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Black Sunday (1977)

R | | Action, Drama, Thriller | 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.

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Writers:

(based on the novel by), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Dahlia
...
Steven Keats ...
...
Fasil
...
Muzi
...
Pugh
...
Colonel Riat
Victor Campos ...
Nageeb
Joseph Robbie ...
Robert J. Wussler ...
Robert Wussler (as Robert Wussler)
...
...
Tom Brookshier
...
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:

For 100,000 people, Monday may never come See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1977 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Domingo negro  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Movielab)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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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 the blimp takes off from its base in South Florida en-route to the SuperBowl, you can see mountains in the distance. South Florida's terrain is flat. See more »

Quotes

Joseph Robbie: Cancel the Super Bowl? That's like canceling Christmas!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Hatikvah
(uncredited)
(Israeli National Anthem)
Traditional Hebrew melody
Words by Naftali Herz Imber
Briefly Played and Sung in Hebrew by an offscreen group in Miami
See more »

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User Reviews

a chilling premonition
2 January 2004 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

The late John Frankenheimer was one of our greatest movie directors and Black Sunday was one of his greatest films that showed him as a true master of suspense. I recently bought the DVD for the film and it still "holds up" today as well as ever. There isn't a suspense film today that can hold a candle to it just like Frankenheimer's other great film The Manchurian Candidate (I cannot believe that they are re-making it with Denzel Washington!). Robert Shaw was a truly overlooked and underused talent. He was a true Renaissance man in every sense of the word. People don't realize that he wasn't only a great actor but a playwright and novelist as well. He wrote the Broadway play The Man In The Glass Booth. He is best remembered for his role as Quint in Jaws but he gave many other fine performances as well and this is surely one as the heroic Israeli agent who has to stop a terrorist threat to kill 80,000 Superbowl fans. Watching this film in 1977 was chilling when you saw what the psychotic Vietnam vet Bruce Dern and Martha Keller were going to do. These were two terrorists who were willing to die for their cause and take thousands of innocent people with them. Watching this film today is even MORE chilling! Back when it was released, most probably thought it was too farfetched. These two terrorists were going to use an "aircraft" (in this case a Goodyear blimp) as a weapon of mass murder. DOES THIS SEEM FARFETCHED TODAY!!!!Black Sunday was made a quarter century before 9/11. As a matter of fact, when the Oklahoma City Bombing happened, CNN showed a clip of Black Sunday as an example of how Hollywood has treated the subject of domestic terrorism. It is chiling that Frankenheimer and Thoams Harris (the author of the novel who later wrote the Hannibal Lecter trilogy) could have that much foresight. All the actors in this film are awesome and what really shocked me was Fritz Weaver's heroic FBI agent (usually movies show the FBI as stupid and corrupt) Critics have often commented on the climax of the film where Lander and her take off in the blimp to set the bomb off and Kabakov and Corley try to stop them. It is the most intense and suspenseful ending you can possibly imagine and the music is awesome. The stunt people must have had a field day doing the climax where they haul the blimp out of the stadium.


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