Sudden Fear

Sudden Fear

DVD - 1998
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A wealthy lady playwright marries a worthless actor who plans to kill her.
Publisher: New York, NY : Kino on Video ; [Chatsworth, CA] : Distributed by Image Entertainment, c1998
Branch Call Number: 791.4372 S9432m
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (110 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in

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v
voisjoe1_0
Nov 22, 2018

Romance, seduction, betrayal, a couple of murder plots, suspense and action. I don't know how I never heard of this film. Great range of acting from both Jack Palance and Joan Crawford as they both have to switch personalities in their pretense of love and pretense of ignorance of what is going on. Both Palance and Crawford got Oscar noms. A bonus is fine acting from Gloria Grahame.

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Nursebob
Dec 12, 2014

Joan Crawford’s signature shoulder pads and caterpillar eyebrows take centre stage in this deliciously camp noir thriller that will have you simultaneously cheering and snickering! She plays Myra Hudson, a fabulously wealthy heiress turned Broadway playwright who believes she’s found the man of her dreams when bit actor Lester Blaine (an angular Jack Palance) whom she previously had fired from one of her productions crosses her path once more on a westbound passenger train. Poetry and starry cuddles soon lead to romance and marriage and for the first time in her life Myra feels happy and alive. But Lester’s love proves to be false when Myra discovers he and his bleached blonde mistress (a slutty wise-cracking Gloria Grahame) are planning her imminent demise so he can inherit her vast estate. Unable to go to the police with any credible evidence Myra must rely on her own wits to not only survive the next few days but even the score with the murderous duo as well. To those ends she devises a most ingenious scheme to divide and conquer, but not even she is prepared for the complications that ensue when her elaborate plans are unexpectedly thrown into disarray. Tightly controlled with magnificently theatrical performances all around, director David Miller knows exactly how to up the suspense until you’re squirming in your seat. Adding to the fun is a pounding score of strings and jazzy riffs and some good old noirish cinematography with an emphasis on dimly lit interiors and dizzying shadows; in one particularly effective scene the camera zooms in for an extreme close-up on Ms. Crawford’s face while the shadow of a swinging clock pendulum plays back and forth across her granite features. Delirious and overdone at every turn, like a good film noir should be, this is a definite treat for genre fans and newbies alike. Immensely entertaining!

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Monolith
Aug 18, 2013

A top shelf psychological thriller, directed by David Miller, who ten years later was responsible for a film that completely blew me away: "Lonely Are The Brave", with Kirk Douglas. This noir had a Hitchcock feel, with tension as thick as a brick. Joan Crawford was on her game, giving a remarkable performance. Fantastic cinematography; a killer flick. FIVE STARS.

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ManMachine
Sep 27, 2012

In real life Hollywood mega-star, Joan Crawford (aka Mommie Dearest) may have been a lousy mother to her adopted children, but, when it came to being a performer in custom-made vehicles like "Sudden Fear", she was the consummate actress, giving everything that she's got and even earning for herself an Oscar nomination for "Best Actress"..... In this intense, emotionally-charged,1952 Thriller/Chick Flick Crawford played successful playwright, Myra Hudson, who, in a whirl of infatuation, up and marries the young, no-talent actor, Lester Blaine, only to find her bubble of bliss ready to burst when she inadvertantly discovers that her stud-muffin and his snotty girlfriend are, indeed, plotting out her murder..... This well-paced, lushly photographed film, with its superb cast, literally, had me on the edge of my seat during its climatic finale.

j
Janice21383
Aug 13, 2011

If there's such a thing as asking for trouble, it is publicly humiliating Jack Palance (he wants a romantic role, dammit. No more strangling!), then turning around and marrying him. But if there's a woman who can handle this scenario, it's Joan Crawford. Gloria Graham has a small role as Palance's girl on the side. No prizes for guessing what her kink is.

l
local_joco_patron
Jul 24, 2011

Every once in a while you come across a great film. This film showcases Joan Crawford through a wide range of emotions, from innocent love to pale terror. The cinematography is spectacular and the plot has all the twists and turns you can handle. Kino International, known mostly for re-upping vintage avant-garde cinema certainly saw in this film cinematic brilliance that, unfortunately, most casual audiences might miss. It is an excellent film of highest caliber.

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ManMachine
Sep 27, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: This film's climatic finale is very intense.

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Monolith
Aug 18, 2013

Lester Blaine (stopping short when he sees the drop alongside the steps of the summer house): "Whoa...!" Myra Hudson: "What's the matter, darling?" Lester Blaine: "It's a precipice!" Myra Hudson: "I've been running up and down these steps ever since I was twelve." Lester Blaine: "Don't you ever do it again!" Myra Hudson: "Why not? Remember what Nietzsche said: Live dangerously!" Lester Blaine: "You know what happened to Nietzsche?" Myra Hudson: "What?" Lester Blaine: "He's dead!"

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