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Rowdy “Lawman”

Violent scenes in Michael Winner‘s rowdy 1971 Western, Lawman, are quite exciting, and the flick boasts an agreeable cast. It is sometimes—often?—clumsily shot, though, and puts a dull emphasis on the non-heroic. Gerald Wilson’s scripted tale, even so, comes close to being a brutal tragedy. It made me think.

Available on Tubi.

Killers Vs. Fans: “Black Sunday”

Although I have no regrets—at all—for sympathizing with Israel, I know little about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am damn certain the makers of Black Sunday (1977), a political caper film, also know little about it, but by no means is the picture wholly ridiculous. Just frequently ridiculous.

Black Sunday Movie Poster
Film Poster

A neurotic Lebanese terrorist, Dahlia, recruits her neurotic American “lover,” Lander, an ex-POW, to kill thousands upon thousands of Americans at the Super Bowl. How does Dahlia manage to make so much headway against Israeli agents in the hospital and sundry U.S. workers? Is Lander’s super-competence with a phone explosive he uses to murder a freighter captain believable?

There is first-rate acting in this John Frankenheimer film by Marthe Keller, Steven Keats, Bruce Dern and Robert Shaw. Frankenheimer directed well, but the writing by Ernest Lehman, though often entertaining, is unmemorable and with bland dialogue. He actually did better with North by Northwest. And it’s more fun.

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