(PG, 1:15:48, Released 1954)
|Genres:||Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense, Classics|
|Release Date:||Oct 7, 1954|
|DVD Release Date:||Jun 29, 2004|
|Starring:||Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, James Gleason, Nancy Gates, Paul H. Frees, Willis B. Bouchey, Christopher Dark, Kim Charney, Ken Dibbs, Clark Howat|
|Directed by:||Lewis Allen|
|Synopsis:||Frank Sinatra is riveting as a cold-hearted assassin in this taut thriller.|
|Full movie details|
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|All of Flixster:||(421)|
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Other Top Reviews
November 9, 2010
A very interesting movie a thriller and a political drama, plus a good cast and story. I really liked it.
January 17, 2008
Suddenly is nothing special. Sinatra's performance is pretty good as the psycho assassin and Sterling Hayden plays the hard-nosed but sometimes lovesick cop pretty well. It would've been interesting to see the roles switched but the gimmick that Suddenly had going for it would've been lost in the shuffle. Nothing to go out of your way for but a decent way to piss away a Saturday afternoon. And contrary to what anyone tells you Suddenly is NOT film noir.
August 29, 2012
Tense, brisk and entirely forgettable, "Suddenly" is one of the lesser known thrillers from the 50s. Minus an interesting premise and a creepy performance from Frank Sinatra, there isn't anything real notable about it. Effectively but predictably made, "Suddenly" isn't an accomplished thriller, but it does what it does well and does it pretty darn fast.
May 9, 2012
Nice bit of film noir with Sinatra playing a cold as ice assassin out to kill the president. Sinatra and Hayden make good adversaries. The script is tight and the director knows how to build up the suspense. Still holds up today.
July 30, 2008
A nice simple story about a small town sherriff (Hayden) and a family holed up with a crazy assassin (Sinatra).Great acting, dialogue and a good story until the very end, but I'm not going to let 30 seconds of film ruin the movie for me. Sinatra is amazing as a psyhco assassin who will do anything for a chance to kill his target. Really enjoyable.
January 5, 2014
Really dark subject matter for the mid 1950's, a well done and fast little thriller, would probably make a good play (few sets and low budget). Mostly good screenplay as well, and the acting is also good (the kid is just a little annoying in his delivery). Interesting role for Sinatra to play, I can't see most movie stars of his time willing to play such a dark (and as we find out, and probably because he had to be that way at the time, a weakling) character, and Sinatra does a very good job.
December 8, 2012
Almost half a century ago, the United States suffered one of the worst tragedies of the twentieth century. That tragedy was the assassination of then President John F. Kennedy. Conspiracy theories aside, what many people might not know is that according to author Kitty Kelley, it was Sinatra's 1954 movie, Suddenly that was the alleged influence behind Lee Harvey Oswald's assassination of then President John F. Kennedy. According to her bio on the singer, His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra, Oswald allegedly watched the movie the day before he changed history. As a result of this accusation, the movie was pulled for years before it was finally allowed back into the public realm. And now audiences can see how Suddenly may have played a role in that dark day for themselves as it has been re-issued on Blu-ray by Image Entertainment.
Suddenly is hardly the longest movie ever made. But that's not a bad thing, either. In a time when it seems like so many movie studios seem to be competing with one another to see who can make the longest possible story, this movie comes in at a little less than ninety minutes. Throughout the course of its hour and fifteen minute run time, audiences are kept engaged thanks to the growing tension between Sinatra's psychopathic ex-military officer John Baron and Sterling Hayden's clean cut fellow ex-military officer Sheriff Tod Shaw. Much like 12 Angry Men which wouldn't see the light of day for another three years, what really heightens the story's tension is that the majority of the story takes place in a limited set. This is a minor factor to some audiences. But in viewing the movie from a more analytical vantage point, it's a factor that plays a much larger factor. Understanding this makes the movie that much more interesting and worth the watch. Add in the understanding of the controversy surrounding the movie, and audiences get a movie that is that much more intriguing, underappreciated, and worth the watch.
A single viewing of Suddenly shows how Lee Harvey Oswald could easily have been influenced to commit a copy-cat act. But it's not necessarily the attempted act in question that will have audiences talking after watching. If anything it's Baron's (Sinatra) comment late in the movie that he wasn't the one committing the act. Rather he was doing it for someone else, purely for the money. Baron told Sheriff Shaw that he didn't know for whom he was working and didn't care to know, either. If anything this brief moment will surely re-ignite the discussions between conspiracy theorists about whether or not Oswald worked alone. On another level, it serves as one more example of the possible power of media to influence real life. Should there be any credence to the influence of Suddenly on Oswald's actions, it can be just as strongly used as another warning to the media in regards to taking responsibility for the potential impact of what is written for TV shows and movies.
Getting back to the story behind Suddenly as art. Writer Richard Sale accomplished quite the feat with this movie. It wastes no time establishing the story's plot and its cast. As a result of this quickness, the rest of the story is spent in just a few rooms of a house. For most film makers and script writers today, limiting a story to so few sets would prove a mind twist, so to speak. That's because so many of today's movies rely more on flash-boom-bang special effects and overt sexuality to drive their stories. But for Sale, his writing was solely story based. It allowed for more tension between Sinatra and Hayden. And that tension is what keeps audiences so engaged. There was obviously some chemistry between the two as they expertly played off of one another throughout the story making it increasingly emotional. The chemistry between the two men made for a movie that was entirely enthralling; so much so that it's ironic that it wasn't Hayden whose character was ultimately responsible for the movie's final outcome. That outcome won't be ruined for those who haven't yet seen it. But it is an ending that has quite the twist in and of itself. It's a twist that will leave audiences completely breathless after everything that had happened through the course of this underrated thriller. That twist ending is the icing on the cake for Sale's writing here. And combined with the equally expert acting of both Hayden and Sinatra (and their supporting cast), it all comes together for a movie that is at the same time underrated and underappreciated. And now that it's available once more on Blu-ray, it's a movie that every movie lover should see at least once.
August 12, 2011
Before 1963 films like Suddenly probably didn't hit the public mind very hard in terms of hard edge reality. Post-1963 films like Suddenly, and Suddenly in particular, carry with them a heavier tone and dose of reality. As a film Suddenly is well made. It is one of the many examples of Sinatra's Jack-of-all-trades versatility.
December 1, 2007
A little preachy in places and the plot is not as taut as it should be. Still, it's one of the best pro-2nd amendment movies I've ever seen.
August 6, 2007
Frank Sinatra plays an assassin who wants to kill the President in this 1954 film. Sinatra removed this film from distribution for several years following the Kennedy assassination because of rumors that Lee Harvey Oswald had watched this film.