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Sudden Fear [Import]

Joan Crawford , Jack Palance , David Miller    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Product Description

Joan Crawford turns in one of the most emotionally charged performances of her career as a playwright who must use her plotting skills to save her own life, in this beautifully crafted film noir thriller. Nominated for four Academy Awards, "Sudden Fear" is an unbeatable combination of lush melodrama and drop-dead suspense.


This is one of those noir gems about a love-hate relationship between a husband and wife that's doomed from the very beginning. Jack Palance plays an ambitious actor rebuffed by playwright and heiress Joan Crawford. He later romances and marries her before falling under the dark spell of ex-girlfriend Gloria Grahame. When Palance and Grahame plot to get her fortune, the evil scheme backfires with ironically twisted results. Palance has no idea how much his wife truly loves him, and she has no idea how sinister he truly is. It's a fascinating if contrived film, with wonderful nuances and sensitive performances by the three leads. --Bill Desowitz

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 50's film noir Feb. 4 2004
This flawless piece of 1950's film noir is only undone by how badly it has been transposed onto DVD. Such a treasure should have been fully restored and digitally transferred yet it seems to have been hurriedly recorded directly from the grainy VHS original and the result is a fine film that just doesn't look right.
That said if you're a lover of great film noir, a fan of Joan Crawford or simply nostalgia itself don't miss the chance to see and own this gem of a movie. You'd never have thought Joan could perform this well being more of 'star' than an 'actress'. Joan was one hard-working and dedicated performer who never 'slummed it' as she used to put it. Forget about all that Mommie Dearest drivel and enjoy the greatest female star of all time's finest hour!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy DVD Transfer of Joan Crawford Gem Jan. 3 2004
Before I begin my review of 'Sudden Fear' in earnest, I have to point out that this is a really poor transfer to DVD of a 1950's noir classic. Movies like 'Mildred Pierce' and 'The Women' are much older films, but of a far better picture and sound quality.
That said, it's a good thing that this is finally available on DVD, while other Crawford classics like 'Flamingo Road' are still languishing in the Vault someplace.
Now, on with the review. Joan plays Myra Hudson, the successful and wealthy San Francisco playwright, who, after having fired him from her latest hit production, falls in love with and marries an actor named Lester Blaine (Jack Palance). Against all sense and reason, Myra attempts to change her will to leave him with everything, but an overheard conversation between the conniving, unfaithful Lester and his scheming girlfriend Irene (Gloria Grahame) forces her to think very differently. A shocking climax ensues.
Made in 1952, this is Joan's first independent picture, (for RKO Pictures) and revived a flagging career. What we see here is what I like to refer to as Middle-Era Joan, being neither the ultra-glamorous 1940's Joan of 'Mildred Pierce' and 'The Women', nor the screechy, scary Joan of 'Baby Jane' and 'Strait-Jacket'. She turns in a classic Crawford performance as the hapless Myra, full of facial tremblings and overpronunciation. She's excellent as the Victim, but this is perhaps her best performance in a film outside of 'Mildred Pierce' and 'Flamingo Road'. She is touching in the love scenes, and tense and compelling in the suspense scenes. What's also remarkable is the fact that she plays the part of the older-but-none-the-wiser Myra with such honesty, instead of trying to make this on-the-shelf spinster any younger than the script allows.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't see this one coming... April 20 2003
Crawford fought to get the lead in this movie and ended up buying the rights to ensure her place as the hard hearted perfectionist (as if anyone else could fill those shoes) who falls for the man (Palance) that she once put in his place. To tell anymore of this story would ruin what appears to be a formulary Hollywood plot.
The casting of the unique looking Palance instead of a certified Hollywood heart throb probably cost this movie its place as a "Saturday" night TV thriller, but it adds to the odd love triangle with Graham (who should have greater recognition then she does for a wonderful career)as the nasal tramp.
This is one smart and entertaining Crawford romp - one that deserves a higher place in American culture then it has enjoyed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 5 star movie , 1 star copy !! SHAME !! Jan. 20 2004
i love this movie, but when i watched this dvd version of it, i thought for a moment that my tv was playing up.
