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Black Sunday (1977)

Robert Shaw , Bruce Dern , John Frankenheimer  |  R |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)

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Black Sunday Black Sunday 4.3 out of 5 stars (84)
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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 (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AUHOA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,076 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Black Sunday: Terrorists Playing at the Superbowl 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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Black Sunday 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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Prophetic Thriller Rides High August 9, 2003
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
The movie Black Sunday is a good movie that runs neck and neck with the current state of the world, especially with this terrorist puppet show thats being broadcasted around the world to induce fear. The movie also has a special place in my heart because when I was 7 years old my father worked a management position at the Miami Orange Bowl and allowed me and my brother to watch the filming of the stadium scenes of the movie involving the Good Year Blimp over the field and the crowd in the stadium freaking out and running for their lives. I remember when the stadium freak-out scene was being shot the extra's were on the field and the director said "action" and everyone went running and screaming from the blimp prop and then one of the extra's (an old lady) ruined one of the shots by saying "oooooh" and picking up a quarter she found on the feild, lol . But any how , If your into good terrorist movies and 70's cinematography, you'll enjoy this creative movie that involves a plot to savatage a Super Bowl game with a terrorist act of flying a blimp over the stadium field and igniting a contraption beneath the blimp that shoots out thousands of fragments that would shread the croud to peices and the football players! Will the crowd and the players be shreaded to pieces? Will the terrorist get away with crazy scheme? You'll have to watch the movie and see for yourself!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware: cropped version 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 1977 Movie Anticipates Today's Terrorism Threats
Great movie. I've seen it at least a half-dozen times over the years. The tension is palpable from start to finish. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Donald Dible
5.0 out of 5 stars It leads to a fantastic plot to kill thousands of people at the...
This is a non stop thriller. From the start, it tells the story of a former POW who
is disheartened by the events in his life. Read more
Published 1 month ago by paul thulin
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great political thriller from the master director of the genre
Another great political thriller from the master director of the genre, John Frnakenheimer. The Palestinean terrorist group Black September plans to attack the Super Bowl by... Read more
Published 1 month ago by John A. Tandlich
5.0 out of 5 stars An Oldie but a goodie. This is one of ...
An Oldie but a goodie. This is one of those LITTLE MOVIE" "s that the star made. Not his/her most acclaimed, but one that is truly entertaining and indicative of the talent... Read more
Published 1 month ago by D. R. Tyler
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing effort from Frankenheimer
You expect a bit more from John Frankenheimer, but this was the beginning of a long slump that only resolved in the 90s (with masterpieces like RONIN). Read more
Published 2 months ago by Robert Markham
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cast.
You can't beat 1970s disaster movies. Great cast.
Published 3 months ago by J. Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a football movie!
I saw this movie in 1977 when it first came out. This movie is not a football movie, it is a first rate thriller! Read more
Published 3 months ago by KEVIN FROM SI
4.0 out of 5 stars Thriller
A good "Thriller"
Published 3 months ago by Old Pirate
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic movie with a great cast
This was one of John Frankenheimer's best, along with The Train, Ronin, 52 Pick-Up, Birdman of Alcatraz, Seconds, and The French Connection II. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Film Fanatic C
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie - good quality recording
Highly recommended if you're looking for this old thriller. The DVD quality is top notch, unlike some other DVDs we've purchased from other sellers via Amazon. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Larry
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