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Suddenly (1954)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,444 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 27 critic

In the city of Suddenly, three gangsters trap the Benson family in their own house, on the top of a hill nearby the railroad station, with the intention of killing the president of the USA.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
John Baron
...
Sheriff Tod Shaw
...
Pop Benson
Nancy Gates ...
Ellen Benson
Kim Charney ...
Peter Benson III - 'Pidge'
...
Dan Carney
Paul Frees ...
Benny Conklin
Christopher Dark ...
Bart Wheeler
James O'Hara ...
Jud Hobson (as James Lilburn)
Kem Dibbs ...
Wilson (as Ken Dibbs)
Clark Howat ...
Haggerty
Charles Smith ...
Bebop
Paul Wexler ...
Slim Adams
Edit

Storyline

The tranquility of a small town is marred only by sheriff Tod Shaw's unsuccessful courtship of widow Ellen Benson, a pacifist who can't abide guns and those who use them. But violence descends on Ellen's household willy-nilly when the U.S. President passes through town... and slightly psycho hired assassin John Baron finds the Benson home ideal for an ambush. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

train | police | gun | widow | small town | See more »

Taglines:

A cold-blooded thriller! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

September 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Suddenly  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Montgomery Clift turned down the lead role. See more »

Goofs

The train is going north (the afternoon sun is streaming across the tracks into the train station from the direction of the house), yet the audio says the train is going down to Los Angeles, instead of up to San Francisco. If time of day were incidental to the film, this would be overlooked, but the clock is the tension builder. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
First Driver: Officer, can you tell me the way to Three Rivers?
Slim Adams: About two miles to the first main intersection, then turn left. It's about sixty miles.
First Driver: Thanks, what town is this?
Slim Adams: Suddenly.
First Driver: Suddenly what?
Slim Adams: No no, that's the name.
First Driver: [laughs] That's a funny name for a town.
Slim Adams: Uh huh, hangover from the old days; that's the way things used to happen here, suddenly.
First Driver: I see.
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Beachhead (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

A Tense Little Thriller Without Any Frills
8 October 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This tense, relatively well-crafted little thriller dispenses with frills or padding, and tells its story in a straightforward way that works pretty well. Once it sets up the story, it maintains the tension carefully enough to make up for some plot holes and one-dimensional characters.

The focus remains almost entirely on the story, and the characters are never developed very deeply. The three main roles are rather well-cast, though, and Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, and James Gleason each deliver what their roles call for.

Although implausible at some points, the story is otherwise well-constructed, and it moves at a good pace. Many film-makers are tempted to inject superfluous material into this kind of story, and this is an example showing that it usually works better to keep it simple. While nothing extraordinary, it works more than well enough to be worth watching.


16 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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