The 50 Best New York City Movies

8. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Director: Sidney Lumet
Leading Actors: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Penelope Allen
NYC Neighborhoods Featured: Flatbush, Brooklyn

Director Sidney Lumet pulls off a great and admirable feat with Dog Day Afternoon, a heist film inspired by a real crime committed on August 22, 1972, in Midwood, Brooklyn. While bank robberies gone awry are relatively commonplace on the silver screen, rarely has one been pulled off with the dramatic weight managed here. With Pacino in his prime, every bit of humor is a release valve as the hostage situation in the bank drags on, leaving space for another dramatic twist or emotional turn. Lumet manages to capture the tensions brewing in 1970s New York without using any one as a bludgeon. Gay rights, racial tensions, class inequality, media sensationalism, and government corruption all loom in the background of this taut, thrilling ride. —BG

boroughOuter Borough"Gritty Realism"

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