Sudden Fear

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Total Count: 7


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User Ratings: 1,393
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Movie Info

Joan Crawford portrays a successful, independently wealthy playwright who fires struggling actor Jack Palance from her latest production. Eventually she and Palance kiss and kiss and kiss and make up, which leads to marriage. One day, Crawford turns on her dictaphone, only to hear the voice of Palance plotting her murder with tartish Gloria Grahame. But Crawford isn't a celebrated playwright for nothing; she takes to her typewriter and concocts a scenario that will hoist Palance on his own petard. There's a notably suspenseful climax, but Sudden Fear is so strident at times that it looks like a Carol Burnett Show parody.


Joan Crawford
as Myra Hudson
Jack Palance
as Lester Blaine
Gloria Grahame
as Irene Neves
Bruce Bennett
as Steve Kearney
Virginia Huston
as Ann Taylor
Mike Connors
as Junior Kearney

News & Interviews for Sudden Fear

Critic Reviews for Sudden Fear

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (7)

  • Like many underrecognized treasures, David Miller's Sudden Fear fits into and defies different genres, its convention-scrambling partly the result of the fact that the film looks both forward and back.

    Aug 10, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Director David Miller showcases the San Francisco locations (and the Bunker Hill neighborhood in Los Angeles, with its steep staircases doubling for SF) to great effect. The moody B&W cinematography by Charles Lang takes on an inky beauty...

    Jan 27, 2017 | Full Review…
  • Joan Crawford won her third and last Oscar nomination for this well executed noir thriller, featuring Jack Palance in a scary performance.

    Jul 23, 2012 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • Joan Crawford is great in this noir thriller.

    Apr 6, 2008 | Rating: 4/5
  • The suspense is marred by plot devices that don't hold up to further scrutiny.

    Feb 11, 2005 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Sudden Fear

  • Feb 03, 2019
    This little Noir gem should not be missed if you're into the genre. Beautifully shot and directed and perfect casting. Only Robert Ryan might have been suited for the role played by Jack Palance. Joan Crawford was rightly nominated for best female actor. And, Gloria Grahame's sole imperfection is that she didn't get more screen time.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Apr 15, 2014
    Crawford and Palance have an art in presenting us with the very best of mystery of suspense and they don't let us down here. The action is fabulous and the climax fantastic.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2012
    "Sudden Fear" is not much more than an ordinary thriller, but it is directed and acted so perfectly that it is uniquely gripping and satisfying. Its stars, Joan Crawford and an alarmingly young and studly Jack Palance, both won Oscar nominations for their work in the film. Not many thrillers can say that. Director David Miller may have had a lackluster career overall, but he was in top form here. Crawford plays a highly successful playwright, Palance a struggling actor trying to get a part in one of her plays. The two eventually fall in love, marry, and move to her native San Francisco, despite a fairly significant age difference. The movie plays like a delightful love story until a shocking turning point morphs it suddenly into a film noir. I won't reveal the details and ruin the surprise. I'll just say that you'll be on the edge of your seat every minute, and the emotional shock that Crawford's character undergoes you will feel deeply.
    William D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 19, 2010
    crazy crawford vehicle that verges on camp at times but hang in there for the explosive climax!! also featuring sleazy jack palance and gloria grahame. good stuff
    Stella D Super Reviewer

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