6.8/10
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80 user 52 critic

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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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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:

They Counted on Living in a World Without Heroes. They Forgot About HIM. 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 »

Filming Locations:

Carson, California, USA 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

Although it had been screened on UK network television many times, the BBC screening on Sunday, February 3, 2002 provoked a storm of protest. The film was scheduled for late night (post 11.00pm) showing in a time slot directly opposite another UK cable network's coverage of Superbowl XXXVII. Less than 5 months after 9/11 many people felt that it was highly insensitive to show a film about a terrorist attack on the Superbowl the same night that the actual Superbowl was being played. See more »

Goofs

From when the fuse is lit to when the bomb actually goes off in the blimp, a ridiculous amount of time passes. The fuse is lit right underneath the bomb yet it takes around 10 minutes to burn the short length to the bomb. See more »

Quotes

Captain Michael J. Lander: [after detonating the test bomb in an aircraft hanger ] It's completely symmetrical!
[Sprints into the hanger]
Captain Michael J. Lander: On both sides!
Dahlia: Michael!
[Chasing after him]
Captain Michael J. Lander: It works!
Dahlia: Michael we need...
Captain Michael J. Lander: Look darling, look at this!
Dahlia: Michael please lets go!
Captain Michael J. Lander: No god dammit you're going to look at this we're not going anyplace, now look, now study that look at that! That's brilliance darling what are you talking about going? Look at that! We deserve this moment sweetheart, when the big one goes off were both going with it...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Deathrow Gameshow (1987) 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

One of the best political thrillers ever.
18 February 1999 | by SanDiegoSee all my reviews

I'm a sucker for movies with blimps and hot air balloons (from Jules Verne to James Bond). A movie where the Goodyear Blimp plays a major role is right up my alley. But that's not all. This is one of the most realistic political thrillers ever filmed. Each actor regardless of the size of role in this film simply blows away most of what passes for acting today. Frankenheimer's direction (style later copied on Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue) was perhaps ten to fifteen years ahead of its time, and the editing at times perhaps second only to Jaws and maybe a Hitchcock film or two (though it does slow down in the middle). This is a film where the obvious villain, played by a colorful Bruce Dern, is the central character driving the story, and Robert Shaw's underplayed hero somewhat of an antagonist getting in the way. Dern's character is not glorified (as many of that film era were such as in Bonnie and Clyde, The Sting, and Butch Cassidy). The camera is there so we may understand his character without romanticism or sympathy. We are left to make up our own mind about his villainy, and Dern's performance leaves little to question that he is a deranged lunatic. Perhaps this is why the film is not so known today. Vietnam vets returning home was a fairly new topic for films at the time (ironically "Coming Home" with Bruce Dern as a sympathetic vet was the first big film about this subject). The "crazed Viet Vet" became a stereotype and politically incorrect. It is too bad this film was lumped into that group, because it is as good as a thriller can get. Next to "Jaws," this is Shaw's best performance. This is a film that can be watched over and over because it is so complex. I recommend buying the film as opposed to renting it, so you can savor it like a good wine.


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