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Suddenly [Blu-ray] (1954)

Frank Sinatra , Sterling Hayden , Lewis Allen  |  NR |  Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

List Price: $19.98
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Multi-Format 2-Disc Version $12.41  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, James Gleason, Nancy Gates
  • Directors: Lewis Allen
  • Format: Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • DVD Release Date: December 4, 2012
  • Run Time: 76 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00960EHUE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,093 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • New Audio Commentary by FRANK SINATRA, JR
  • New Audio Commentary by DR. DREW CASPER, Professor of American Film
  • Short Film by Francis Thompson: N.Y., N.Y.: A Day in New York (1957)
  • Image Gallery

  • Editorial Reviews


    Transferred from Original 35mm Studio Fine Grain Master Print

    Terror comes to the sleepy small town of Suddenly when a cold-blooded assassin takes a family hostage. Now, the clock is ticking and every precious second counts as they band together to stop this methodical killer before he can carry out his shocking plan. Academy Award-winner Frank Sinatra (From Here to Eternity) gives a "tour de force" (The New York Times) performance in the most astonishing role of his career. Sterling Hayden (The Killing) costars as the sheriff who is pitted against this cool and cunning psychopath in a tense battle of wills. Available in pristine HD with superior picture and sound, this is the definitive collector's edition of this controversial classic of unnerving suspense.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
    This review is for the December 4, 2012 Image Entertainment/Blackhawk Films Blu-ray release of the 1954 film SUDDENLY, UPC Code# 0-14381-82005-8, Amazon ASIN: B00960EHUE. There is also information on the HD Cinema Classics version at the end of the review......

    If you are reading this review on it's correct page you're probably a fan of the film wondering "Will this be the release where they FINALLY get it right? The answer is a resounding YES! YES! YES! Transferred from the original 35MM fine grain master print, the crisp, clear beautiful black and white transfer is also finally reproduced in the correct aspect ratio and exhibits added picture information on all four sides compared to the literally dozens of earlier Public Domain VHS tape, LaserDisc and DVD releases. It also has two New Audio Commentary tracks, one featuring Frank Sinatra, Jr. (!) and the other by Dr. Drew Casper, Professor of American Film at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. There is also a Short Film by Francis Thompson made in 1957 titled N.Y., N.Y.: A DAY IN NEW YORK, and an Image Gallery.

    SUDDENLY stars Frank Sinatra as psychopathic hired presidential assassin John Baron, who with two compatriots take over the hilltop home of retired Secret Service agent Pop Benson (veteran character actor James Gleason) in the small town of Suddenly ("that's a funny name for a town..."), who lives with his widowed daughter-in-law Ellen (Nancy Gates, THIS LAND IS MINE, SOME CAME RUNNING) and grandson "Pidge" (Kim Charney). Sinatra chooses the location since it overlooks the train station where the President is due to make an unscheduled stop.
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    16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm not a traitor, I won a silver star" October 24, 2004
    Frank Sinatra is riveting as a cold-hearted hit man obsessed with his spurious war record, who traps a family in their house, along with a few others that get caught in his net, as he plots to assassinate the president, who is making a stop in Suddenly, California, on his way to Los Angeles. It's a great character study, and Sinatra pulls it off flawlessly, making this a taut thriller, with a quiet, folksy beginning that turns into a nightmare.
    Sinatra followed his Oscar Award winning performance in "From Here to Eternity" with this film, which unfortunately hasn't been seen much, and one of the reasons is Sinatra himself; he was horrified to know that Lee Harvey Oswald had watched "Suddenly" shortly before the Kennedy assassination, and requested the film be pulled from distribution.

