Police surround the apartment of apparent murderer Joe Adams, who refuses to surrender although escape appears impossible. During the siege, Joe reflects on the circumstances that led him to this situation.
Barbara Bel Geddes,
The editor of a New York exploitation newspaper meets the wife he had abandoned years ago, while using another name, at a LonelyHearts ball sponsored by his newspaper. She threatens to ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
When the President decides to pass through the small town of Suddenly on route to a fishing trip, the town's police and chief officials rise to meet the challenge of assuring his protection as there have been rumors of an assassination attempt.
The hired guns meanwhile make plans of their own. They cleverly trick their way into the home of the best house in town from which to try and carry out their assassination plot - the house of Pop Benson, respected citizen with an house upon an hill that overlooks the President's planned arrival destination. Now only an handful of hostages stand between the President and doom...can they in some way warn him in time?
Frank Sinatra steals the show here as the ruthless criminal mastermind behind the want-to-be assassins - a man named John Baron. He is downright brutal and nasty in the role--an utterly detestable villain who does remind us the it was the army that created him and made him into a killer or maybe deep down, it's just that he was always a killer at heart. An outstanding multi-dimensional performance from Sinatra.
Sterling Hayden meanwhile plays the idealistic police sheriff Tod Shaw, who believes in America and the American way and supports unquestioningly the system and will do whatever it takes to preserve the America he believes is right and just. He too served in the military to protect rights and freedoms and now carries on the good fight as Suddenly's sheriff. An interesting contrast of two extremes with the pacifist minded Ellen Benson (played here by Nancy Gates), her becoming a widow after her husband got killed in the war, finally forced to take a stand at the film's climax.
Daring for its time, this film deals with surprisingly intense subject matter for the early 1950s. Quite good.
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