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The Dog

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Plot Summary

John Wojtowicz took pride in being a pervert. Coming of age in the 1960s, his libido was excessive even by the libertine standards of the era, with multiple wives and lovers, both women and men. In August 1972, he attempted to rob a Brooklyn bank to finance his lover's sex-reassignment surgery. The act resulted in a fourteen-hour hostage situation that was broadcast on TV. Three years later Al Pacino portrayed his crime in Dog Day Afternoon. The film had a profound influence on Wojtowicz (who pronounced his name "Woto-wits"). When he emerged from a 6-year prison term, he was known as "The Dog." Directors Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren began filming The Dog in 2002. Their long-term dedication pays off in this unforgettable portrait capturing all of the subject's complexity: he is, by turns, lovable, maniacal, heroic, and self-destructive. To call him larger than life feels like an understatement. Drawing upon extraordinary archival footage, the film shuffles between the 1970s and the 2000s. We gain a historic perspective on New York's gay liberation movement, in which Wojtowicz played an active role. In later footage, he remains a subversive force, backed by the unconditional love of his mother Terry, whose wit and charm infuse the film. How and why the bank robbery took place is recounted in gripping detail by Wojtowicz and various eyewitnesses.

Credits

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

94%
  • Reviews Counted: 50
  • Fresh: 47
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 7.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Part of what makes Mr. Wojtowicz such a fascinating character is that he seemed to rotate identities as easily as other people change socks, and without angst. – Manohla Dargis, New York Times, Aug 7, 2014

Fresh: How often Hollywood embellishes. How rare, then, to find a documentary like The Dog, in which we discover that, if anything, Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon left out much of the incredible story behind its 1972 hostage crisis. – Peter Debruge, Variety, Jul 14, 2014

Fresh: The film is a real "whew"-factor yarn, a hearty soup of thick accents, bold personalities and complicated motives, with an unmistakable taste of charismatic, ornery American hedonism. – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, Aug 7, 2014

Fresh: Vintage material and first-hand accounts add to engaging expansion on the true-crime tale. – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter, Jul 14, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Phenomenally complex and intimate

The real story behind DOG DAY AFTERNOON is phenomenally complex, and filmmakers Keraudren and Berg manage to pull of an impossible job. It helps that Wojtowicz holds nothing back, but the intimacy captured in the interviews with key players and the organic edit of the storyline is what leaves you touched.

Brilliant

You can't find something better to watch I looked. Most of the stuff they come out with is garbage but this this is great.

It’s great!

This is one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. This guy was for real. Some may call him crazy, narcissistic and a criminal. But to me he came across as someone to be liked and admired. He had a complex life but, in the end, he wasn’t afraid to tell it like it was. By the way, when is the soundtrack going to be available?

The Dog
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Released: 2014

Customer Ratings