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on July 25, 2014
Aptly titled, this gripping film noir thriller was worth every penny with a very interesting clever ending. It is one of Joan Crawford's better films. A very young Jack Palance does a very good job of playing a charming but deceitful actor/suitor (Lester Bain) on the make with murder on his mind. He skillfully woos wealthy playwright Crawford (Myra Hudson) on a long train ride from New York to San Francisco despite being fired from her play at her request. Myra falls hard for Lester, marries him, but accidentally learns from a dictation recording of his treacherous murderous plans plotted with an old mercenary girlfriend played by Gloria Graham. In typical film noir melodramatic fashion, Myra imagines the many different ways the two try to kill her. Though broken-hearted to learn that her love and trust were misplaced, Myra manages to overcome her "sudden fear" of her husband. The dialogue at this point in the film is interesting as she uses her writer's mind to outwit her husband - but she reneges at the last minute. Yet fate has other plans. What's interesting about this movie, in contrast to modern day films, is the twang of conscience which makes these noir films so appealing. This film is a rare gem, definitely worth watching and having in your collection.
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on February 14, 2013
Joan Crawford was an actress a generation before mine, and I knew little about her except for some 1960s films like "I Saw What You Did", or the abysmal "Trog". When the "Mommie Dearest" Faye Dunaway film portrayal later appeared, it formed an impression of Crawford as an eccentric who abused her adopted children. I held that image for decades and had no interest in her films.

Then around 2000, I saw "Sudden Fear" on TCM. I was floored by her talent as an actress. The latter part of this film, after she discovers the plot against her, and especially in the streets after her bad husband tries to run her down, is stunning. The scene of her walking with tears in her eyes tore me apart. I could not get the scene out of my mind. Then I discovered another great film, "Johnny Guitar", then "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane," and even appreciated lower budget films such as "Strait-Jacket". The list goes on and on. Over the past decade, I have concluded that Joan Crawford is my all-time favorite actress. She was a STAR, a movie star of the highest caliber and no modern actor or actress has either the ability or presence that she has on film.

I am satisfied with the video and audio portion of the 60 year old film on the DVD. Kino typically presents the best images available and works to improve what they have too. I do think the price for the DVD is way too high, though.
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on May 15, 2013
What a fantastic thriller. This is the kind of plot I adore; the rich woman who finds love in middle age with a handsome lothario, only to come upon something terrifying in her blissful marriage to him. This amazing movie showcases Joan Crawford's ability to personify the most extreme human emotions so that I can almost feel them myself. She is never over the top with her acting, but just right, clearly conveying the love, passion, delight and then horror she finds in her life. When it comes to a story with lots of raw, heavy emotions, Joan Crawford could top them all for her ability to put it across perfectly. She's a pleasure to watch, the master of her craft, clearly loving what she does as an actress and doing it to perfection. She was no great beauty, and yet her features were perfect to display her work. I loved every minute of this and couldn't help applauding her for another great performance at the end. I only wish they still made movies like this, full of a great story and drama, and also wish there were still great actresses of Miss Crawford's caliber.
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on October 10, 2011
Stars that I always enjoy watching, Joan Crawford, Gloria Grahame...flawless. I could watch this film every week. Love the location shots. Great camera work, authentic locations. Good story...a middle-aged woman who, although extremely bright, is completely deceived by Jack Palance's character...he is, after all, an actor. Love Gloria Grahame...but I would watch anything she was in. The DVD sound is inferior. But I am grateful...I never see this film on TV...cannot understand why. Have not seen this film since it came out and I was a very, young girl. Glad to have it. Took a star off because of the quality of the DVD.
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on October 22, 2007
"Sudden Fear" is one of the top 5 best Joan Crawford films ever as well as one of the best suspense films Hollywood has ever made. The story is strong as Crawford plays a woman who's husband is plotting to kill her. Great acting, writing, and the direction of David Miller is superb. Miller also directed Crawford in 1957's "Story of Esther Costello". The picture was one of Joan's favorites and resurrected her career after many flops. The picture would go on to win 4 Academy Award nominations including one for Best Actress for Crawford, her 3rd. Even her daughter Christina liked it. Sit back and enjoy a wonderful Crawford film. However the DVD transfer, as many have said, isn't up to par. Don't expect perfect digital quality and extra features. Buy the film because it is a great movie and the fact that it's on DVD will enable us to have it for many years. Truely a must have for any Crawford fan and fans of film noir!
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on October 30, 2011
The picture on this DVD was actually ok. But the sound was absolutely wretched. We had to turn the sound up almost all the way to even hear the dialogue -- and even then it was muffled and unclear. Kino should never be allowed with in 10 miles of a classic old movie. I won't be buying anymore Kino DVD's ever again.
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on July 4, 2017
Terrific film. Look for what has to be teen-aged Richard Deacon's (Dick Van Dyke's Mel Cooley among other character roles) first on-camera appearance.
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on October 27, 2017
Film noir at its finest! Excellent copy in tip-top condition!
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on June 26, 2007
Miller's Oscar-nominated "Sudden Fear" pairs queen of melodrama Crawford with dashing villain Palance, while Grahame sizzles as his greedy, scheming mistress. With its atmospheric lighting and stark cinematography, the film is exemplary of noir-thrillers of the time, but screenwriter Lenore J. Coffee gives the plot an extra twist by having Crawford discover the murder plan via Dictaphone-and then orchestrate her revenge. The resulting game of cat and mouse, which ends with a climactic nighttime chase, is the heart-pounding fun of "Fear."
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on December 19, 2012
For a description of the plot, etc., read other reviews. Just some thoughts on this classic...

Sudden Fear (1952) is Joan Crawford at her best. The movie is edge-of-your-seat suspenseful with great cinematography. Darkness and shadows are used to full effect to create a dark tone to the movie. It's classic film noir. The movie reminds me of some of Hitchcock's black and white suspense thrillers. Jack Palance also turns in a great performance as Crawford's husband who has a sinister plot brewing. Gloria Grahame also does well in her role as "the other woman". Crawford was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in a leading role and Jack Palance was nominated for his supporting role. If you want to see Palance in one of his best villainous roles, then see this movie. There are some great shots of San Francisco throughout the movie and the night scenes are particularly good. This is definitely one of the best Joan Crawford movies, yet so many people have never even heard of it.

A lot of people complain about the DVD print being sub par, both the picture and sound quality. I think it's nit picking on the part of a lot of people. It's a 60 + year old movie, so it's not going to have an absolutely crystal clear picture and sound. Can it be cleaned up? Maybe, but it's not an absolute certainty. Some films can be restored and some can't. We'll leave it up to the experts.
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