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>
After the film was withdrawn from circulation, there was a failure to renew the copyright and it fell into the public domain. As a result, in the early years of home video, the film became widely available from a number of discount/public domain labels See more »
As seen from the train depot, the house where the assassins are hiding is way up on a hill, well back from and high above the station. But as seen in shots looking down at the depot from the window in the house, the depot is only slightly higher than the house, and so close as to be almost next to it. See more »
I'm at a loss to explain why Frank Sinatra chose this particular project in the wake of all the acclaim he got for From Here to Eternity. Without his presence in the film, Suddenly with its length of 75 minutes on my VHS version would be a B film, even with Sterling Hayden starring in it as the sheriff. My guess is that Sinatra wanted to expand and test himself as an actor, something he did less and less of in the following decade.
The President of the United States is coming to the small town of Suddenly where he will leave the train he's traveling on and proceed by motorcade to a vacation in the Sierras. The Secret Service has come to town to do their usual thing in protecting the Chief Executive.
But three contract killers headed by Frank Sinatra are in town to kill the president. We're never told exactly who is paying for this contract, but the inference is that it is our Cold War enemies. Through a combination of circumstances the sheriff is wounded and the head of Secret Service detail, Willis Bouchey, is killed. And the killers are holed up in Nancy Gates's house with her, her father-in-law James Gleason, and child Kim Charney and the wounded Hayden.
Most of the film is taken up with the wait for the train to arrive where a lot of souls are bared open, including Sinatra's. It's the one and only time that Francis Albert ever essayed the role of an out and out villain. He does it well, but I suspect he didn't want to push it with his public too much, so he never did anyone as evil as this again.
Of course history tells us that the president named Eisenhower at the time never was an assassin's target so we know Sinatra's efforts will fail. However it's rather ingenious as to how it does fail.
I think more than fans of old Blue Eyes will like Suddenly.
20 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?