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Sudden Fear (1952)

 -  Film-Noir | Thriller  -  August 1952 (USA)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 2,386 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 18 critic

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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(screenplay), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Sudden Fear (1952)

Sudden Fear (1952) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Virginia Huston ...
...
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 Breathtaking Experience ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ehe mit dem Satan  »

Box Office

Budget:

$720,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Crawford originally wanted Clark Gable for the role of Lester Blane in the film. Jack Palance was cast instead. See more »

Goofs

During the critical "clock pendulum" planning scene. The visible clock and the phony "shadow strike across the chest" shadows are a significantly differently tempo than the real clock. The shadow shadow clock moves twice as face. See more »

Quotes

Myra Hudson: [to Lester] I haven't even got my lipstick on! A woman has to wear lipstick. I'd feel positively naked without it!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Afraid
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Lyrics by Jack Brooks (credit only)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Whewwww!
20 August 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a real edge-of-your-seat nail-biter. David Miller did a terrific job of directing this one, and the cinematography is spectacular by Charles Lang. Some of the shots are as inspired as anything ever seen in Hollywood, such as one in Joan Crawford's library where upon hearing an inadvertent recording made on her dictaphone, she gradually shrinks back in horror against the far wall, until she becomes nearly a dot in the distance. That shot is a real triumph of cinematic inspiration. Much is accomplished with a clock and its pendulum, with the star-shaped pendulum at one point shown in shadow swinging across her chest as she gets more and more anxious. None of this is overdone, but is all subtle and effective. Joan Crawford has us all spellbound with her magnificent performance. She throws vanity to the winds, and is not afraid to show her character as someone in the round, complete with cowardice, foolishness, and even extreme stupidity, combined with cunning, intelligence, charm and inspiration. Rarely has a woman been shown so soaked in sweat with sheer terror, and she must have stepped straight out of the shower for each of those shots. When we aren't staring at her incredulous, we notice that Jack Palance is highly effective, and then we have the delectable treat of Gloria Grahame turning up. Which true cineaste does not adore Gloria Grahame? She herself probably never knew what all the fuss was about, regarding herself no doubt as an ordinary girl. But Gloria Grahame was far from ordinary. She had that indefinable something plus a lot of other somethings, which for reasons which are deeply mysterious and impossible to explain leave many people like myself in a state of entranced wonder. What was it about her? No matter how many times we watch her we will never know, all we can say is there will never be another one. This film is a real humdinger.


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