Sudden Fear (1952)

UK Screenbound Pictures DVD edition

Text below written 2020-03-05


What would San Francisco be without at least one cool chase scene and what would a Film Noir be without Gloria Grahame playing the
the Gangster Bitch? And why did Joan Crawford always have a crazy wide-eyed staring look portraying her roles?
The answer to question 1 is - Nothing. But the earlier chase sequences in San Francisco mostly had people running on the streets and
with only some cars involved. It wasn't until Bullitt in 1968 that all future chases would be done with cars, i guess.
The answer to question 2 is - Nothing, as Gloria did the Gangsta Bitch better than anyone else. The answer to question 3 is - i do not know.
Maybe she really looked that way? Or, is it because she started out in the 1920's in silent movies and adapted to that acting style?

Anyway, staring or not, Crawford is good and pitiable as the very rich middle-aged (about 50 or so) playwright Myra Hudson falling for
the slightly rough-looking young hunk actor Lester Blaine (Jack Palance). He's a smooth talker and easily seduces the old fool when they
meet again on the train on their way from NY to San Francisco where she has a house and a seaside villa. Then they marry.

The US DVD sleeve (not on the UK edition)

An older rich gullible woman married to a young rough-looking man, in a Film Noir, normally doesn't bode to well for the old lady.
And not so here either, because when Lesters old girlfriend Irene (Gloria Grahame) turns up they start scheming to get the money,
and when Myra accidently overhears Lester and Irene planning how and when to murder her, she's to find out a way to stay alive.
This is a good and well made thriller with fine acting and with an early San Francisco by night chase scene through the hilly streets.

The film is presented in 4:3 fullscreen original ratio, black & white, DD mono english audio, region 2. No extras

 

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