Friday, June 4, 2010
Suddenly (1954). Director: Lewis Allen with a screenplay written by Richard Sale. Cast: Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, James Gleason and Nancy Gates.
Tod Shaw, the sheriff of a town called Suddenly, is dating Ellen Benson, a widow whose husband was killed in the War. Ellen and her young son Pidge live with her father-in-law, Pop Benson, a retired Secret Service agent. Ellen is an overprotective mother and will not allow her son to see war movies or play with toy guns. Ellen cannot believe it when she sees that Tod has bought her son a toy cap pistol. This puts a strain on their relationship.
Soon after, Tod is made aware that a train carrying the President will be arriving at the town's railroad station later in the day. They travel by car to a ranch for a fishing vacation. Tod meets with the secret service, led by agent Dan Carney. Carney and his men secure all the buildings around the station, including the Benson house. Carney is surprised to learn that his former boss Pop lives in the house. Soon, John Baron, Benny Conklin and Bart Wheeler, hired killers posing as FBI agents, arrive and ask to inspect the house. Pop asks Baron why his men are there. Baron orders that no one is to leave the house. He tells Pop about the president's arrival and he has information about a potential threat to the president.
When Tod brings Carney to the house to see Pop, Baron shoots and kills Carney and Conklin shoots Tod in the arm. Baron then threatens to harm the little boy unless they follow his instructions. Will the Sheriff, Pop and Ellen be able to stop Baron from going though with his plans?
Even though it was a very different role for Sinatra performing as a vicious killer, I thought Sinatra was very believable playing his part. Nancy Gates, also gives an emotionally believable performance. James Gleason was perfect as a Gruff Old Man. Suddenly was surprisingly tough film for the era which the film was made.
Click to view the film SUDDENLY in full.