Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Dog Day Afternoon
Dog Day Afternoon is a 1975 film which tells the story of a man named Sonny Wortzik (played by Al Pacino) who holds employees of a bank hostage during a failed bank robbery in Brooklyn, New York. Wortzik and two of his friends intended to rob the bank so Wortzik would have the money to pay for his partner's sexual reassignment surgery. The movie is based on an actual 1972 bank robbery. In real life, the robbery and resulting hostage situation took 14 hours from beginning to end; in the film, it appears to take about that long as well. In addition to Pacino, the film stars Penelope Allen , Sully Boyar , John Cazale, Carol Kane, Chris Sarandon and James Broderick .
The screenplay was adapted by Frank Pierson from a news article by P.F. Kluge and Thomas Moore. The film is shot in a naturalist style and has no musical score (other than the Elton John song "Amoreena" in the opening credits). Contrary to popular belief, the interior shots of the film were not shot on location; rather, the film crew rented a warehouse and constructed a bank inside it, allowing the versatility of a studio setting with its "wild walls ".
Dog Day Afternoon won the Academy Award for Writing Original Screenplay, and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Al Pacino), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Chris Sarandon), Best Director (Sidney Lumet), Best Film Editing (Dede Allen) and Best Picture.
The movie was based on the story of John Wojtowicz and it adheres to the basic facts of what actually happened. With Sal Naturile, Wojtowicz held up a Chase Manhattan bank in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn on August 22, 1972. Naturile was killed and Wojtowicz served seven years of a twenty year sentence. Wojtowiczs partner, Ernest Aron, became Elizabeth Debbie Eden and eventually died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1987.
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