the sound and image are dreadfull !!!! adjusting sound and vision on tv doesn't help either, i prefer copying a video tape on dvd myself.
that's not all, nowadays we expect a dvd to come with trailers, documentarys etc.. you know some extras to enjoy the whole surrounding that made the movie. here: NOTHING ! nothing at all
compare this with dvd of "mildred pierce" or "straight jacket"
they come with FAB extras.
this dvd version is done with no effort at all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Forget Crawford, watch Palance and Graham! July 31 2003
By A Customer
This is a tight little noir with a clever plot. Crawford almost literally chews up the furniture, flopping against doors and bannisters for most of the second half of the movie. She gives the movie a pleasant campy flavor, but I'm not a big fan of her histrionics. The real reason to watch this movie is to be thrilled by the spectacle of the white hot young Jack Palance. His onscreen "romance" with Gloria Graham is about as good of a depiction of unsavory lust as I have ever seen. An example: the couple meet and argue. Palance's character throws Graham onto her sofa and starts to stomp out of the room. Graham purrs after him something to the effect of 'I'm glad to know that you still love me', which stops Palance in his tracks. He turns and walks towards her, all akimbo on the sofa, and the scene fades. Yow!
I give this four stars instead of five because the scene with Palance's character gone mad in the car at the end of the movie is kind of jarringly out of place, and because I can take only so much of Joan Crawford flopping on the doors.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Overly Lush Melodrama - Wonderful! Nov. 15 2002
By Martin A Hogan TOP 500 REVIEWER
What a hoot of a film! It is a classic Joan Crawford "Queen Bee, poor me the victim" story. Crawford plays an ultra-wealthy San Franciscan socialite who writes incredably successful plays in New York City - non-stop! Plus she's just so nice and polite, that when she doesn't think the new leading man is sexy enough, she can't bear to fire him - so she gets someone else to. BIG mistake! Poor Joan 'falls in love' with conniving rejected actor. Actor then schemes with Gloria Grahame (of "Oklahoma's" girl who can't say "no" fame) to well...it doesn't matter. Joan's character is so annoying blind to the scheme that even when she has blatant evidence of the 'plot against her' she has this extended, drawn-out, wild-eyed scene of disbelief that is; well, hard to friggin' believe! What fantastic overacting! The ending is predictable and a little far fetched. Palance is great as the 'bad' actor and Grahame was so young, but so good! She deserved an Oscar for this performance. The last minute is surreal. Joan's character turns from deathly horrified to a smiling "life is going to be okay" facade in less than 60 seconds! Talk about wrapping up a film as quickly as possible!
Trivia: Poor Joan was showing her age in this film (bad hair; grey showing) and it's tough to believe that Palance's character (hunky, hunky) would love her for more than money. Joan - always the victim!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Joan Crawford + Melodrama = Fantastic!
This is another performance that shows Miss Crawford was truly a STAR! Playing Myra Hudson, a San Francisco socialite and playwright, Crawford gets to show a whole range of... Read more
Published on June 16 2003 by "scottchristopher"
3.0 out of 5 stars It was so noir I couldn't see it.
For anyone who has enjoyed a good print of "Sudden Fear," this DVD is likely to be a disappointment . Read more
Published on June 13 2003 by R. Maslow
5.0 out of 5 stars The best laid plans...
Joan Crawford chews the scenery, Jack Palance looks ugly and menacing, and Gloria Grahame slinks around in this fabulous film noir. Read more
Published on March 14 2003 by jenbird
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD CRAWFORD NOIR.....
Probably the best of Crawford's 50's vehicles, "Fear" is a very good noir thriller on it's own terms. Read more
Published on Oct. 6 2002 by Mark Norvell
4.0 out of 5 stars Just put on your "Chicago Lipstick", sit back & enjoy
If you never liked Joan, this film may change your mind. Her royal Crawfordship uses all the skills she learned from her days as a silent star, to convey a woman attempting to... Read more
Published on Aug. 10 2002 by KevonO
3.0 out of 5 stars BAD, WRITER, BAD!
Although I agree - a good, fast paced flick it is, I should like to warn those people like me, who have an allergy for those plots which employ the reccording apparatus turned on... Read more
Published on March 27 2001 by Mart Sander
5.0 out of 5 stars Nail biting film noir!
This movie is excellent for the film noir genre. It is tension filled from the very start. Jack Palance is superb as the malevolent husband. Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2000 by Michele Knight
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