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Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

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NOTE: This commentary is only available on the 2-DVD special edition.

Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Sidney Lumet Rating:8.1/10 (17 votes) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by The Cubist on April 3rd, 2006:Find all reviews by The Cubist
Itís great to hear Lumet talk about a movie that he is clearly proud of. He talks about how close it is to the real events, how he worked with the actors, the lack of music, and production anecdotes, like the casting John Cazale (at Pacino's recommendation). Lumet points out the bits that were improvised in the moment by the cast who were responding to their environment. The filmmaker does a great job of taking us through this landmark movie in this informative commentary.
Reviewed by Cinecdoche on May 27th, 2009:Find all reviews by Cinecdoche
This commentary will make you long for the days where writing and performance were at the forefront of great movies. Lumet's retention of so many fascinating details years after the fact is en-erring. From rehearsal, to scouting and converting the location, right down to revelatory moments in acting and the way it was achieved. Lumet is not only a classic but classy as he even regales the extras with praise for their hard work on those long days. It's one thing to have a vision and quite another to be able to communicate it. Lumet has the gift for both.
Reviewed by Gatsby on November 8th, 2011:Find all reviews by Gatsby
The reason for buying DVDs instead of renting them is to watch, then watch again with audio commentary.

All of you out there are deep movie lovers so will assume you know the film well.

I remember seeing Dog day Afternoon upon release and was blown away. Have seen it numerous times over the years since then.

Watching with Sidney Lumet's commentary makes it like watching for the first time. One appreciates the film and especially the performances even more. He is never boring, never patronising and recognises a performance (and performances) that is one of Pacino's best ever (his insight into the twitch and the phone call with Leon bear testimony to this and make eengross you even more). Chris Sarandon's performace benefits from the commentary; sadly no oscar for him (George Burns The Sunshine Boys? Please???)

But who need awards etc when YOU enjoy the film.

If you love and appreciate what a director & actors put into a film then this will not disapoint.
Reviewed by reidca on February 21st, 2012:Find all reviews by reidca
Outstanding commentary. Lumet is a sensitive speaker and just lives and breathes filmmaking on a level most others will never reach yet it all seems so effortless and off the cuff to him like its second nature. Except the mixing which he hates. His honorable intentions with the subject matter come through loud and clear and I liked his remark about Dede Allen, the editor, not having a style above what the director wants. 9/10.

Also recommend Lumet's book 'Making Movies' to anyone wanted a concise guide to filmmaking.
Reviewed by Magneat-o on May 1st, 2015:Find all reviews by Magneat-o
Great commentary. Sidney Lumet isn't the most engaging speaker but he does cover a lot of tracks information-wise. He gives you a really good sense of what went into the making of the film. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Therealmrspock on September 12th, 2017:Find all reviews by Therealmrspock
Lumet flies this commentary solo, but still does a great job, delivering a wealth of information. For instance, I was surprised that Pacino had a moustache on the first day of shooting, before realizing it does not work, so he shaved it off. Lumet goes into great details, even giving an interesting take on the sitation of the extras: he prefers the New York guild (because a director can talk to them) over the L.A. guild (where a director is not allowed to talk to extras because this would require their salary to grow for a few points).

He also recalls how he almost ruined a take when he started laughing at the improvised line "Wyoming" in the scene between Pazale and Pacino. You also get a good "anatomy" of his directing choices, from the lack of music up the decision to have Pacino do another long, long take on the phone at night, even though the first one was splendid (because Lumet wanted to have the exhaustion of his character felt on the screen). I did not regret listening to this. 8/10