place over a single afternoon/evening.
* FBIAgent: Agents Sheldon and Murphy.
* FriendlyEnemy: Despite still having weapons trained on them, the bank staff spend a lot of time in the film making casual conversation with their captors. At one point, Sonny even lets one teller handle his rifle. Likewise, despite Sonny distrusting Detective Moretti and Moretti wanting Sonny behind bars, the two are on mostly reasonable terms until an FBI agent is put in charge.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: One of the hostages camps it up for the cameras during Sonny's interview.
* HeatWave: When the robbery takes place. Problem was, the film was made during winter, forcing the cast to suck on ice cubes and run about in summer clothes.
* HistoryMarchesOn: The ending notes that John Wojtowicz was currently serving a twenty year prison sentence. He was actually released after serving just six of those years.
* HopeSpot: Near the end, for the protagonists. Then [[spoiler: Sonny is arrested and Sal is killed.]]
* IHaveNoSon:
-->'''Sonny:''' Where's Pop? He didn't come down here, did he?
-->'''Sonny's Mother:''' No. Is he pissed off at you. He says he doesn't have a son. He says you're dead.
-->'''Sonny:''' He's right.
* LargeHam: Sonny can drop into this when he's angry, especially during the famous "Attica!" scene.
* LaughablyEvil: Sonny at times.
* LimaSyndrome: Sonny and Sal start to get friendly with the hostages over time. Sonny even lets one handle his rifle while teaching her to twirl it.
* MamaBear: Head-teller Sylvia, AKA "The Mouth" is a minor example who does not harm or threaten to harm anyone for intimidating her co-workers, but initially scolds Sonny for using foul language, chastises the police for manhandling an asthmatic hostage, and later willingly remains a hostage so as to keep the other younger bank tellers calm.
* MistakenForGay: A newscaster says the crime is being perpetrated by two homosexuals. Sal is not pleased.
* UsefulNotes/NewYorkCityCops: Among the first to gather outside the bank before the media and the crowds come in. They handle the situation until the FBI comes in.
* PerfectHealth: Averted with Howard the security guard (asthmatic) and Mulvaney the bank manager (diabetic).
* PlethoraOfMistakes: From going in with no masks or gloves, to using their real names, to not even ''thinking'' of blacking out the cameras till they've been inside a while, Sonny and company bungle the robbery spectacularly. [[JustifiedTrope And it all happened in]] RealLife.
* PoliceBrutality: The huge number of police officers surrounding Sonny lets him invoke the excessive use of force by New York State Police during the 1971 Attica Prison riot, leading to the famous chant to get the crowd on his side.
* PrecisionFStrike:
** Mulvaney telling Sonny, "I wish the fuck you never came into this bank." He actually apologizes to the women afterwards for his language.
** Sonny drops one of these during a live phone interview with a TV reporter, which leads to the station immediately cutting off the interview and throwing on a ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' cartoon instead.
* TheQuietOne: Sal has few lines compared to other characters. It makes him slightly more menacing than Sonny.
* RealityHasNoSoundtrack: No musical score beyond the opening sequence.
* RealLife: The film is based on a real event and portrays its version realistically.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Detective Moretti, who attempts to reason with Sonny and stop the beat cops from turning the situation into another Attica.
* RedOniBlueOni: Sonny is the red and Sal is the blue.
* RememberTheAlamo: "Attica!" and possibly also "Out of the closet and into the streets!"
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Stevie, who gets cold feet and runs out on Sonny and Sal just as the holdup is underway.
* ShellShockedVeteran:
** Among their other issues, Sonny and Sal apparently served in Vietnam. ("So killing don't mean nothing to us, understand?")
** Probably a lie, at least in the case of Sal, who later mentions that he's never flown in an airplane before. Unless he went over by boat (or lied about never flying to gain sympathy)...
* ShootTheHostageTaker: [[spoiler:Sonny's partner Sal gets shot this way at the end.]]
* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler:Not only do Sal and Sonny fail to escape with the loot or their demands met, but Sal gets killed and Sonny is arrested.]] {{Justified|Trope}} because this is how the real-world events ended as well.
* ShoutOut: At one point a frustrated Sonny picks up a ringing phone and sarcastically answers, "WNEW, plays all the hits." WNEW was a real-life NYC rock station of the era.
* ASimplePlan: The robbery should have been quick and easy; just run in, stick 'em up, get the cash and run. Alas, the robbers' incompetence turns everything upside-down. Even the poster agrees:
--> The robbery should have taken ten minutes. 4 hours later, the bank was like a circus sideshow. 8 hours later, it was the hottest thing on live TV. 12 hours later, it was all history.
* SourceMusic: Music/EltonJohn's "Amoreena" plays non-diagetically over the opening scenes before turning into this, as it's revealed to be playing on Sonny's car radio. Later in the film the Music/{{Faces}}' "Stay with Me" is briefly heard on a teller's transistor radio. These are the only pieces of music in the entire film.
* StockholmSyndrome: The hostages begin to sympathize with Sonny and Sal as the robbery wears on. One of them even gives Sal her rosary [[spoiler:at the airport]].
* StupidCrooks: Even if the robbery had gone exactly as planned, Sonny and Co. surely would have been caught almost immediately: they don't wear gloves, don't wear masks, and call each other by their real names in front of the bank staff, all in full view of closed circuit cameras (which Sonny only paints over halfway through the robbery). Sonny even makes sure to let the tellers know that he's a Vietnam veteran and a former bank teller, just in case the police might want to check that angle out.
* ThoseTwoBadGuys: Sonny and Sal.
* {{Transgender}}: Sonny's wife, Leon. The whole purpose of the bank robbery is to pay for her sex-change operation.
* UsefulNotes/VietnamWar: Sonny is a veteran (though Sal most likely isn't).
* VillainProtagonist: Sonny, attempted bank robber and the central character of the film.
* WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong: The bank robbery was supposed to be easy...
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Stevie, the third bank robber who chickened out about 5 minutes into the robbery. Did he go home and start acting like nothing happened? Did Sonny rat on him? Was he the one who informed the cops in the first place?
* WhatTheHellHero:
** Leon gives Sonny a good one...
-->'''Sonny'''You said to me that you needed money, and I knew that you needed money! I saw you there lying in the hospital like that... and I said... shit, man, I got to get this guy some money.
-->'''Leon:''' But I didn't ask you to go rob a ''bank!''
** Mulvaney gets Sonny with another good one a moment later. After he goes into insulin shock and has to be treated by a doctor, Mulvaney [[NoOneGetsLeftBehind refuses to leave the tellers behind]] and reminds Sonny that Sonny isn't exactly the hero of this story...
-->'''Mulvaney:''' I just needed the insulin.... I wish the fuck you never came in my bank. Don't try to act like you're some angel of human kindness!
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: The credits at the end say that Sonny was sentenced to 20 years in prison (though he was actually released just three years later after serving six years), that Angie (Sonny's first wife) and their children were living on Welfare, and Leon (Sonny's wife) had her sex-change surgery and was living as a woman in New York City (until she died of AIDS ten years later).
* WordSaladTitle: "''Dog Day Afternoon''" doesn't make sense unless you know that "dog days" refers to the hottest days of summer. The film takes place during a heat wave.
* WrongGenreSavvy: After nearly being ambushed, Sonny decides to stop trusting the cop who was negotiating with him, thinking the higher-ups will be more likely to get him a deal and less likely to try and put him down. This is proven wrong on several levels.