Script of the Week: Dog Day Afternoon

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

Written by Frank Pierson (1925-2012) based on a real-life events. He received an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for this script. Pierson also wrote Cool Hand Luke, A Star is Born, and more recently was the consulting producer of Mad Men.
Directed by Sidney Lumet.

Dog Day Afternoon centres around one event – a bank robbery. Something that the main character thinks will be over in ten minutes escalates into a day-long drama (the original event lasted for 14 hours). It’s a simple plan but one thing goes wrong after another until there is no way out. Without conflict there’s no story and you could say that storytelling is about describing a problem: how the problem comes about (there’s a goal), how the problem gets worse (obstacles in achieving the goal), and how it resolves. Dog Day Afternoon is a good example of how problems (conflict) can escalate and develop in a story. The main character’s goal was to rob the bank and get out. It’s clear from quite early on that the first part of the plan will never be achieved , which takes them to the next goal (act II) – to get out.

P.S. They say that Frank Pierson wrote the screenplay around 12 sequences. See if you can find them.

Read the screenplay here



Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: