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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

Directed by John Frankenheimer
USA 1977

 

Black Sunday is the powerful story of a Black September terrorist group attempting to blow up a Goodyear blimp hovering over the Super Bowl stadium with 80,000 people and the president of the United States in attendance.

***

An Israeli anti-terrorist agent must stop a disgruntled Vietnam vet cooperating in a plot to commit a terrorist attack at the Super Bowl.

***

Black Sunday is a 1977 American thriller film directed by John Frankenheimer, based on Thomas Harris' 1975 novel of the same name. The film was produced by Robert Evans, and stars Robert Shaw, Bruce Dern, and Marthe Keller. It was nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Motion Picture in 1978. The screenplay was written by Ernest Lehman, Kenneth Ross, and Ivan Moffat. Ross had previously written the screenplay for The Day of the Jackal, a similar plot-driven political thriller.

The inspiration of the story came from the Munich massacre, perpetrated by the Black September organization against Israeli athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics, giving both the novel and film its title.

Excerpt from Wikipedia located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: March 22nd, 1977 (USA Film Festival)

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Review: Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray

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Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:23:05.868        
Video

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,567,704,011 bytes

Feature: 44,268,957,696 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.89 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate Blu-ray:

Audio

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3730 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3730 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps

Subtitles English, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Imprint

 

2.35:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,567,704,011 bytes

Feature: 44,268,957,696 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.89 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

NEW audio commentary by film historian Stephen Prince (2020)
NEW “FOURTH DOWN: COMPOSING BLACK SUNDAY” – An all-new interview with film music historian Daniel Schweiger about the John Williams score. (2020) 10:31
It Could Be Tomorrow - Directing Black Sunday (12:18)
Theatrical Trailer (3:50)
Limited Edition slipcase on the first 1500 copies

 

Blu-ray Release Date: March 5th, 2021
Transparent Blu-ray Case inside cardboard sleeve (see below)

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Imprint Blu-ray (March 2021): Imprint have transferred John Frankenheimer's Black Sunday to Blu-ray. I don't have a DVD or another Blu-ray to compare it to (I think this is the first 1080P transfer of the film.) It doesn't looks great but is consistent. It's on a dual-layered disc with a high bitrate for the 2 1/4+ hour film. It's soft without a high level of detail exporting modest texture. This may be the best it will look for an HD presentation but we hope to compare it one day to a superior Blu-ray image.

NOTE: We have added 76 more large resolution Blu-ray captures (in lossless PNG format) for DVDBeaver Patrons HERE

On their Blu-ray, Imprint offer a DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround or the option of a linear PCM stereo track (both 24-bit) in the original English language. There are plenty of audio effects in the film from the loud hum of the dirigible to machine gun fire and loud explosions including the testing of the fatal multi-bullet (dart) device. The score is by the iconic John Williams (The Rare Breed, The Missouri Breaks, War Horse, The Fury, Images, Sleepers, The Cowboys, Conrack, 1979's Dracula) and adds significantly to the viewing experience augmenting the tension and drama of the extreme action sequences. Also played are The Star Spangled Banner and The Stars and Stripes Forever before the Dallas Cowboys vs. Pittsburgh Steelers Superbowl. Imprint offer optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

The Imprint Blu-ray offers a new commentary by film historian Stephen Prince who discusses Black Sunday as the first Hollywood film to deal with international terrorism. He's very prepared and covers much of Frankenheimer's career, Shaw, Dern and Marthe Keller (John Schlesinger's Marathon Man, Billy Wilder's Fedora and Sydney Pollack's Bobby Deerfield) as a relative unknown to US audiences at the time. She is excellent in Black Sunday. There are also new interviews including film music historian Daniel Schweiger about the John Williams score running 10-minutes plus It Could Be Tomorrow - Directing Black Sunday, a Ballyhoo Production running over a dozen minutes unafraid to take a more critical look at the director's oeuvre. Lastly, is a theatrical trailer and the package has a limited edition slipcase on the first 1500 copies.

I remember seeing John Frankenheimer's Black Sunday when I was much younger and it had a big impact on me. I don't think it has held up as well over time but it's always a pleasure to see Robert Shaw in such an ambitious effort with a determined, pioneering storyline. It's an intensive thriller that builds with a high level of suspense. The Imprint Blu-ray provides a modest presentation but the Prince commentary and two interviews make it desirable. I was glad to revisit the film after a few decades and learn more about the impressive John Frankenheimer. 

Gary Tooze

 


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Distribution Imprint - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 


 

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