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Black Sunday (1977)

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:

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

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

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

If you look closely you can see the difference between the Florida blimp ("Mayflower") and the other two used in the film. The Florida airship is actually smaller (160 ft vs. 192 feet) but the "Goodyear" decal on the side is the same size. Thus it take sup more space on the envelope of the Florida ship, stretching from the edge of the nosecone right to the edge of the horizontal fin. The other ships have more "empty space" in those areas. See more »

Goofs

After Bruce Dern's character test fires the bomb in the old aircraft hanger he rushes inside to survey the damage. The metal wall reveals thousands of tiny holes caused by the exploding spikes however, the wooden beams which criss-cross the exact same wall are completely unmarked. 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

Featured in Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People (2006) 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

 
Where's the DVD???
3 January 2003 | by jbirtelSee all my reviews

With so much crap on the dvd store shelves, you gotta wonder who's in charge from preventing this (sadly) prophetic minor classic from being available.

Unless this is presented in widescreen, I refuse to see it again because the pan & scan version skips out half of the visuals; it's just not the same movie.

I saw this in 77' at the theater and again at the drive-in and my heart raced twice as fast (the 2nd time seeing it) during the last half of the movie because Frankenheimer had such a grasp on building tension. A couple of years later, I saw it broadcast on CBS, Sunday night AFTER the televised Pittsburg vs Dallas Super Bowl (in the late 70's, the Super Bowl started much earlier...CBS executives must of had a field day on the irony of that match up). I couldn't believe the epic scope that was lost on the pan & scan.

Everyone is top notch (yes, I had read the book). The 'good' guys are almost as ruthless as the terrorists in their quest to prevent thousands of innocent lives lost. Don't expect any snappy one liners after someone is dispatched; these are harsh, brutal portrayals. In these times, the movie is no longer escapism, but a frightening reality that (arguably) may be preventing the dvd release.

And the world lost so much with Robert Shaw's untimely passing. What a range of talent!

8.5 out of 10! One of the most gripping thrillers I've ever seen.


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