Great Scene: “Dog Day Afternoon”

“Attica! Attica! Attica!”

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The stand-off. One of the most popular, recurring beats in cinematic history. And why not? There’s typically tension galore — guns waving, people screaming, threats being made. Perhaps the most memorable stand-off in recent movie history is this great scene from Dog Day Afternoon (1975). Written by award-winning screenwriter Frank Pierson, the scene finds Sonny (Al Pacino) outside a bank in which he’s holding several employees hostage in a bungled robbery. Negotiating with Sonny is police Detective Moretti (Charles Durning).


Beyond the inherent tension between Sonny and Moretti, what makes the scene memorable is the surprising twist — “Attica! Attica!” — which effectively shifts the power from the cops to the robbers. Here’s the scene from the movie:

Great scene from a great movie Dog Day Afternoon.

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