Dog Day Afternoon (1975) and Straight Time (1978)

Film Trace

May 7 2023 • 1 hr 4 mins

The fifth film in our Stranger Than Fiction cycle is Sidney Lumet's provocative bank heister, Dog Day Afternoon (1975).

Special Guest: Good friend of the show and dedicated film nerd, Riley.

Dog Day Afternoon is certainly a film you hear about before you ever see it. The film has had a stellar reputation since its release in the mid 1970s. It is considered one of Sidney Lumet's most important and best films. As we approach the film's 50th anniversary, we reappraised both what is on the screen and what happened in real life, not all of which is easy to reconcile with the aura of prestige surrounding the film. As we explore about how true life overlaps with fiction, Dog Day Afternoon becomes hornet's nest of contradiction, exploitation, and high art craftsmanship. Featuring stellar performances from Al Pacino and John Cazale, we face the question that always arises when great stories are told about terrible people: can we separate art from reality?

For our chaser film, we reclaim a lost 70s classic, Straight Time. Dripping in 70s malaise and alienation, Dustin Hoffman plays a man on the edge of all things prudent.

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