7.6/10
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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:

Every Suspenseful Moment...Every Embrace...Every Kiss - A Breathtaking Experience! 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

Jean Rogers screen tested for the second lead but lost the part to Gloria Grahame. 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

Myra Hudson: Welcome to my home, Lester.
Lester Blaine: It's quite a cozy home.
Myra Hudson: Cozy enough to take your coat off?
Lester Blaine: Delighted.
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

 
I could break your bones!
11 June 2006 | by wayjackSee all my reviews

In the film Jack Palance tells a woman during an embrace, "I could break your bones." And he means it romantically! That probably sums up the odd, entertaining, and off-beat nature of this movie. There is so much "eye-action" from Joan in this one that it's almost funny. Actually it is funny. Though Sudden Fear is not a comedy, it has moments that are truly hysterical in a "did they really just say that?" kind of way. Watch for the moments when Joan responds to overheard conversations, personal scheming, (or the voices in her head)with nothing but wide-eyed reaction shots. Joan is also a tremendously sympathetic character more so than in almost any other Crawford film I've ever seen (and I've seen almost all of them). I caught this film on TV one night and was utterly surprised at how entertaining it was. Not that I had low expectations but Sudden Fear wasn't a film I'd ever heard of. It was proof that there are lots of dark diamonds hidden out there. We all know about the "top 100" lists and the legendary films on them but there are gems worth watching that never got the attention they should have. I watched from beginning to end not knowing what to expect. Truly thrilling in places and just plain classic Crawford. Watch for the moment when Joan embraces her love interest Palance and asks, "I was just wondering what I'd done to deserve you."


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