6.8/10
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Black Sunday (1977)

R | | Adventure, Crime, Drama | 1977 (Italy)
Black Sunday is the powerful story of a Black September terrorist group attempting to blow up a Goodyear blimp hovering over the Super Bowl stadium with 80,000 people and the president of the United States in attendance.

Director:

John Frankenheimer

Writers:

Thomas Harris (based on the novel by), Ernest Lehman (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Shaw ... Kabakov
Bruce Dern ... Lander
Marthe Keller ... Dahlia
Fritz Weaver ... Corley
Steven Keats Steven Keats ... Moshevsky
Bekim Fehmiu ... Fasil
Michael V. Gazzo ... Muzi
William Daniels ... Pugh
Walter Gotell ... Colonel Riat
Victor Campos Victor Campos ... Nageeb
Joseph Robbie Joseph Robbie ... Joseph Robbie
Robert J. Wussler Robert J. Wussler ... Robert Wussler (as Robert Wussler)
Pat Summerall ... Pat Summerall
Tom Brookshier ... Tom Brookshier
Walter Brooke ... Fowler
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Storyline

Terrorist organization Black September is planning an attack on the United States. A woman called Dahlia is the one overseeing the operation. She was in the Middle East with the other members of the organization, discussing the operation when some Israelis came in; the leader, Major Kobakov had his gun on her but didn't shoot her. Kobakov then informed the US what they found. Though they don't know what their operation is, Kobakov assures them that it will be devastating. So, with FBI man, Corley, they try to find out what it is before it's too late. But they both have different ways of doing things, and since Kobakov is the visitor, he is warned to watch it. Dahlia's "partner in crime" is Michael Lander, a Vietnam P.O.W., who is psychologically scarred by that experience, thus making him very susceptible to her machinations. Written by <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It could be tomorrow! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1977 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Domingo negro See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$15,769,322
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo

Color:

Color (Movielab)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Frankenheimer was able to secure permission from Goodyear to use its blimp in the film because of his relationship with the company's public relations department from making Grand Prix (1966). He had to promise that the blimp itself would not kill anybody - for example, that no one would be torn up in its propellers. In addition, the pilot was changed from a Goodyear employee to a freelance pilot only hired by Goodyear. Miami Dolphins owner Joe Robbie got the NFL to allow extensive filming at a real Super Bowl game and the use of copyrighted team names and logos. Additional footage of the stampede at the game was shot at the Orange Bowl after the game with thousands of extras provided for free by The United Way. In exchange for providing the extras, Frankenheimer agreed to direct a short film for them with star Robert Shaw narrating it. See more »

Goofs

When Lander (Bruce Dern) is about to shoot the TV technician from behind, inside the TV control truck, the technician flinches and grimaces in reaction to the gunshot a split second before the shot is fired. See more »

Quotes

FBI Agent Sam Corley: The President isn't persuaded that attending the Super Bowl will pose a threat to his life. I suppose it's the more important threat on his mind; he's slipping in the polls! Eighty-two thousand, five hundred twenty-eight, to be exact!
See more »

Connections

Edited into The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star Spangled Banner
(1814)
Music by John Stafford Smith (uncredited)
Lyrics by Francis Scott Key (uncredited)
Sung by Tom Sullivan
Accompanied by Up With People
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Top notch excitement
15 May 2002 | by jrs-8See all my reviews

"Black Sunday" is a flat out exciting motion picture about the planning and execution of a terrorist attack during the Super Bowl. Robert Shaw plays the head of an agency trying to prevent the attack. Bruce Dern is at his creepy best as a brainwashed Vietnam vet enlisted by the lovely Marthe Keller to help carry out the sinister plan. Dern is a blimp pilot and the perfect person to help detonate a contraption that will send thousands of deadly needles into the unsuspecting crowd. Dern was born to play parts like this and it's a reminder of how terrific an actor he is and how sad it is that he doesn't work as much as he used to.

The final 40 minutes is intercut between the game (actually shot during the real Cowboys-Steelers Super Bowl game of 76) and the unfolding of the final stages of the plot. It's tense and exciting as Shaw and cohorts commandeer helicopters to try to catch the blimp heading to the big game to unleash its deadly attack.

Kudos to director John Frankheimer for keeping the pacing on this 2 hour 25 minute thriller moving. The editing is first rate and the music score by John Williams is one of his best though it is never mentioned when his name comes up.

If you like a good thriller that is never boring and will keep you on the edge of your seat, I highly recommend "Black Sunday."


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