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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.



(based on the novel by), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Steven Keats ...
Colonel Riat
Victor Campos ...
Joseph Robbie ...
Robert J. Wussler ...
Robert Wussler (as Robert Wussler)
Tom Brookshier


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


There has never been a motion picture adventure like... See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1977 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Domingo negro  »

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


At least some parts of the climatic scene were filmed after the Superbowl, including shots of the nose of the blimp coming onto the field as extras ran about wildly. Only the front portion of the blimp and gondola were recreated for this "head-on" shot and the whole thing was controlled by a crane. See more »


When Bruce Dern's character is in his house, wearing his Navy uniform and crying about being replaced as pilot of the Super Bowl blimp, he is wearing two Vietnam Gallantry Cross ribbons, one above the other. Only one ribbon would be worn for each type of decoration. See more »


Major David Kabakov: What is this thing you Americans call the Super Bowl?
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Bruce Dern/Leon Redbone (1983) See more »


The Star Spangled Banner
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

One Boring Sunday To Skip
29 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spoilers Ahead:

First, if you do not like football do not watch the movie. The film features large numbers of plays from the Super Bowl that wreck the narrative and are in the movie for no apparent reason. My hypothesis is that it was the price extorted to allow the stadium and the game to appear in the film. Whatever the reason, it stretches the already too long narrative and makes it, if possible, even more boring. That is the main problem with the movie, how incredibly boring it is. Between shots of the football game, the endless bomb assembly and preparations, get ready to go to sleep, very slow. Add into the mix Marthe Keller as Dahlia who nobody, even back then, could make out what she is saying. Her accent is so thick and she slurs her vowels, provoking laughter in my audience when her pronunciation sounds like other words, often quite comically inappropriate. She is on screen constantly which just destroys the movie. The buildup to the attack seemed like two days; shots of her driving and parking, parking and driving, on and on. Boring.

The attack you have waited for is shot terribly. They simply back up the footage of the blimp coming in such a clumsy way that you can tell it is the same footage in reverse. All the way in the speed of the blimp is manipulated in such a brazenly clumsy choppy fashion that it looks so phony. Dern's crazy man act, the only role the man could ever play, do not believe me? Watch The Driver where he has to act normal, he stinks it up big time. Here the insane act goes on and on and is also so boring. Shaw's agent is portrayed, inexplicably, as a clumsy idiot who caused the whole mess in the first place by not shooting Dahlia at the beginning in Beirut. He and Keats get blown up with the freighter captain; later, Keats gets killed by Dahlia in the hospital. Really identifying with the protagonist, aren't you?

See, if the lead protagonist is a bumbling, incompetent fool who gets everyone around him killed it damages the movie. We see this same error of Frankenheimer's Ronin where DeNiro makes one mistake after another and has to keep being bailed out by Jean Reno. The film is a dreadful bore. The only reason to watch it is for Stephen Keats, who was a great character actor. He shines here like he did in the classic The Friends of Eddie Coyle. Other than this nuance, for die hard film buffs, skip this movie. It feels like six hours not three. Marthe Keller is not able to be understood. The effects are dreadful and believe me, not worth the eternal wait. What a Letdown!!

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