John Wojtowicz (pronounced “Woto-wits”) was a self-described pervert. He’s also the real-life Brooklyn bank robber that Al Pacino’s character was based on in “Dog Day Afternoon.” “The Dog” is a documentary about this most peculiar, yet highly entertaining, New York City character.
In August 1972, Wojtowicz set out to rob a Chase Manhattan in order to pay for his lover’s sex-change operation. When things didn’t go as planned Wojtowicz held hostages for 14 hours. The botched robbery was broadcast live on television.
Now, 42 summers later, this film about the wild life of Wojtowicz hits theaters. “The Dog” made Indiewire’s list of the “Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far” where it’s in good company with “The Internet’s Own Boy” and “Mala Mala.”
“Nobody would ever do what I did, rob a bank to give somebody a sex change operation,” said Wojtowicz. He remained unapologetic until his death in 2006. Filmmakers Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren spent 10 years on this film. It’s riveting and zooms by in a blink.
The documentary is also a fascinating historical record of the 1970s and 80s and the gay pride movement.
“The Dog” opens in theaters onAugust 8, 2014. It’s available On Demand August 15. 100 min.
Watch the Trailer