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Sudden Fear [Import]
|List Price:||CDN$ 41.86|
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
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.
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!
Most recent customer reviews
I like Joan Crawford so she is a little harder to disappoint. Her acting is well done and the style of movies she did is what draws me to her. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Tammy
This "film noir" movie is more funny than dark. I laugh a lot throughout it, even though there are a few tense moments. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Edie Gourmet
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 morePublished on June 16 2003
For anyone who has enjoyed a good print of "Sudden Fear," this DVD is likely to be a disappointment . Read morePublished on June 13 2003 by R. Maslow
Joan Crawford chews the scenery, Jack Palance looks ugly and menacing, and Gloria Grahame slinks around in this fabulous film noir. Read morePublished on March 14 2003 by Jennifer M.
Probably the best of Crawford's 50's vehicles, "Fear" is a very good noir thriller on it's own terms. Read morePublished on Oct. 6 2002 by Mark Norvell