Based on a True Story (2004)

  |  Documentary, Crime


Based on a True Story (2004) Poster

'Based on a True Story' is a documentary on John Wojtowicz and Salvatore Naturile's attempt to rob a bank in Flatbrush, NY, which was later made into a movie in 1975.

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6.7/10
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21 July 2005 | samizdat7
4
| Fatally flawed
The IMDb database gives a runtime for this film in the alternative as either 24 or 75 minutes. I saw (most of) the 75 minute version. The premise of the film - investigating the 'real life' events underlying the Al Pacino film "Dog Day Afternoon" - is sound. The problem is that large chunks of the film are devoted to disagreements about money between the filmmakers and the main protagonist (the man behind the robbery). The filmmakers try to cover up the fact that during shooting they failed to secure the adequate co-operation of the protagonist by half-heartedly turning the documentary into an exploration of the nature of documentary truth, but this is clearly a cover for a failed documentary and is superficial and unconvincing. The more honest approach when it became clear the key guy would not co-operate would have been to abandon the project, return any unused funding (yes i know this is unlikely) and find a new documentary subject.

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