14 user 11 critic

Sudden Terror (1970)

Eyewitness (original title)
PG | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | June 1970 (UK)
Witnessing an assassination, a boy claims the assassins are hunting him. With his older sister, the pair escape numerous attacks and are aided by their grandfather and a resourceful young ... See full summary »


John Hough


Ronald Harwood (screenplay), John Harris (novel) (as Mark Hebden)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Lester ... Ziggy
Lionel Jeffries ... Grandpa
Susan George ... Pippa
Jeremy Kemp ... Inspector Galleria
Peter Vaughan ... Paul Grazzini
Tony Bonner ... Tom Jones
Betty Marsden Betty Marsden ... Madame Robiac
Peter Bowles ... Victor Grazzini
Joseph Fürst ... Local Police Sgt (as Joseph Furst)
David Lodge ... Local Policeman
Anthony Stamboulieh Anthony Stamboulieh ... Police Lt Tacharie
Robert Russell ... Headquarters Policeman
John Allison John Allison ... Boutique Boy
Maxine Kalli Maxine Kalli ... Ann-Marie
Jonathan Burn ... Waiter (as Johnathan Burn/Jonathan Burn)


Witnessing an assassination, a boy claims the assassins are hunting him. With his older sister, the pair escape numerous attacks and are aided by their grandfather and a resourceful young bystander even under the spectre of martial law. Written by Carl J. Youngdahl <zomno@casbah.acns.nwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...with the most breathless chase scene since 'BULLITT'! See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Based on the novel Eyewitness (London, 1966) by Mark Hebden (aka John Harris). See more »


Referenced in El pasado (2007) See more »

User Reviews

Well made, but disappointing thriller
23 March 2008 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

"Pins you to the edge of your seat" is the tagline for this film, and while that could be aptly applied to many thrillers; it certainly doesn't suit this one! John Hough's Eyewitness has the basis for a decent story (even if it's not all that original) but it's never capitalised on properly and, for the first two thirds at least, the film is slow, largely uninteresting and lacks tension and suspense; thus not providing what you want or expect from a film that calls itself thriller (much less, one that proudly proclaims that you will be on the edge of your seat). The plot takes obvious influence from the common thriller idea of having somebody witness a crime and then having the perpetrators go after that person; here, we also have a bit of 'the boy who cried wolf' thrown in too for good measure. The eyewitness of the title is a boy named Ziggy who goes to watch a parade and ends up witnessing an assassination. It's not long before the assassins are on his tail, but naturally considering the boy's track record for lying, his family don't believe him...

The film is rather well produced; it looks nice, is well directed and mostly features good acting from the ensemble cast. Lionel Jeffries is my pick of the performers and he does well as the eccentric grandfather and head of the family. He gets good support from Tony Bonner as a young stranger who ends up with the family due to a care few and the beautiful Susan George as his granddaughter. The film also features a performance from Mark Lester and this is where the film falls down. The child actor will always be famous for his role as Oliver Twist in the 1968 film (I'm not a fan), but here he is completely irritating and doesn't do much than run around looking scared for the ninety minute duration. The first two thirds of the film are very slow and dull and that's a shame because the film really opens in the final half hour and is actually quite good; but by then I was too bored to care as much as I could have done were it not for the disappointing opening. The climax to the film is quite good and on the whole, while I wouldn't say this is a bad film; it's not a particularly good one either.

6 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 14 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

June 1970 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Sudden Terror See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed