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LornaHansonForbes

Oh wow! SUDDEN FEAR! (1952) on 12/14 at 8:00 PM

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The cover of that paperback is intriguing;  did she do some kind of "Leave Her to Heaven" action on the other gal or more like "A Place in the Sun"?

 

 

i read a brief summary of the book on a site and apparently, in the novel, the character of Irene (Gloria Grahame in the movie) is introduced when Myra (Crawford) saves her from "drowning."

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i read a brief summary of the book on a site and apparently, in the novel, the character of Irene (Gloria Grahame in the movie) is introduced when Myra (Crawford) saves her from "drowning."

Is there any mouth-to-mouth resuscitation involved?

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Note to the wives out there: if you have a recording which incriminates your husband and his mistress, don't break it. Hand it over to your lawyer. Saves you the trouble of trying to concoct a plot to get even.

 

 

I know, I know.

 

The script doctor in me is racking his brain for a way to have that plot point make a little more sense; maybe instead of running to the bathroom, Joan could've gotten nauseous right there and blown chunks all over the dictaphone.

 

(no?)

 

 

It looked to me like Myra (Joan Crawford's character) was trying to hide the record in a book and dropped it accidentally, causing it to break. 

 

I was half-expecting to see her throw it dramatically across the room and break it, but that's not what happened in the movie. 

 

I enjoyed the movie very much.

Thanks, TCM, for airing it and to the folks on the board who recommended it.

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It looked to me like Myra (Joan Crawford's character) was trying to hide the record in a book and dropped it accidentally, causing it to break. 

 

That's exactly what she was trying to do ... just like anyone else in that situation would have done. :wacko:

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That's exactly what she was trying to do ... just like anyone else in that situation would have done. :wacko:

 

Yeah, I'd've had the cops on the horn SO FAST...but again, this is a movie, so some suspension of disbelief helps.

 

Again, my memory is foggy, but i think in the book, Myra is very vain and cannot stand the thought of being humiliated in front of all her friends by the news that her husband and his girlfriend were trying to kill her, so she decides to hatch her own plot- one stewed in a mix of pride and murderous rage, which OF COURSE is how one imagines Joan would handle this kind of situation in real life, only no bodies would EVER be discovered. 

 

But again, movie, suspension of disbelief, yadda yadda...

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from the imdb trivia section for the film:

 

According to Jack Palance, Joan Crawford and Gloria Grahame did not get along and got into a physical altercation at one point during the filming. The fight started after Grahame sat on the edge of the set during one of Crawford's close-ups and very loudly sucked a lollipop in an attempt to anger Crawford. It worked, and Palance noted that the all male crew watched the fight for a few moments rather curiously before stepping in to break it up.

 

That's hilarious !

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Note to the wives out there: if you have a recording which incriminates your husband and his mistress, don't break it. Hand it over to your lawyer. Saves you the trouble of trying to concoct a plot to get even.

 

Damned straight, scuzzy !  I loved the film, but I couldn't help thinking both those things, ie, 

1) Why oh why didn't Myra just put the fateful record in an envelope ( her desk was right there)  and then

2) Contact Bruce Bennett and tell him all about it.

 

...But then, of course, there'd have been no story. 

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from the imdb trivia section for the film:

 

According to Jack Palance, Joan Crawford and Gloria Grahame did not get along and got into a physical altercation at one point during the filming. The fight started after Grahame sat on the edge of the set during one of Crawford's close-ups and very loudly sucked a lollipop in an attempt to anger Crawford. It worked, and Palance noted that the all male crew watched the fight for a few moments rather curiously before stepping in to break it up.

I wish imdb would provide links to these items. My experience with imdb is that if you submit a trivia item, it pretty much gets accepted, no questions asked. 

 

Now according to the June 1952 issue of Modern Screen (page 14), Crawford is quoted as saying "I have been reported dating Scott Brady and feuding with Gloria Grahame while we were shooting Sudden Fear. But when you're making an independent picture you haven't time for sex or feuds - and I resent it because both make for a happy life!"

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Damned straight, scuzzy !  I loved the film, but I couldn't help thinking both those things, ie, 

1) Why oh why didn't Myra just put the fateful record in an envelope ( her desk was right there)  and then

2) Contact Bruce Bennett and tell him all about it.

