Friday 10 February 2017

Review - Black Sunday (1977)

Black Sunday (1977) - Kind of flat thriller - Bruce Dern is mad 'Nam vet/Goodyear blimp vet who joins Black September to become a suicide bomber and blow up his beloved airship on SuperBowl day. Marthe Keller is unconvincing as Palestinian, and Robert Shaw and Fritz Weaver as Mossad/FBI agents are sent to stop him. The climax is well-staged (they airlift the blimp away in front of panicked crowds) though Shaw's character's sacrifice-suicide is replaced by him hanging onto the helicopter, waving to the crowds as he flies away to safety. Walter Gotell appears in one of his myriad ethnicities as an Israeli. At least by having a non-American lead, it gets away with explaining what the Super Bowl is those not into American football. But its attempts to make the terrorists into sort of protagonists fail. Dern's too crazy and Keller is too cold. The barn explosion theme is good, esp. with the hard-helmet shaking on the unfortunate victim's head. But it's a film that thinks we want to spend time with a crazy man (then again, director John Frankenheimer was a bit of a crazy man, too) and a suicide bomber and not Shaw's cool, calculated Kosher calculator.

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