We'd recorded Dog Day Afternoon a little while ago and we watched it this evening. It's a re-creation of a robbery attempt that turned into a media circus in 1972 with some of the names and other details changed.
The movie is very good - it appears to re-create what actually happened (albeit in a shorter timeframe) and to show how the people developed over the course of the event. It starts out sort of funny just because the situation is so funny, because it's clear that the guys didn't really know what they were doing, robbing a bank, and they definitely had no exit plan when faced with the might of the NY police force.
When the media shows up, Sonny (the guy who "planned" the robbery) manipulates them, and that's funny, too. From then on, the movie is less funny and more sad, and then is just tragic.
The movie isn't just about a bank robbery gone wrong (honestly, if the cops had just waited until they were out of the bank, there would be no movie), but about the media and its power. This is a movie about how media circus and television experience an event, and how much people wanted to be a part of it. This, at a time when 24-hour media didn't exist. It's compelling, and also appalling, and a foreshadow of things to come.
This is definitely a movie worth watching. The story, the lighting, the acting, and the cinematography are all excellent; there's nothing to detract you from this movie. Even the supporting cast are amazing and add to the story.