How many moviegoers remember when Paramount took out nation-wide full-page ads containing a ton of quotes from the critics for Black Sunday, a “prestige” disaster flick made by John Frankenheimer? More than a few claimed it was as thrilling and terrifying as Jaws. If we can sue for false advertising, can we sue for false blurbism? Walking out of the theatre afterwards, I heard a woman gripe, “Whats the fucking point? Wasnt the blimp suppose to blow up on em in the stadium?” She wasnt being entirely cold-blooded, and it didnt seem she was drooling for splattered innards and torrents of blood—well, she might have, and they would have helped—she was looking for a reason for the movie. (It had already been made as Two Minute Warning.) Turns out we didnt get to see the god damn thing explode in the stadium because Goodyear, allowing Frankenheimer to have access to the airship, stipulated it couldnt be used to harm any attendees of the game. Black Sunday, like War Games the same year, is a cautionary tale done with too much taste—i.e., everything happening shouldnt and everything not happening should. With Robert Shaw, Marthe Keller and, reliably bonkers as ever, Bruce Dern.



Text COPYRIGHT © 2007 RALPH BENNER  All Rights Reserved.