New film looks at the man behind Dog Day Afternoon
In August 1972, John Wojtowicz tried to rob a Brooklyn bank to finance his lover's sex-reassignment operation. The foiled attempt and ensuing hostage standoff were broadcast live via television and radio. It caused a sensation and became the inspiration for the movie Dog Day Afternoon, starring Al Pacino.
Behind the movie and headlines was a complicated guy from Brooklyn. He served six years in prison for his crimes, but his whole life seems to have been overshadowed by this one event. Directors Allison Berg and Frank Keraudren's new documentary, The Dog, examines this life, using archival footage and numerous interviews with Wojtowicz and others.
In a way, Wojtowicz, now deceased, unwittingly became a window, for many, into the emerging gay scene in New York and across America.