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Sudden Fear (1952)

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.

Director:

David Miller

Writers:

Lenore J. Coffee (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee), Robert Smith (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Crawford ... Myra Hudson
Jack Palance ... Lester Blaine
Gloria Grahame ... Irene Neves
Bruce Bennett ... Steve Kearney
Virginia Huston ... Ann Taylor
Mike Connors ... 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 Thrilling New High In Suspense Melodrama! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 October 1952 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Maskierte Herzen See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$720,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of her involvement as a producer on this film (and her financial interest in it) when this proved to be a surprise box office hit, it was Joan Crawford's highest paid movie role until she made What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) a decade later. See more »

Goofs

The train leaving New York en route to Chicago is pulled by a streamlined steam locomotive of the Southern Pacific Railroad that was used in California. Later that evening, another scene at night in Pennsylvania shows a different type of locomotive pulling the train. The Southern Pacific locomotive is seen again pulling the train the next morning. Whilst approaching Chicago, Lester asks the conductor if he can get a ticket for the next train from Chicago to San Francisco. The conductor says he will check on getting a ticket on the California Zephyr. However, the two men are standing in the vestibule of car CZ-10, which IS a car that was the observation dome car on all California Zephyr consists. Whilst having breakfast on the Zephyr in the mountains of Colorado, Joan Crawford comments how much she enjoyed their tour of Chicago earlier that day, but, travel through Colorado would actually occur on the NEXT day, following an overnight journey from Chicago to Denver. See more »

Quotes

Lester Blaine: [Stopping short when he sees the drop alongside the steps of the summer house] Whoa...!
Myra Hudson: What's the matter, Darling?
Lester Blaine: [Frightened] It's a precipice!
Myra Hudson: [laughs] I've been running up and down these steps ever since I was twelve.
Lester Blaine: Don't you ever do it again!
Myra Hudson: Why not? Remember what Nietzsche said: Live dangerously!
Lester Blaine: You know what happened to Nietzsche?
Myra Hudson: What?
Lester Blaine: He's dead!
Myra Hudson: [laughs]
See more »

Crazy Credits

One of the few films with an itemized credits listing for each wardrobe category designer. See more »

Alternate Versions

The previous 1999 DVD release was slightly altered. The sudden fear sequence eliminates only about 8 seconds but noteworthy ones, showing Joan Crawford's falling from a building, and being smothered by the Jack Palance character. These have been restored in the new 2016 Cohen Media Group blu-ray release. See more »

Connections

Featured in Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Afraid
by Elmer Bernstein and Jack Brooks
See more »

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User Reviews

 
They Knew How to Make Movies in 1952 (not anymore)
12 July 2008 | by vitaleralphlouisSee all my reviews

This picture, as well as the re-issue of KING KONG, were the first two movies to be heavily advertised on television. A big success for RKO Radio Pictures. Being an RKO Picture you can expect lots of on-location photography and seeing places like New York and San Francisco as they were 55 years ago adds to the appeal of this fine movie.

SUDDEN FEAR was nominated for 4 Academy Awards (given in 1952 for high quality rather than political opinion), and this recognition was well deserved. An obvious -- and pretty successful -- imitation of Hitchcock this movie is one of the best murder mysteries ever made. I've never seen Joan Crawford or Jack Palance play better roles. David Miller's direction is inspired. And the black and white cinematography meets the highest standard.

Since they haven't yet made a good movie in 2008, and apparently intend to continue a 90% diet of so-called action movies --- utterly lacking in courage or purpose, where the hero solves made-believe problems by using computer animation instead of brains... Don't get me started. Just go back to the good ones, rent the DVD of Sudden Fear.


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