Will The Unenthusiastic Critic appreciate Sidney Lumet's 1975 masterpiece Dog Day Afternoon? You can pretty much take that to the bank.

First, we're talking about heists gone wrong, and discussing some really great movies about really crappy criminals. Then, Michael is taking Nakea hostage for her first viewing of Sidney Lumet's classic crime-drama starring Al Pacino, John Cazale, Chris Sarandon, and Charles Durning.

In the course of our conversation we discuss stealing the American dream, why Dog Day Afternoon is a surprisingly appropriate pick for Pride Month, and the genius of a director who could make both this gritty heist movie and The Wiz. (And, along the way, we also learn why "bank robbery" is yet another situation in which you don't want Nakea for a partner.)


0:00: Prologue: Mickey Rourke's Advice on Crime from Body Heat (1981)
1:16: Preliminary Discussion: Crappy Criminals
19:52: Interlude: Scene from Dog Day Afternoon
20:55: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion of Dog Day Afternoon
27:17: Original Trailer for Dog Day Afternoon
28:46: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion of Dog Day Afternoon
1:18:48: Outro and Next Week's Movie
1:19:54: Outtake

Notes and Links

—Film discussed: Dog Day Afternoon (dir. Sidney Lumet, Warner Bros, 1975)
—From the Corrections Department: Michael seemed to be having a little trouble with names this week. He continually refers to the film's character of "Angela" by the name of her real-life counterpart "Carmen," and several times he inexplicably calls the late, great John Cazale "John Cavale." (Rest assured, he's planning to seek a neurological consult.)
—Article discussed: "The Boys in the Bank," by P.F. Kluge and Thomas Moore, Life, Sept. 22, 1972.
—Documentary mentioned: The Dog (2013)
—Scene from Body Heat (dir. Lawrence Kasdan, Ladd Co., 1981)
—Listen to additional episodes and read The Unenthusiastic Critic in prose form at
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—"Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby is licensed under CC BY 3.0.


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2 thoughts on “DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975)”

  1. Before listening to the podcast, I had to find time to re-watch the film, having previously seen only the edited for network TV version in the late 70s and having remembered only bits and pieces even though it did make an impression at the time.

    Yes, "Dog Day Afternoon" is a great film, for all the reasons you've stated, and I'm looking forward to your review of "Network".

    Re the pre-screening discussion of films where the protagonists steal from more professional criminals, and it goes badly, there is a notable exception: the 1971 safe-deposit box heist movie with the one symbol title "$".

    1. Wow, you stumped the band: I'd never heard of "$." (I see from IMDB it's pronounced "Dollars," which would not occur to me: I'd probably call it "Dollar Sign" or "Sssssss," like the great Dirk Benedict-turns-into-a-snake movie. Either way, it sounds like the title was not the only reason the movie is obscure…)

      And for some reason, just this moment, I just remembered another great "stealing from criminals" movie: "The Silent Partner," with Elliot Gould as a bank teller who rips off bank-robber Christopher Plummer. (I haven't seen it since I was a kid, but I still remember CP as the kind of chillingly scary bastard you do NOT want to double-cross.) Looks like it's on Amazon: I may go watch that and see if it's as good as I remember.

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