Al Pacino's performance as Sonny in the film is said to be his one of his finest ever. According to the Life magazine, it is ranked at number 4 of all time great performances. Pacino's dialog 'Attica Attica' achieved a sort of cult status. Sonny's gay lover managed to have the sex change surgery, and became a woman. He died of Aids in 1987. Sonny was convicted for 20 years in jail, out of which he served only seven when he was released. He got USD 2500 & 1% share of the profits
Al Pacino almost made an exit from the movie midway through the production stage, and the role was offered to Dustin Hoffman. Pacino finally stayed in as he was not very keen to see his rival pocketing the role. Cajale (Sal) was never on Director Sydney Lumet's mind as the real life Sal was only 16. But Cajale was chosen at Pacino's insistence. He (Cajale) ironically died of cancer, the same disease his avatar in the film was so scared about.
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