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Black Sunday

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Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Shaw, Bruce Dern, Marthe Keller, Fritz Weaver, Steven Keats
  • Directors: John Frankenheimer
  • Writers: Ernest Lehman, Ivan Moffat, Kenneth Ross, Thomas Harris
  • Producers: Alan Levine, Robert Evans, Robert L. Rosen
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: October 14, 2003
  • Run Time: 143 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AUHOA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,475 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Black Sunday" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

No Description Available.
Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure
Rating: R
Release Date: 1-MAR-2004
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

Great cast, lots of suspense.
Wanda N Rohde
Tautly directed by John Frankenheimer, the film has a realism that is gritty and strojng, often looking like a documentary.
John H. Foote
I recommend this movie to anyone that likes a good action film.
Cheryl Stout

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By James D. Eret on June 8, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
John Frankenheimer is an excellent action director. In Black Sunday he directs a thrilling story of terrorists trying to blow up the Superbowl with a blimp full of lethal darts. Bruce Dern is great as the bitter blimp pilot who throws his lot with Martha Keller, a Palistinian, who just barely keeps Dern from cracking up. Robert Shaw is excellent as the Iraeli agent tracking down the villians, from the first roots in the Middle East, leading eventually to America, and terminating in a showdown at the Superbowl.The action is good and the actors are well directed by Frankenheimer, who of course did the immortal "Manchurian Candidate," and pilots this action film to a smashing climax. Even after first seeing this movie, I am still haunted by Dern's sad portrait of a broken man and the horrific experiment he performs on an unsuspecting man of his exploding darts that make hamburger out of the man posing for what he thinks is a strange camera. A good example of Frankenheimer's style and art of direction.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By colin costello on July 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Black Sunday is a prime example of great seventies movie making. Thomas Harris(Silence of the lambs, red dragon) gave John Frankenheimer a lot of meat Here, we are introduced to real characters. Who have real dilemmas. Bruce Dern is haunting as Lander -- a pilot who is pushed(some by his own doing) into insanity. Marthe Keller is wonderful as a terrorist who wants to see the "mission" through. And Robert Shaw. Robert Shaw. Boy do I miss him. Scenes where he is absolutely outstanding: questioning an importer, asking a favor from another terrorist, and of course the ending. Man I wish they would re-make this. But they would probably screw it up. The aerial photography is some of the best put on celluloid. And John Williams' score is awesome. See Black Sunday.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "oceandig" on August 9, 2003
Format: DVD
I remember after this film was first released in the Seventies speaking with someone who saw it, and though they liked it, found it unbelievable. "I just don't picture a bunch of terrorists being able to come over to the US and get away with anything" the person said. Time has shown us how right director John Frankenheimer's film "Black Sunday" was, and that we truly lived in a "sleeping America".
From the almost documentary-like opening title sequence, devoid of music and replete with the sounds of a foreign land, this suspense epic builds slowly and with unique conviction. The terrorists are all played realistically and no one goes overboard into the realm of ham. Shaw is gritty and and steel-eyed as he works against the clock to stop the plot.
Bruce Dern plays an ex-Vietnam helicopter vet hired by the terrorists to aid them in their plot to explode a uniquely devasting bomb at the Super Bowl. He is at his psychotic best, and one scene, late in the film, is particularly intense as we watch him break down before the camera and reveal just how deeply distrubed he truly is.
The score by John Williams is one of his best, using a simple 8 note motif that is introduced early in the film with piano and flute, and by the film's climax, is heard in thudering orchestral glory.
This is suspense thriller with a brain, so don't expect wild action from scene one. It builds slowly, with sporadic action scenes interspersed, as it aims toward it's climx at the big game.
Ironically, the film's achilles heel are it's special effects near the film's end. Cinematographer John Alonzo was alowed to handle the effects shots and later, the director had to redo most of them at the last minute.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By F. Hughes on February 6, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The dreaded words "enhanced for widescreen TVs" is the clue that this version is cropped from the original theatrical release. The main credits appear in the original aspect ratio, then the movie shifts to a cropped 16:9 (1.78:1) version designed to fit HD TVs. The original aspect ratio of film is anamorphic Panavision(2.35:1)

Viewers of modern movies will be surprised at the tone of this film, which is possibly the last of the gritty 70's style of thrillers (this was released the same year as Star Wars, which changed everything). Instead of the implacable, unstoppable cartoon villains who populate modern thrillers, we have two complex, not entirely unsympathetic villains obsessed with performing an act of unspeakable horror, both driven by personal demons and the unfair treatment of those they seek to punish. Constantly faced with failure and setbacks, you may find yourself actually pulling for them at times.

Likewise, the heroes are not entirely without blemish. Shaw's character is consumed with self-doubt because, as his young partner tells him, he has "come to see both sides of the [Palestinian] question. And that is never good." Frankenheimer was accused by one jewish newspaper of being 'Hitlerite' for his neutral treatment of the politics.

Three star rating is due to the poor special effects that blunt the impact of the finale, but it is a suspenseful ride until the last few shots. John Williams' amazing soundtrack is at long last available on CD from Screen Archives and can be purchased through Amazon for a lower shipping cost than a direct purchase from the vendor.

Another treat of this movie is to see downtown Miami and a run-down South Beach in the late 1970s and compare it with how both appear today in productions like Burn Notice. As for continuity errors, how about the San Gabriel Mountains and (then) 11 Freeway in the background as the blimp takes off in "Miami"
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