6.8/10
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98 user 46 critic

Suddenly (1954)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 17 September 1954 (USA)
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In the city of Suddenly, three gangsters trap the Benson family in their own house, on the top of a hill nearby the railroad station, with the intention of killing the president of the USA.

Director:

Lewis Allen

Writer:

Richard Sale (written for the screen by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Frank Sinatra ... John Baron
Sterling Hayden ... Sheriff Tod Shaw
James Gleason ... Pop Benson
Nancy Gates ... Ellen Benson
Kim Charney Kim Charney ... Peter Benson III - 'Pidge'
Willis Bouchey ... Dan Carney
Paul Frees ... Benny Conklin
Christopher Dark Christopher Dark ... Bart Wheeler
James O'Hara ... Jud Hobson (as James Lilburn)
Kem Dibbs Kem Dibbs ... Wilson (as Ken Dibbs)
Clark Howat ... Haggerty
Charles Smith ... Bebop
Paul Wexler ... Slim Adams
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Storyline

The tranquility of a small town is marred only by sheriff Tod Shaw's unsuccessful courtship of widow Ellen Benson, a pacifist who can't abide guns and those who use them. But violence descends on Ellen's household willy-nilly when the U.S. President passes through town... and slightly psycho hired assassin John Baron finds the Benson home ideal for an ambush. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sinatra- ...sears the screen ...as a snarling mad-dog killer! See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 September 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Attentäter See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,400,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Libra Productions Inc. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Per Ben Markowitz during the movie introduction on August 1 2018, "Sinatra, a friend of JFK, used his influence to get Suddenly pulled from distribution for a time" See more »

Goofs

Unless the water on the floor had a ground wire or leaked to a radiator, etc, the table and rifle would have 5,000 VAC but not ground to connect a circuit. So He would not feel anything. And if it did, his muscles would freeze up and not make him pull the trigger repeatably. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
First Driver: Officer, can you tell me the way to Three Rivers?
Slim Adams: About two miles to the first main intersection, then turn left. It's about sixty miles.
First Driver: Thanks, what town is this?
Slim Adams: Suddenly.
First Driver: Suddenly what?
Slim Adams: No no, that's the name.
First Driver: [laughs] That's a funny name for a town.
Slim Adams: Uh huh, hangover from the old days; that's the way things used to happen here, suddenly.
First Driver: I see.
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Invisible Yoke See more »

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User Reviews

A Tense Little Thriller Without Any Frills
8 October 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

This tense, relatively well-crafted little thriller dispenses with frills or padding, and tells its story in a straightforward way that works pretty well. Once it sets up the story, it maintains the tension carefully enough to make up for some plot holes and one-dimensional characters.

The focus remains almost entirely on the story, and the characters are never developed very deeply. The three main roles are rather well-cast, though, and Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, and James Gleason each deliver what their roles call for.

Although implausible at some points, the story is otherwise well-constructed, and it moves at a good pace. Many film-makers are tempted to inject superfluous material into this kind of story, and this is an example showing that it usually works better to keep it simple. While nothing extraordinary, it works more than well enough to be worth watching.


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