Shooting on location in New York, Sidney Lumet and Oscar-winning writer Frank Pierson maintain an objective view of a potentially exploitative story, grasping both the human comedy of an absurd situation and the utter seriousness of what's at stake. Sonny and Sal are not so much stereotypical figures of ridicule as they are lost souls at the mercy of forces beyond their control and comprehension. Yet they are not romanticized; neither cops nor robbers come off well. Dog Day Afternoon found a large 1975 audience for its oddball yet timely story, with all of the lead actors, especially Al Pacino, winning kudos for their bravura performances. Tapping into contemporary tensions over law, media, and sexuality, with Pacino's confused antihero at the center of the melee, Dog Day Afternoon is a quintessential 1970s story, devoid of unequivocal good guys and replete with public and private turmoil.