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Sudden Fear [DVD] [1952] [US Import] [NTSC]


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Product details

  • Actors: Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, Gloria Grahame, Bruce Bennett, Virginia Huston
  • Directors: David Miller
  • Writers: Joan Crawford, Edna Sherry, Lenore J. Coffee, Robert Smith
  • Producers: Joan Crawford, Joe Kaufmann
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Sep 2003
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000IPHP
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,702 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By patashnik on 28 Feb 2008
Format: DVD
I can't believe this has never been released on Region 2 dvd. My VHS tape is wearing out!

Joan is just brilliant is this noir 'romantic' thriller. She plays Myra Hudson, wealthy San Francisco heiress and mega-successful playright. In New York to put the finishing touches to the staging of her latest work, she dismisses the lead man, Lester Blaine (Jack Palance), from the production, finding him not handsome enough for the part. Myra decides to take the train back to SF, but who is this 'coincidentally' boarding the train at the next stop? Why, it's Lester.....hmmm!

What follows is a wonderful twisty-turny rollercoaster of plotting, deceit, greed, lust and counter-plotting. Heavens, there's even a bottle of poison marked 'POISON' with a skull and crossbones on it! Throw the wonderfully sultry noir actress Gloria Grahame into the mix and you have everything for a nigh-perfect thriller. Joan spends the second half of the film with her eyes popping out of her head as she clatters up and down the hilly (deserted!?) streets of San Francisco in her fur coat and you-know-what heels with a killer in pursuit.

This is an overlooked must-see classic from Joan's back catalogue. Now will someone please issue it on Region 2 dvd!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 May 2004
Format: DVD
A brilliant oscar nominated performance from Joan Crawford sets the high mark for this bruisingly compelling thriller. This is a stylish and clever film which twists and turns in a compulsively watchable way. Watching Crawford brings home the fact that films like this were rare enough in the 1950's for women of a "certain age" - it is difficult not to take your eyes off her - today it would seem almost impossible to imagine a star of the highest magnitude to be offered such a role - they just don't exist. Exquisite support from Jack Palance and Gloria Graeme, supberb photography and direction, and of course a story which relies on subtle understanding from the audience make this a tremendous picture to watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By martin kemp on 29 Aug 2010
Format: DVD
one of the finest Film Noir made, tension builds through terrific performances by the cast mainly centering around Joan Crawford, Jack Palance and the grossly underrated Gloria Grahame. Needless to say Joan is being harangued by hubby JP who's trying to bump her off for her lolly, GG the floozie who's keen on both ex boyfriend Jack - and Joans lolly. Lots of double bluffing, hiding in cupboards, guns etc great stuff. One for a late night wet evening.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Mar 2013
Format: DVD
Sudden Fear is directed by David Miller and adapted to screenplay by Lenore J. Coffee and Robert Smith from the novel written by Edna Sherry. It stars Joan Crawford, Jack Palance and Gloria Grahame. Music is by Elmer Bernstein and cinematography by Charles Lang Jr.

"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!"

The above is the response Lester Blaine (Palance) gives to Broadway playwright Myra Hudson (Crawford) who has just rejected him for the lead role in her latest play on account of his looks. Later that day the pair meet up on a train heading for Frisco and Myra is swept off of her feet. They court and marry, but once finances come into play and Irene Neves (Grahame) arrives on the scene, something far more sinister begins to rear its head...

It takes a while to get going, but once Sudden Fear hits its stride it's a suspenseful noirish delight. Filmed on locations in San Francisco and with Lang Junior bringing the chiaroscuro while Miller dabbles in deftly placed shadows and tracking cameras, there's a visuality that's vital to the edgy atmosphere of the story. It's pretty obvious quite early on what is happening in the plotting but this never affects the suspense, Miller builds it slowly and then unleashes the chills at the midpoint, garnering top performances from the three principal players in the process.
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