~Above: Joan Crawford in her Oscar nominated performance in "Sudden Fear."
"Sudden Fear" 1952
Cast: Joan Crawford ~Jack Palance~Gloria Grahame~Bruce Bennett~Virginia Huston~Touch Conners.
Director: David Miller
Producer: Joseph Kaufman
Costumes by Shelia O'Brien
Box Office Figures for "Sudden Fear":
Top Grossing Film Position: Ranked #64 out of 119
Gross Rentals: $1,650,000.
If you have seen this movie, please write a review below. Once your review is submitted, I will post the review below.
Thank you for your review on this film.
Reviewer, Keith Hunt, says...
I recently saw "Sudden Fear" on YouTube. Someone graciously uploaded the entire film at 9-10 minute intervals. I
decided I liked the film so much I bought a new DVD copy on eBay.
David Miller is the director of this film but one could swear Alfred Hitchcock, which I am a fan of, is the driving force
behind this film. The film has the timing and slick special effects of a Hitchcock film. I'm sure old Alfred wished he had
grabbed this one. But it's refreshing to see Joan Crawford playing a tormented character than some icy cool blonde that Hitchcock
Joan pulls out all the stops and brings up all her talents from past films, including some silent film techniques of horror
and suspense. Her wide eyed fear, sudden fear, makes this film great. Joans character, Myra, finds out that her loving husband,
played by Jack Palance, is out to kill her for her money. The plot of using her own dictating device to reveal the secret
was pure genius. It was accidentally left on and catches Lesters (Palance) and Irenes (Gloria Grahame) plan.
Another great touch was how the dictating device gets to the end of the recording and sticks like an old 45 record. You
hear Irene say, I know a way, I know a way, I know a way - over and over while Joan has backed herself into a piece of furniture
and can no longer move. At this point Joan's character will never know what their direct plan is.
Joan goes into territory I've only seen in recent films. I've never seen any character in older films run to the bathroom
to vomit after hearing what she has heard. This was a first for me. And it was played perfect with Joan running from the study
into a bathroom adjacent to the study. You heard nothing but you knew what was going on. Excellent scene. All the while the
recording is still stuck, playing in the background while Myra is trying to get a hold of herself.
Then Myra starts her own plan. This again is in the territory of Hitchcock. Holding back and acting as if nothing is going
on. All the while, Myra, is planning fast and hard. David Millers use of a close up of Joan with the table clock ticking
away, the pendulum swinging and then the ticking starts to echo is riveting.
Myra gets her plan together but finds she cant kill as she thought. She hides in a closet trying to again get herself
together. Lester walks in Irenes apartment where Myra is hiding, in a closet. Another great touch was the wind up toy dog
that Palance plays with. He sets it on the floor and it walks closer and closer to the closet. Just as he walks over to the
closet the phone rings. He walks over to pick it up and listen. He stumbles across a gun that Myra has dropped and he goes
looking for Irene. Joans character slips out and goes on the run for her life. Palances Lester finds Myras monogrammed handkerchief
she has accidentally dropped and he knows the jig is up. But the climax really hasnt started. It gets way better, if possible.
This is a top rate film that anyone can enjoy. Even if they aren't a Crawford fan. If they like Hitchcock they'll gladly
sit with you on the edge of your seat. David Miller directs one smart and cunning thriller. I was happy and surprised with
the quality of this film. RKO did some great films but this had to be one of their best ever. Joan received a Best Actress
nomination from the Academy and the film garnered three other nominations. And it's not hard to see why. Great fun. And of
course Joan was excellent. She should've won in my opinion.
4 stars all the way!
Review: Intense and Powerful,and Joan rides it all the way!