6.8/10
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85 user 39 critic

Suddenly (1954)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | September 1954 (USA)
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
...
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)
...
Haggerty
...
Bebop
Paul Wexler ...
Slim Adams
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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

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:

Der Attentäter  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The production company that made the movie was Libra Productions. Libra is a book that is a fictionalized version of the life of Lee Harvey Oswald, also allegedly a presidential assassin. See more »

Goofs

When Baron's henchman touches the metal table grounded to the television set, he is standing in water deliberately spilled on the floor by Pop Benson for that purpose and, according to the script, electrocuted. But the camera shot of his feet shows he is wearing rubber soled shoes. So he could not have completed the circuit. 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

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Mother's Day 2010 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gift-wrapped for Joe McCarthy
8 August 2008 | by See all my reviews

SUDDENLY was, I suspect, meant to rebut Senator Joe McCarthy and prove, gosh darn it, Hollywood loves America, loves guns, hates pacifism, and pledges allegiance. You'll get that message in the first five minutes, and every few minutes all the way to the unsurprising end.

There's a place for cornball movies with a message, but this movie is so cornball it's almost camp. The main message is that guns are necessary, and I don't argue or even disagree (I own two). But this message is hammered home over and over again, along with the goodness of cops and the greatness of America and the virtue of ordinary Americans. And again I'm not disagreeing, just bored silly -- the schmaltz drips off everything here, like pouring a whole bottle of syrup over a few pancakes.

Frank Sinatra is excellent as the bad guy, though his scripted lines are frequently absurd. The dialogue is clumsy and clunky -- real people don't speak like this, and never did. Sterling Hayden has never seemed more wooden, and his obsession with the town's young widow is downright creepy and cries out for a restraining order.


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