Al Pacino does his Big Soulful Eyes bit in this 1975 film, playing a homosexual who robs a bank to get the money for his lover's sex-change operation but bungles the job and ends up holding nine hostages while he waits for a plane to fly him to Algeria. Sidney Lumet's direction raises the old Antonioni question: does a film about boredom have to be boring? Enjoyable and even exciting at the start, Dog Day Afternoon degenerates into frustration and tedium toward nightfall—an experience no less painful for the audience than for the actors. With John Cazale, James Broderick, and Chris Sarandon.
By Dave Kehr