Homosexuality in 'Dog Day Afternoon' (1975): televisual surfaces and a 'natural' man

Brown, Christopher (2012) Homosexuality in 'Dog Day Afternoon' (1975): televisual surfaces and a 'natural' man. Film Criticism, 37 (1). pp. 35-54. ISSN 0163-5069

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Abstract

'Dog Day Afternoon' (1975) has indisputable significance as the first Hollywood film to feature a gay protagonist played by a major star, Al Pacino. In seeking to recreate the bank robbery upon which the film was based, director Sidney Lumet strove for a sense of liveness and immediacy resulting in a surface-obsessed aesthetic that owes a great deal to the forms of television and documentary. Lumet referred to this as his film’s ‘naturalistic’ style – but what does this actually mean, in the context of 1970s American film acting? The essay will assess Pacino’s star performance in relation to literary Naturalism’s preoccupation with thermodynamics and entropy, arguing that it is in this context that Dog Day Afternoon’s representation of homosexuality is best understood – and most significant.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Television, Film, Masculinity, Homosexuality, Sexuality Gender, Naturalism, Sidney Lumet, Al Pacino
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Motion pictures
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Christopher Brown
Date Deposited: 07 Sep 2018 15:09
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 14:34
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/78562

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