7.5/10
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71 user 33 critic

Sudden Fear (1952)

Approved | | Film-Noir, Thriller | August 1952 (USA)
After an ambitious actor insinuates himself into the life of a wealthy middle-aged playwright and marries her, he plots with his mistress to murder her.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
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Junior Kearney (as Touch Conners)
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Storyline

Actor Lester Blaine has all but landed the lead in Myra Hudson's new play when Myra vetoes him because, to her, he doesn't look like a "romantic leading man." On a train from New York to San Francisco, Blaine sets out to prove Myra wrong...by romancing her. Is he sincere, or does he have a dark ulterior motive? The answer brings on a game of cat and mouse; but who's the cat and who's the mouse? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A NEW HIGH IN SUSPENSE MELODRAMA! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Maskierte Herzen  »

Box Office

Budget:

$720,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean Rogers screen tested for the second lead but lost the part to Gloria Grahame. See more »

Goofs

When Myra is in Irene's apartment the first time, she is startled by the doorbell and cowers against the wall. The silhouette of a delivery man slips a flyer for "Fashions at the Fairmont" under the door, though a mail slot is clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Myra Hudson: Welcome to my home, Lester.
Lester Blaine: It's quite a cozy home.
Myra Hudson: Cozy enough to take your coat off?
Lester Blaine: Delighted.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The camera stays on an ornate pendulum clock, ticking time away as the credits appear. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Feud: Pilot (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Sudden Fear
Music by Arthur Altman
Lyrics by Irving Taylor (credit only)
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User Reviews

Right up there with Hitchcock at his best

Joan Crawford's reputation as a gay icon and crazed child abuser courtesy of "Mommie Dearest" have tended in recent years to overshadow her considerable talents as an actress. When she died in 1977, a journalist wrote that she was one of the few major movies stars in Hollywood's Golden Age to create a genre all her own. It's true that she was often seen in rags-to-riches sagas, but in "Sudden Fear" (****), one of the best suspense thrillers ever made I feel, she is simply terrific as an already wealthy playwright who marries struggling actor Jack Palance, then accidentally discovers that he and his girlfriend Gloria Graham are planning to murder her for her money. After the initial shock wears off, she devises a plan to turn the tables on them both. The chasm between the clockwork perfection of the plot she devises in her imagination, and the unexpected setbacks that develop in the real-life execution of it, keep this gripping film hugely entertaining. Fine direction, atmospheric night photography of San Francisco locations and even occasional mordantly witty dialogue don't hurt, either. (You may never hear the line "I was just wondering what I had done to deserve you" quite the same way again.)


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