 

...But then, of course, there'd have been no story. 

and no thread

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It's interesting how "sexy" this thing is for 1952, A shot of a pillow with a head impression was a pretty clever way to show that Joan and Jack shared a bed, and it seemed like she woke up nude: her back was bare...and then the way that they cut awayfromJack and Gloria Grahame in their first scene together makes it pretty clear that something lascivious went down once the door shut.

 

I wish this pic were bigger and brighter, but you get the idea. Note the slightly raised, bare knee, along with the look on Gloria's face.

 

ssfear3.jpg?w=497

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wonder what one had to do to get a pass from the British Board of Censorship...guarantee no crumpets were harmed in the making of the film?

 

...Or at the very least, guarantee that no strumpets were harmed in the making of the film. (in which case, it wouldn't pass, as G.G.'s character was definitely harmed.)

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I don't think I'm a stupid person, but I didn't understand what was going on in the final half hour or so of the film. The problem may have arisen because I couldn't read what Crawford was writing on her papers. I didn't have my glasses on while watching the film.

 

Well, that was key, what was written on those two notes - one a fake note Joan wrote to Palance's character, the other an equally fake note to Gloria's. Joan's plan hinged upon the two of them acting upon those notes, so if you couldn't read what they said, it's no wonder you were confused.

Get one of those granny necklaces that hold your glasses around your neck - then you never lose them. (You might look ridiculous, but at least you'll never lose your glasses. Which is more important? )

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...Or at the very least, guarantee that no strumpets were harmed in the making of the film. (in which case, it wouldn't pass, as G.G.'s character was definitely harmed.)

Hee hee.

:)

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Well, that was key, what was written on those two notes - one a fake note Joan wrote to Palance's character, the other an equally fake note to Gloria's. Joan's plan hinged upon the two of them acting upon those notes, so if you couldn't read what they said, it's no wonder you were confused.

Get one of those granny necklaces that hold your glasses around your neck - then you never lose them. (You might look ridiculous, but at least you'll never lose your glasses. Which is more important? )

 

Just a guess here MissW, but I've always gotten the impression that DFG is more the "It's not how you feel, it's how you look" kind'a guy.

 

(...and so I doubt he'll be sportin' that whole reading-glasses-on-a-necklace look any time soon) ;)

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Just a guess here MissW, but I've always gotten the impression that DFG is more the "It's not how you feel, it's how you look" kind'a guy.

 

(...and so I doubt he'll be sportin' that whole reading-glasses-on-a-necklace look any time soon) ;)

 

Ya think?

 

ClQaIFXWkAA1jV8.jpg

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Thought I'd do a little write-up of Sudden Fear.  

 

Although technically classified as a noir, Sudden Fear is actually in that category of film known as the Joan-o-drama. Most of these are quasi noirs, but with the addition of Joan Crawford's special "woman's picture" (as they were called then) trope of a bright career woman who falls in love with the wrong guy. You always get lots of Joan segueing from self-possessed in-control business boss to emotional wreck lady, including many close-ups of Joan looking intensely frightened / furious / obsessed / panic-stricken or any combination of the above.

 

That all sounds a bit smart-azzy, and I apologize for that, because in fact, I really like Joan-o-dramas. They're invariably fascinating and fun to watch. And they've got that spoonful of noir I love.

 

Anyway - Sudden Fear is an absolutely classic Joan-o-drama. Joan starts out as her usual poised capable boss lady, in this case a playwright - a rich playwright  - rich from an inheritance, although her plays do pretty well in their own write (sorry). She meets and of course falls in love with the disturbingly odd- looking ( as Eugenia put it, I think) Jack Palance. Oh, Joan, little do you know he's only out for your money.  And he's got a sexy tart on the side. Between Jack and the tart, a plan is hatched to do away with Joan before she can give away all her inheritance (oh Joan, why would you want to do that?) so Jack, the loving husband, can have it all bequeathed to him.

 

There's a turning-point in Sudden Fear where you have to reach out for your suspension-of-disbelief hat.  Joan, being the efficient play writer that she is, keeps a recording device handy in her office, so she can dictate her drama scenes to it and then transcribe them later. She inadvertently leaves the machine on, which conveniently allows her to hear Lester and Irene (Jack and Gloria) scheming to murder Myra - and murder her asap, before she has her birthday (sweet 35, I suspect she's supposed to be, although our Joan was probably closer to the other side of 45...)

