7.6/10
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72 user 34 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:
...
...
...
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 <[email protected]>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A NEW HIGH IN SUSPENSE MELODRAMA! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sudden Fear  »

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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

Bruce Bennett, who plays lawyer Steve Kearney in this film, played Bert Pierce opposite Joan Crawford in the 1945 film Mildred Pierce. 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

[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 ...
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Crazy Credits

The camera stays on an ornate pendulum clock, ticking time away as the credits appear. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Feud: Pilot (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Sudden Fear
Music by Arthur Altman
Lyrics by Irving Taylor (credit only)
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User Reviews

Joan and Jack are an impressive duo...good suspense...
24 June 2001 | by See all my reviews

Joan Crawford is a playwright who marries Jack Palance and then realizes he is planning to kill her. The formula works this time, thanks largely to the impressive acting of both Crawford and her leading man, Jack Palance. Gloria Grahame is the "other woman" (as usual) and plays an important part in the plot twist that provides a surprise ending.

Nail biting suspense, this is a film noirish kind of thriller that goes into full gear once Crawford learns her marriage is a mistake. Both Joan and Bette Davis (real-life rivals) were nominated for Best Actress Oscars when this was released (Davis for 'The Star') but they both lost to Shirley Booth (for 'Come Back, Little Sheba').

A good, crisp, no-nonsense thriller that showed us how good Jack Palance was in sinister roles.


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