15 Facts About Al Pacino’s 1975 Movie Hit That Won’t Go Awry


Looking at the film as it exists today, it is nearly impossible to imagine anyone other than Al Pacino in the lead role. Nevertheless, there was a period of time when Dustin Hoffman was poised to take over. Pacino had just starred in director Sidney Lumet’s “Serpico” two years earlier, was still buzzing off of the success of “The Godfather” films, and was the obvious pick for the role of Sonny Wortzik. Upon first being approached for the part, Pacino accepted, but he later had a change of heart.

During an interview on “Larry King Live,” Pacino opened up about his struggles with alcoholism. “It was during one of those episodes of drinking, in London, that I turned down ‘Dog Day’… after I had said yes.” The production begrudgingly accepted his resignation and began considering other actors. As was revealed in the biography “Al Pacino: A Life on the Wire,” the top replacement candidate was Dustin Hoffman, who had just received his third Oscar nomination for “Lenny.”

However, the potential replacement never came to be. One of the producers of “Dog Day Afternoon,” Martin Bregman, managed to get through to Pacino. He convinced him to “Stop drinking for a while and read the script,” as Pacino explained to Larry King. When the actor followed that advice, everything came back into focus and he said to himself, “Why am I not doing this? I should be doing this.”

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