Watch Sudden Fear
- 1 hr 51 min
Sudden Fear is a psychological thriller film from 1952, starring Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, and Gloria Grahame in lead roles. Directed by David Miller and based on Edna Sherry's novel, the movie's plot follows the story of Myra Hudson, a successful Broadway playwright who falls in love with a handsome actor named Lester Blaine. But soon, her love turns into fear and anxiety when she realizes that Lester, along with his lover Irene, is planning to kill her and take her fortune. The movie begins with Myra Hudson (Joan Crawford) as a successful and affluent Broadway playwright, acclaimed for her ingenious storytelling and celebrated plays. Despite her professional success, she is feeling lonely and longs for companionship. Her friend and agent, Tim (Bruce Bennett), suggests that she should take a vacation on a train to San Francisco to take a break from her work and perhaps find someone interesting to share her life. On the train, she meets Lester Blaine (Jack Palance), a handsome and charismatic actor, who charms her with his looks and wit. Soon, they start a whirlwind romance, and Myra falls head over heels in love with Lester. She invites him to her mansion in San Francisco, where he meets her friends and begins his acting lessons with Myra's help. However, Myra's happiness is short-lived when she discovers a plot to murder her, involving her husband, Lester, and his mistress, Irene (Gloria Grahame). She had overheard their conversation, where they planned to kill her and take her money. Myra's world is shattered, and she becomes paranoid and fearful of her own shadow. She becomes distrustful of Timothy and police, unsure of whom she can trust. Myra hires a private detective to investigate Lester and Irene's past, and he finds out that Lester and Irene have a history of conning wealthy women out of their money. They plan to do the same with Myra, as she has a vast fortune. The detective advises Myra to build a strong case against them, and she decides to do so. She hires Lester as the lead actor in her new play to keep track of him and to gather evidence that could help win the case. As the days go by, Myra and Lester work together, and he appears to grow fond of her. Myra becomes confused about her feelings towards Lester and starts to see him in a different light. Lester's affection towards her also seems to deepen, but nothing can erase the knowledge that he is conniving with his mistress to kill her. The climax of the movie is a thrilling cat-and-mouse game between the trio, where Myra uses her intelligence to outmaneuver Lester and Irene. She pulls off a daring stunt to prove Lester's guilt, and the movie concludes with a twist ending that will leave the viewers spellbound. Joan Crawford's performance as Myra Hudson is a standout in the movie. She convincingly portrays the character's vulnerability, strength, and wit, making her the quintessential female protagonist. Jack Palance and Gloria Grahame also deliver excellent performances, with their characters striking a fine balance between menacing and charming. The movie's cinematography is also noteworthy, with beautiful panoramic shots of San Francisco, clever use of shadows and light to create suspense, and a hauntingly beautiful score by Elmer Bernstein. Sudden Fear is a classic film noir that showcases the talent of the incredibly gifted Joan Crawford and the direction of David Miller. It's a must-watch for all film buffs who love suspenseful psychological dramas, and it remains relevant even after 69 years of its release.