Forty years ago today, Sonny Wortzik held up a bank on a hot Brooklyn day. It did not go well. Dog Day Afternoon (1975) was nominated for six Oscars -- the kind of nominations that go to well liked contemporary pictures that aren't thought of as particularly "visual" achievements -- winning only for Best Original Screenplay, but it's actually quite beautiful to look at. Credit, then, to director Sidney Lumet who understood the frantic extremes of humanity better than most auteurs, the casting director and the fine actors who are riveting yet absolutely recognizable as people who might actually be bank tellers, cops or pizza delivery boys and the cinematography by Victor J Kemper whose camerawork and lighting ably capture the flickering nuances on faces and add considerably to the film's sweaty moody desperation.
Consider these two shots: the first is Carol Kane as a bank hostage and Lance Henriksen as an FBI man.
They're shots that define what "Character Actor" means or at least what it should -- God, what faces!