Suddenly (1954)

Unrated   |    |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir


Suddenly (1954) Poster

In the city of Suddenly, three gangsters trap the Benson family in their own house, on the top of a hill nearby the railroad station, with the intention of killing the president of the USA.


6.8/10
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  • Frank Sinatra and Sterling Hayden in Suddenly (1954)
  • Suddenly (1954)
  • Frank Sinatra in Suddenly (1954)
  • Frank Sinatra and Lewis Allen in Suddenly (1954)
  • Paul Frees in Suddenly (1954)
  • Frank Sinatra and Sterling Hayden in Suddenly (1954)

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19 September 2006 | bkoganbing
7
| Old Blue Eyes Elevates a B film
I'm at a loss to explain why Frank Sinatra chose this particular project in the wake of all the acclaim he got for From Here to Eternity. Without his presence in the film, Suddenly with its length of 75 minutes on my VHS version would be a B film, even with Sterling Hayden starring in it as the sheriff. My guess is that Sinatra wanted to expand and test himself as an actor, something he did less and less of in the following decade.

The President of the United States is coming to the small town of Suddenly where he will leave the train he's traveling on and proceed by motorcade to a vacation in the Sierras. The Secret Service has come to town to do their usual thing in protecting the Chief Executive.

But three contract killers headed by Frank Sinatra are in town to kill the president. We're never told exactly who is paying for this contract, but the inference is that it is our Cold War enemies. Through a combination of circumstances the sheriff is wounded and the head of Secret Service detail, Willis Bouchey, is killed. And the killers are holed up in Nancy Gates's house with her, her father-in-law James Gleason, and child Kim Charney and the wounded Hayden.

Most of the film is taken up with the wait for the train to arrive where a lot of souls are bared open, including Sinatra's. It's the one and only time that Francis Albert ever essayed the role of an out and out villain. He does it well, but I suspect he didn't want to push it with his public too much, so he never did anyone as evil as this again.

Of course history tells us that the president named Eisenhower at the time never was an assassin's target so we know Sinatra's efforts will fail. However it's rather ingenious as to how it does fail.

I think more than fans of old Blue Eyes will like Suddenly.

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