This is such a disturbing film, based on a very disturbing book byThomas Harris, the creator of Hannibal the Cannibal. I read the book in1976 and actually believed that cunning terrorists might be able tothink up a really spectacular way of killing a whole lot of people atone time, but we'd be able to see it coming and stop them, just like inthe book. Little did we know . . .<br><br>I imagine what it would have been like to see a mid-1930s era movieabout a carrier-borne air-strike against an American naval base. Itwould have seemed so far-fetched, and it would have drawn fire forsmearing the race or nationality of the aggressors. Yet, here's ThomasHarris's novel of a disgruntled POW who is hired by Palestinians to setoff an enormous shaped charge, packed with steel darts, into the crowdat a Super Bowl. With John Frankenheimer's skill and a great cast ofactors, Harris's story really does come to life, and even with theoccasional special effects flaw and some really unpleasant violence, itworks! I remember being so excited about the movie--it had Bruce Dernand Robert Shaw and that gorgeous woman from Marathon Man, MartheKeller. The art work was so imaginative! Even in dopey little Spokane,Washington, the Fox Theatre put up a billboard sized blimp on theirroof. Frankenheimer even shot two scenes of the President of the UnitedStates coming down to watch the action--one, a Jimmy Carter lookalikeand the other, Gerry Ford. The movie felt real, even with, as a Imentioned before, some special effects cheese that, for its time,couldn't be avoided.<br><br>In January 1977 I had not seen The Manchurian Candidate--I didn't evenknow who Frankenheimer was; the only directors I knew were Don Siegel(because I loved Dirty Harry) and Roman Polanski (because of--mychronology might be off here--his little dust up with an underage girlat Jack Nicholson's house, or something like that). If I had seen TMC,I might have noticed certain similarities between Candidate and BlackSunday--the damaged war veteran, the cold manipulators, the driveninvestigator of the truth, and the interspersal of violent, uglyimages. Yet, Black Sunday is truly an action movie; its relation to TheManchurian Candidate stops as the bombs and bullets start tearing upthe place.<br><br>Finally, it's strange to say that casting Bruce Dern as apsychologically damaged former carrier pilot was inspired--the man gotrich and famous off playing wackadoodles--but Dern is more tortured,more pathetic than anything I ever saw him in. His character is so sad,so torn up by his experience in the Hanoi Hilton that, while it doesn'texcuse his perfidy, he is as three dimensional as Sgt. Raymond Shaw.But Shaw did right at the end; Lander dies trapped by his own anger andhate.<br><br>So, if you can find it, I would strongly suggest renting this film. Itis disturbingly topical, intense and suspenseful, and an example of agood movie made about an attack against the Super Bowl, unlike theother winter 1977 football disaster, Two-Minute Warning.
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
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.
Downloaded 2375 times
7/7/2020 4:41:18 PM