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Suddenly [VHS]

4.0 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews

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Suddenly!

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Product Details

  • Actors: Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, James Gleason, Nancy Gates, Kim Charney
  • Directors: Lewis Allen
  • Writers: Richard Sale
  • Producers: Robert Bassler
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Aae Films
  • VHS Release Date: February 21, 1996
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304019599
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,386 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John H. McCarthy on December 15, 2012
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).
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Format: DVD
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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
One of my favorite movies of all time - a hidden gem - Frank Sinatra as an extremely deranged (and extremely skinny) psychopathic contract killer who plans on killing the president when he stops at the small town of Suddenly. Sterling Hayden is top notch as the tough as nails police chief who gets embroiled in the drama. a little bit dated and a little right-wing (the love of gun motif should appeal to the second amendment folks) but still lots of fun. I would normally give this movie a four star review - I was turned on to this film by a high school teacher back in 1975 - have watched it many times since but always a pretty crappy copy. well, the fifth star is for this restoration which is nothing short of miraculous - the blacks and whites pop out at you and the picture has never been clearer. (this review is for the blu-ray that says "Transferred from Original 35mm Studio Fine Grain Master Print")
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this movie after watching it on television one night. I never knew this movie existed & I firmly believe after watching it that this movie did have something to do with the planning or idea for the Kennedy assassination. I could not believe that I had never heard mention of this movie. I am certain that Lee Harvey Oswald and those that hired him as a pay'ed assassin surely must have watched this movie. It was nearly 10 years prior to the Kennedy assassination so they had lots of time to plan the presidents murder. I was 6 years old when the president was murdered and remember the moment I heard the news (I was in school, in the movie room) like it was today. Our teacher turned off the projector and announced that President Kennedy was assassinated. We all stared at each other asking what does that mean?? (Assassination was a big word at 6 years old)
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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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