Sudden Fear ()

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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.

  • Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination.
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Complete, Cast awaiting verification

Myra Hudson
Lester Blaine
Irene Neves
Steve Kearney
Ann Taylor
Junior Kearney (as Touch Conners)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rodney Bell ...
Aggressive Drunk on Street (uncredited)
Julius - the Butler (uncredited)
Eve Ralston (uncredited)
Reception Guest (uncredited)
Sam Harris ...
Reception Guest (uncredited)
Scott Martindale (uncredited)
Dr. Van Roan (uncredited)
Lewis Martin ...
Bill - the Play Director (uncredited)
Reception Guest (uncredited)
Ewing Mitchell ...
Bridge Party Guest (uncredited)
George Ralston (uncredited)
Opera Patron (uncredited)
Amzie Strickland ...
Reception Guest (uncredited)
Rodna Walls ...
Zephyrette (uncredited)

Directed by

David Miller

Written by

Lenore J. Coffee ... (screenplay) (as Lenore Coffee) and
Robert Smith ... (screenplay)
Edna Sherry ... (based upon story "Sudden Fear")
Joan Crawford ... (collaborating writer) (uncredited)

Produced by

Joe Kaufmann ... producer (as Joseph Kaufman)
Joan Crawford ... executive producer (uncredited)

Music by

Elmer Bernstein

Cinematography by

Charles Lang ... director of photography (as Charles B. Lang Jr.)

Film Editing by

Leon Barsha

Art Direction by

Boris Leven

Set Decoration by

Edward G. Boyle ... (set decorations)

Makeup Department

Edwin Allen ... makeup - Miss Crawford
Jane Gorton ... hair stylist
Josef Norin ... makeup - Mr. Palance

Production Management

Henry Spitz ... production supervisor

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Ralph Hoge ... director of second unit
Ivan Volkman ... assistant director
Leonard Kunody ... assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

Joe LaBella ... props (uncredited)

Sound Department

T.A. Carman ... sound (as T. A. Carman)
Howard Wilson ... sound

Camera and Electrical Department

Wallace Chewning ... camera operator (uncredited)
Loyal Griggs ... camera operator: second unit (uncredited)
Frank Tanner ... still photographer (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Sheila O'Brien ... Miss Crawford's wardrobe: gowns designed by
Al Teitelbaum ... Miss Crawford's wardrobe: furs designed by
Elva Martien ... wardrobe (uncredited)
Rose Rockney ... wardrobe (uncredited)
Frank Tait ... wardrobe (uncredited)

Music Department

Elmer Bernstein ... music director

Other crew

Joe Kaufmann ... presenter (as Joseph Kaufman)
B.C. Wylie ... production assistant (as B. C. Wylie)
Bobbie Sierks ... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production Companies




Special Effects


Other Companies



Plot Summary

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 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

Plot Keywords
Taglines Every Suspenseful Moment...Every Embrace...Every Kiss - A Breathtaking Experience! See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Le masque arraché (France)
  • Maskierte Herzen (Germany)
  • Miedo súbito (Spain)
  • Eiskalte Rache (West Germany)
  • Miedo súbito (Argentina)
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  • 110 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $720,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia According to Jack Palance, Joan Crawford and Gloria Grahame did not get along and got into a physical altercation at one point during the filming. The fight started after Grahame sat on the edge of the set during one of Crawford's close-ups and very loudly sucked a lollipop in an attempt to anger Crawford. It worked, and Palance noted that the all male crew watched the fight for a few moments rather curiously before stepping in to break it up. See more »
Goofs When Junior brings Irene to her apartment and refuses to leave, she tries twice to close the door. Each time, a stagehand's hand can be seen reaching for the knob from out in the hall, a common practice on stage sets if a door doesn't latch properly or stay closed. See more »
Movie Connections Edited into Mrs. Harris (2005). See more »
Soundtracks Afraid See more »
Crazy Credits One of the few films with an itemized credits listing for each wardrobe category designer. See more »
Quotes [after being rejected for a romantic role because of his looks]
Lester Blaine: Miss Hudson, in your own native city of San Francisco, there's an art gallery in the Legion of Honor in which there's an oil painting of Casanova. It's quite obvious that you have never seen this painting. For your information, Miss Hudson, this is what Casanova looked like: he had big ears, a scar over one eye, a broken nose, and a wart on his chin, right here. I suggest, Miss Hudson, that when you return to San Francisco, you visit this gallery and see this painting!
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