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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Suddenly (1954)

In a small California town, the President of the United States is scheduled to make a quick stop before moving on to Los Angeles. A hired assassin (Frank Sinatra) and his gang (Christopher Dark, Paul Frees) invade a small hilltop home and hold the family hostage while awaiting the President's arrival. The assassin's target is the President and the home provides the perfect view to a kill. Directed by Lewis Allen (THE UNINVITED), this tight "B" thriller has grown into quite the cult film in the ensuing years since its release, almost to the point of being overrated. It's a gripping and economical (it runs 1 hour, 17 minutes) noir-ish suspense film that keeps you on the edge. As the hit man, Sinatra delivers a solid performance that keeps the focal point where it belongs. I'm a bit ambiguous about the film's attitude toward guns. The mother (Nancy Gates, SOME CAME RUNNING) is anti-guns and refuses to let her little boy (Kim Charney) play with guns but in the end, it's guns that save the day. I suspect it's a film the NRA would approve of. Other than that, a sturdy piece of entertainment. With Sterling Hayden, James Gleason and Willis Bouchey.    

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