The Greatest Stories Ever Told

The 2010 Paramount Summer Film Classics

The Greatest Stories Ever Told

Supplication: 'Black Sunday'

By the time a practically heaving Goodyear blimp pokes its enormous red nipple over the lip of Miami's Orange Bowl in the third act of Black Sunday, we've already been treated to quite a few doses of mama dread. In this terrorism thriller inspired by the Black September massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, the stern, ethnically blurry beauty Dahlia (Marthe Keller) coaxes, seduces, and literally nurses to death both allies and enemies – most notably Bruce Dern as the wigged-out Vietnam POW who keeps his freak-outs under wraps long enough to score a blimp-piloting gig – toward her militant Palestinian group's goal: turn the blimp into a sort of oversized pipe bomb and massacre thousands at the Super Bowl. Ignore the Freudian übertext if you will; Black Sunday also works as a thriller, political critique, and compositional achievement; its unfortunately still current vibe of international anxiety will also feel familiar. If that's not enough, there's a nostalgia bonus: A fair amount of the climax was filmed at Super Bowl X (1976), so if you're a Seventies football fan, numerous shots of the classic Cowboys vs. Steelers matchup will flip your wig.

Black Sunday screens Sunday, June 13, 2 & 7pm, and Monday, June 14, 9:10pm.

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