Sudden Fear - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sudden Fear Reviews

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January 28, 2017
A tense thriller with stunning performances from Joan Crawford and Jack Palance. Crawford in particular takes it to another level when her character learns that her husband is plotting to kill her. It's a well-made classic! (First and only viewing - 1/29/2017)
½ December 21, 2016
Suspenseful twisted love and revenge drama!
December 14, 2016
The end scenes were rather silly... and badly acted.
½ October 1, 2016
Joan Crawford is a successful and rich playwright, who spurns an actor. Later she bumps into him and a romance develops, and they quickly get married when he threatens to leave. Then she discovers his plan to murder her with an accomplice, and then decides to mess with them in the all the best ways. The movie succeeds for about 80%, but then the climax is rather weak and it fizzles out. I liked the core premise but the finale is lacking.
September 18, 2015
a classic film noir Joan Crawford and Jack Palance awesome also fantastic noir lighting and mainly filmed in San Francisco a must see movie.
January 9, 2015
One of the best film noirs of all time, extremely stylish and intelligent in it's story and craft.
Super Reviewer
April 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.
February 12, 2014
Fantastic story. The tension and intrigue built all the way through to a great climax. The best thing I have seen Crawford in.
½ February 5, 2014
How about Jack Palance's line in Joan Crawford's bedroom: "I can't think of anything more exciting than smoking a cigarette in a pretty women's bedroom"? So perfect...

Palance as Lester Blaine (a creepy Casanova and con artist rocking a face of severely chiseled stone) and Crawford as bigtime playwright Myra Hudson (tough as nails and super smart) are just superb. As with most classic noir, the multiple layers of deceit, betrayal and scheming mean that Hudson and Blaine constantly assume different masks/identities depending on the circumstances at any given moment. In other words, Crawford and Palance are playing characters who themselves are playing characters, and numerous ones at that.

In a sense, Palance/Blaine and Crawford/Hudson play out the theory that a within each of us exist multiple personalities. David Lynch has pushed this idea (which certainly is pantheistic in both a spiritual and psychological sense) into the realm of Dada and of surrealism. However, in 'Twin Peaks,' in 'Mulholland Dr.,' in 'Inland Empire' and so on the resonance of vintage noir like 'Sudden Fear' is pervasive in an ambient kind of way.

Note: folks interested in how sound technology is depicted in Hollywood really should see this film for the scene in which Hudson overhears Blaine's secret plans, which are accidentally captured on her dictaphone. It's quite heady and ahead of its time: the power of recorded speech to induce altered states of consciousness, tape loops, odd visual effects, etc.
December 31, 2013
Featuring an over the top melodramatic performance from Joan Crawford, this is nevertheless a great story with a fantastic climax.
November 24, 2013
good ol' fashioned entertainment
½ November 2, 2013
crawford's third and last oscar nomination here see why/how
October 15, 2013
At first, it's boring. But Joan Crawford's performance captures your attention.
September 17, 2013
A wonderful film from start to finish...
July 12, 2013
Joan Crawford, an actress whose eyes can tell the story. That's how good she is.
Truly a suspenseful thriller.
Very well done.
November 19, 2012
It's not the best Joan Crawford's performance, but it's the best Joan Crawford's movie. I found myself saying "Oh, no" and "Don't do this" during the whole thing because I was so involvend with the plot. Even one person of my family that do not like watching old, black and white movies, sat on the sofa very curious about the thrilling ending. And this is the final prove of how engrossing the movie is.
Super Reviewer
November 8, 2012
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
July 7, 2012
An effective and rather sumptuous thriller that makes the foreshadowing meter go off the charts. Tight script, marvelous acting, beautiful camera work, anxious score. My two favorite parts: when Joan Crawford uncovers the deception via audio and we get to see all the emotions on her pain-stricken face. And the end when she's walking off and the soundtrack blares a blatant Firebird knockoff. Good, taut flick!
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