Black Sunday (1977)

Black Sunday (1977), directed by John Frankenheimer.

During a raid on a Black September compound in Beirut, an Israeli commando lets the woman in the shower live. He doesn't know she's planning a terrorist attack in the US. The race is on to discover and stop it before she and her troubled Nam-vet ally kill 80,000 people at the Superbowl.

Well done and realistic, as an action thriller it never quite gets where it wants to go. We come to know the terrorist couple better than their pursuers, and they honestly seem more human, but there is no way we can cheer for them. Bruce Dern is, as always, excellent as the unsteady ex-POW looking for revenge.

Always a pleasure to see Robert Shaw. Watch his Mossad agent cut through the law enforcement red tape.

Filmed at a real Superbowl (Steelers vs Cowboys), with many known sports figures and the actual blimp. That the NFL and Goodyear would cooperate with this: it's inconceivable today.

John Williams provides a good thriller score; I don't usually think of him in that context (despite Jaws (1975)).

From a book by Thomas Harris who later moved on to the Hannibal Lector stories.

Another stadium murder thriller, Two-Minute Warning, was out about the same time and this confused the marketing.

The film was banned in Germany and Japan.