Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sudden Fear Starring Joan Crawford 1952 Full Film

Sudden Fear is a 1952 RKO Radio Pictures feature film starring Joan Crawford and Jack Palance in a noir-ish tale about a successful woman who marries a murderous man. The screenplay by Lenore J. Coffee and Robert Smith was based upon the novel by Edna Sherry. Sudden Fear was directed by David Miller and produced by Joseph Kaufman. The film was nominated for several Academy Awards and has been released to DVD.

Plot and cast

Myra Hudson (Crawford) is a successful Broadway playwright who rejects Lester Blaine (Palance) as the lead in her new play. Later, she meets Lester on a train bound for San Francisco, is swept off her feet, and, after a brief courtship, marries him. When Lester learns Myra is writing her will and plans to leave the bulk of her fortune to a foundation, he plots her murder in cahoots with Irene Neves (Gloria Grahame), an old girlfriend hiding in the wings. Myra discovers their plans and concocts a diabolical scheme to kill Lester and place the blame on Irene, but cannot bring herself to go through with it. Lester learns of Myra's intention and accidentally kills Irene and himself in an attempt on Myra's life. Myra hears the two pronounced dead and breathes a sigh of relief. Others in the cast include Bruce Bennett, Virginia Huston, and Mike Connors (performing as Touch Connors).

Production notes

Marlon Brando was originally offered the role of Lester Blaine. The film was shot in San Francisco, California. Costumes were designed by Sheila O'Brien and earned an Academy Award nomination.

Reception

A. H. Weiler in the New York Times commented, "Joan Crawford should be credited with a truly professional performance", and Otis L. Guernsey, Jr. in the New York Herald Tribune wrote, "The scenario...is designed to allow Miss Crawford a wide range of quivering reactions to vicious events, as she passes through the stage of starry-eyed love, terrible disillusionment, fear, hatred, and finally hysteria. With her wide eyes and forceful bearing, she is the woman for the job." In 1984, writer Spencer Selby noted, "Undoubtedly one of the most stylish and refined woman-in-distress noirs."

Awards

Sudden Fear was nominated for Academy Awards for:- Best Actress in a Leading Role: Joan Crawford, Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Jack Palance, Best Cinematography, Black-and-White and Best Costume Design, Black-and-White.
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