Friday, October 2, 2015

Suddenly (1954)

Director: Lewis Allen

Writer: Richards Sale

Composer: David Raksin

Starring: Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, James Gleeson, Nancy Gates, Kim Charney, Willis Bouchey, Paul Frees, Christopher Dark, James O'Hara, Kem Dibbs, Clark Howat

More info: IMDb

Tagline: SINATRA... tears loose with a gun in his hand! SINATRA... out to get the No. 1 man in the nation! SINATRA... as a kill-hungry hoodlum!

Plot: 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.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yes.

Very good little picture.  The performances and dialogue will probably feel stiff by today's standards but I like the way they work.  I love Sterling Hayden.  He shines when he's playing tough but when he's trying to be sweet on Ellen (Gates) he's rather wooden and forced.  It is surprising that Baron (Sinatra) and his boys are not much more than common criminals hired by someone much bigger to kill the president.  You'd think for a half million bucks someone more professional would have been hired instead.  But that's not the point.  There is some flag-waving patriotic propaganda going on but I don't mind it.  This is a film clearly of its time.  Director Allen delivers a taut thriller and there's a lot packed into the 75 minute run time.  It's on Netflix streaming but since it's in the public domain you can find it almost anywhere for free.

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