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.
Bad blood exists between Bill Steele and Frankie Stanton, the leading contenders for the heavyweight title, and a grudge match is scheduled. Steele's knockout victory is tainted by his opponent's untimely death, ostensibly from a concussion caused by hitting the canvas. A post-mortem reveals that poison was somehow introduced into a cut above Stanton's eye although it is unclear how and why. Gambling might seem to be the motive as several of the principle suspects, gamblers Clipper McCoy and Nick Crowder, Stanton's shady manager Jerry Connors, and fight promoter Philip Benton, all seemed to have made wagers on the fight. Benton's spoiled daughter and female reporter Penny Kendall are vying for the affections of Steele, who is now slated to fight for the championship against pugnacious Biff Moran. Lt. Riggs of New York Homicide and Moto, who were spectators at the fight, go on the trail of the murderer following the autopsy results. Moto's prime suspect is a shadowy character named ... Written by
Gabe Taverney (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre) investigates a murder during a boxing match, with unwanted help from Charlie's Chan's "Number One Son" Lee (Keye Luke). Most people probably know this, but originally this was intended to be a Charlie Chan film. But when troubled Chan star Warner Oland walked off the set, they reworked the story and turned it into a Moto movie. This explains the appearance of Lee Chan. It also explains why Mr. Moto is less edgy than in his first two films. Here he resemble a more traditional detective like Charlie Chan.
While I love Charlie Chan, Peter Lorre is kind of wasted in this type of role. He's better suited to roles with a little menace to them. Keye Luke is fine but the chemistry and rapport he had with Warner Oland is missing. Also appearing are Harold Huber, Douglas Fowley, and beautiful Lynn Bari -- each no stranger to the Charlie Chan series. In addition, there's Ward Bond, George E. Stone, and Maxie Rosenbloom. Lon Chaney, Jr. has a small part. Given the troubled backstory behind the movie, I'm surprised it turns out as well as it does. But a good cast goes a long way with these old detective movies.
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