Based on a True Story | 2004
Investigates the real people and events that inspired Sidney Lumet's 1975 bank-heist drama, "Dog Day Afternnon." Aug. 22, 1972, Wojtowicz and accomplice Sal Naturile (John Cazale in "Dog Day") held up a Brooklyn bank so that Wojtowicz could get money for a sex-change operation for his then-lover Ernie, later known as Liz Eden. The robbery swiftly turned into a 14-hour hostage siege that ended with fatal consequences. Initially, the story's key figure, convicted felon John Wojtowicz (played in "Dog Day" by Al Pacino), refuses to be interviewed onscreen because of a fee dispute. After compiling interviews and footage from other sources, the filmmaker tries again to secure an interview with the newly-paroled Wojtowicz, whereupon things take a surreal turn, forcing the filmmaker to become a character within his own drama as he jostles with his subject for control.