    Co-starring Sterling Hayden who is excellent as Sheriff Tod Shaw, it has well paced direction by Lewis Allen, a crisp script by Richard Sale, and a score by David Raskin. There have been other films with this type of hostage scenario like the '55 Humphrey Bogart "Desperate Hours" and its 1990 remake, and this is up there with the best.
    My DVD copy is of the inexpensive variety, a little blurry with imperfect audio (distributed by VINA) but is still fascinating viewing.
    Filmed almost entirely in one room, it holds one's attention, mostly due to Sinatra's superb performance.
    Total running time is 75 minutes.
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    12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Sinatra is the bad guy, Hayden is the hero March 30, 1999
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    One of two Frank Sinatra movies that dealt with assasination. The other was "Manchurian Candidate." In this one Frank is the bad guy. Sterling Hayden shows no signs of the future characters he will play in major films of the 60s and 70s (Dr. Strangelove, Godfather). Hayden is just the hick town by-the-book sheriff with the Barney Fifeish assistant. This is not a great movie but it moves along nicely and never gets boring. It has some good "what if" situations. It also has wonderful footage of old cars and trains. This would make a good double feature with "Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" because one film pushes the pro gun totin' policy, and one is opposed to the use of weapons. It may surprise you which is which. This is not the best movie of the 1950s but the issues raised are still out there. Tom Willett
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    5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars HAL ROACH EDITION!!!!! April 10, 2011
    By larryj1
    While the Roach edition of "Suddenly" may have a better picture quality than other releases, the overall transfer is disappointing. It has numerous video issues, along with splices and one instance where there appears to be a small amount of missing dialogue. Have not seen a better overall print yet.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Restoration of Sinatra Classic April 15, 2012
    Long in the public domain, "Suddenly" (1954) provides Frank Sinatra with one of his finest dramatic roles in this low-budget noir thriller. Ol' Blue Eyes makes the most of his villainous portrayal, with solid work from Sterling Hayden and James Gleason. Taut direction by Lewis Allen does justice to Richard Sale's memorable screenplay. Made during a time when Sinatra actually cared about his movies. After years of poor-quality dupes, Legend Films offers the best available DVD release. Needless to say, the excellent black-and-white restoration is preferable to the colorized version.
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    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    FRONT ROW ENTERTAINMENT's discs offer no commentary, deleted scenes, subtitles or other bonus features. Dubs are "best available source" and can vary from very good to only fair.

    SUDDENLY (1954) is one of two films that Frank Sinatra tried to suppress in the wake of JFK's assassination (the other being THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE from 1962). Ironically, this UNITED ARTISTS crime drama eventually fell into the public domain and has been widely available since the dawn of the VCR era.

    At the time of its release, Frank's detractors probably thought his naturalistic rendering of the sadistic assassin-for-hire in this story was mere typecasting. Sterling Hayden's stilted delivery (as Sheriff Tod Shaw) doesn't come off as well, especially when he bellows in typically stentorian fashion the line, "Because I love you."

    James Gleason, as retired Secret Service man Pop Benson, partly scripted and appeared in the first all-talking picture to win an Oscar, MGM's THE BROADWAY MELODY (1929). One of his most memorable roles was the ice skating cabbie in THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947).

    Nancy Gates, who's very good as the gun-hating widow, worked with Frank again in Vincente Minnelli's SOME CAME RUNNING (1958).

    Paul Frees, the gang's lookout, portrayed Peter Lorre in the Spike Jones hit, "My Old Flame." He's best known for his many cartoon character voices.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars The Chairman of the Board is back!
    My husband purchased this DVD and we were both pleasantly surprised by the amazing colorization created by Legend Films. Read more
    Published 24 days ago by Deidre Ann
    5.0 out of 5 stars Suddenly Blu-Ray & DVD Combo Pack
    Very good movie about a trio of goons holding a family hostage so they can use the house from which they can assassinate the U.S. president. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Celia DLF
    4.0 out of 5 stars Good DVD, both color and Black and White
    Good job on the transfer of this movie, but the sound of the dialog is a little low. Four stars
    Published 1 month ago by Limitless
    5.0 out of 5 stars Suddenly Sinatra!
    This is an appealing movie for Sinatra fans. It is the only movie in which Sinatra was a "very bad guy", and it is really worth watching.
    Published 3 months ago by John P. Kane
    5.0 out of 5 stars Secret service disruption of a small town
    The measures seem pitifully ineffective compared to the security the public bares today. Sinatra as a very young man, must have been a good actor from the get go.
    Published 4 months ago by William E. Morris
    5.0 out of 5 stars A very good movie!
    A very good movie who will keep you watching to the very last scene! I watched the color version and enjoyed it very much!!
    Published 4 months ago by Russell
    1.0 out of 5 stars Please don't waste your money on this item.
    Over the years, I purchased a number of different DVD copies of Suddenly. Each one was of horrible quality taken from multiple generation, public domain film or VHS. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by William Looft
    3.0 out of 5 stars Great Sinatra Performance
    But not such a great movie - not a bad movie, but it smacks of an innovative archetype that has since been remade many times and perfected on. The transfer looks good. Read more
    Published 6 months ago by John
    5.0 out of 5 stars incredible restoration from the folks at Film Chest!
    This is an incredible restoration of the classic film "Suddenly" starring Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden and James Gleason. Read more
    Published 10 months ago by Jason P. Pumphrey
    5.0 out of 5 stars Suddenly
    I saw this film 10 years ago for the first time. It was black and white, well before my time and at first I almost turned the channel. This is Sinatra at his best on screen. Read more
    Published 10 months ago by Tony Craig
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