7.6/10
3,634
74 user 35 critic

Sudden Fear (1952)

Approved | | Film-Noir, Thriller | August 1952 (USA)
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.

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Writers:

(screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee), (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:
... Myra Hudson
... Lester Blaine
... Irene Neves
... Steve Kearney
... Ann Taylor
... 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:

Every Suspenseful Moment...Every Embrace...Every Kiss - A Breathtaking Experience! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Maskierte Herzen  »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the time she made this film, Joan Crawford had recently been released from a long-term contract with Warner Brothers and, like many of her contemporaries, was struggling to keep her movie career alive. She was savvy enough to recognize the potential of this material, and played a major role in shepherding it to the screen. When her instincts proved right and Sudden Fear became her biggest box office hit in years, Crawford was rewarded for her efforts. See more »

Goofs

During the critical "clock pendulum" planning scene, the visible clock and the phony "shadow strike across the chest" shadows are a significantly differently tempo than the real clock. The shadow clock moves twice as fast. See more »

Quotes

Myra Hudson: Remember what Nietzsche says "Live dangerously!"
Lester Blaine: You know what happened to Nietzsche?
Myra Hudson: No, what?
Lester Blaine: He's dead.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Edited into Mrs. Harris (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Afraid
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Lyrics by Jack Brooks (credit only)
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User Reviews

 
Excellent First Half
19 August 2017 | by See all my reviews

The wealthy playwright Myra Hudson (Joan Crawford) is the heiress of a great fortune. However she works and is donating part of her inheritance to foundations. When she watches the rehearsal of her play, she asks the director to replace the lead actor Lester Blaine (Jack Palance) that she believes is not adequate for the lead role. When she returns home, she meets Blane in the same train and they travel together. They stop in Chicago and soon Myra is seduced by him. They get married and live at Myra's home in San Francisco. Myra summons her lawyer Steve Kearney (Bruce Bennett) to change her will and transfer her fortune and properties to her beloved husband. She uses her Dictaphone to record the changes to be done in her will. However Steve will travel with his son Junior Kearney (Touch Conners) to Sacramento and they leave the room. Then Blaine and Junior's girlfriend Irene Neves (Gloria Grahame), who is his lover, come to the room to plot a scheme to kill Myra so that he will be the heir of her fortune. On the next morning, Myra learns that she has forgotten her Dictaphone on and when she will proceed to dictate her new will, she hears the conversation of her husband with Irene. What will she do now that she knows what are Blaine's real feelings and intention?

"Sudden Fear" is a suspenseful film-noir with excellent first half. The story of a wealthy spinster seduced by a crook is great until the moment that the lead character learns that he husband and his mistress are plotting to murder her. Her plan to save her life and get rid of them is also great. However her clumsy and moralist attitudes are terrible and reduces what could have been a little masterpiece to a good film-noir only. Joan Crawford has another magnificent performance. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Precipícios d'Alma" ("Precipices of the Soul")


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