Sunday, April 10, 2011


Salon's Matt Zoller Seitz wrote this last month:

The bank robbery drama "Dog Day Afternoon" is based on a real incident that happened in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1972; director Sidney Lumet was so committed to making the story feel as real as possible that he decided the film would have no score. But he cheated, gloriously, by opening with a montage showing everyday life unfolding in New York City on one of the hottest days of the year. As I wrote in an appreciation of editor Dede Allen, who cut "Dog Day," "From John's first line ('Lately I've been thinking how much I miss my lady') the sequence conjures an aching nostalgia, not just for the hardscrabble Big Apple of 1975 that Allen's montage preserves in a kind of miniature stealth documentary, but for the hero Sonny's life as a free man -- a world that existed before his crime landed him in jail and deprived him of every experience, emotion and relationship that meant anything to him. The delayed introduction of Sonny and his partners waiting outside the bank is preceded by two shots of the Calvary cemetery in Queens (the Manhattan skyline looming behind a field of tombstones), then a shot of a Kent cigarettes billboard noting the current time of day -- the exact minute when Sonny's freedom ended.

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