 

Myra hears everything, recorded as it is on her dictation machine. Now, here's where the title of the film really fits the action (sometimes noir titles don't match the movie's story at all...). Myra hears everything Lester and Irene say, including Lester's declaration that he can hardly stand Myra ( bad enough) as well as their hard-boiled intentions to kill her, and kill her soon.

You actually, literally, see sudden fear seizing Myra, body and soul. This is where Joan's specialty for hamming it up a bit with the intense faces she makes really works, and is something to see. Joan's face registers surprise, disbelief, pain, anger, and fear- more like terror - all in the space of a few minutes. This is one reason why I love Joan-o-dramas.

 

The suspension-of-disbelief part kicks in right about now. Anyone else, or at least anyone who wasn't in a movie, would 1) carefully take the recording and put it in an envelope;

2) LEAVE THE HOUSE IMMEDIATELY  and

3)Tell someone - not the police, maybe, as someone's pointed out ,Myra had a lot of pride and might not want everyone to know her husband was plotting to murder her - - but how about good old dependable Bruce Bennett ? He'd know what to do, he'd help her.

 

But no, Joan does none of the above. She gets the idea she should hide the record in a book - a book from the very top shelf of her library - and of course breaks the record in the attempt to stash it there. Then she goes to bed - alone in the night in the house with the man who wants her dead. Then she hatches a scheme to turn the tables and have him killed.

There are so many instances where she's alone with the homicidal Jack, and where it would be the easiest thing in the world for him to murder her and make it look like an accident. How 'bout the scene where he carries her up the stairs, after she's pretended to break her ankle?

 

But this is quibbling, and misses the point of the film, which is to watch Joan doing what Joan does best, smiling to the world and looking glamourous whilst all the time hiding a broken heart, and a terrified psyche.

The last half hour of Sudden Fear is a pure noir treat. I love it that Joan and Gloria are both wearing the same outfits...... that we see Joan running around and hiding and biting her lip and her handkerchief, trying to flee her husband's inexorable search for her, all on those rain-slicked hilly dark San Francisco streets.

San Francisco, by the way, is a candidate for the best noir city location. I love every movie I've ever seen that's set there.

 

Anyway, let go of any "that just wouldn't happen, she just wouldn't do that" attitude, and you'll have a ball watching Sudden Fear.

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Nice write-up missW...fun to read. I like the concept of this Joan-oir.

 

As for Joan's Modern Screen quotes,one must suspend the notion that Joan was ever honest with a reporter...A REPORTER!!!

(JOAN CLENCHES FISTS, PREPARED TO STRIKE CHRISTINA)

 

"Seriously, I never laid a hand on those little brats."

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Well, that was key, what was written on those two notes - one a fake note Joan wrote to Palance's character, the other an equally fake note to Gloria's. Joan's plan hinged upon the two of them acting upon those notes, so if you couldn't read what they said, it's no wonder you were confused.

Get one of those granny necklaces that hold your glasses around your neck - then you never lose them. (You might look ridiculous, but at least you'll never lose your glasses. Which is more important? )

I only need glasses for reading. I still have very good vision otherwise. I don't expect to have to be reading when I'm watching TV................ Wasn't it a bit of a coincidence that he mistakes Grahame for Crawford at the end and runs into and kills her?

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SPOILERS SPOILERs SPOILERS!!!!!!!!

 

 

I only need glasses for reading. I still have very good vision otherwise. I don't expect to have to be reading when I'm watching TV................ Wasn't it a bit of a coincidence that he mistakes Grahame for Crawford at the end and runs into and kills her?

 

 

No.

 

Joan intentionally dressed just like Gloria (white dress/mink/head scarf) so that if anyone saw her coming in to or going out of Gloria's apartment when she shoots Lester, they would think that it was Gloria.

 

the ultimate result, while lucky for Joan, was unintended.

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SPOILERS SPOILERs SPOILERS!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

No.

 

Joan intentionally dressed just like Gloria (white dress/mink/head scarf) so that if anyone saw her coming in to or going out of Gloria's apartment when she shoots Lester, they would think that it was Gloria.

 

the ultimate result, while lucky for Joan, was unintended.

 

I aware that she dressed to make him think she was Gloria. But for Gloria to be in the perfect position to be run over, THAT was a coincidence.

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it was mentioned in the script that Joan's house was two blocks from Gloria's apartment, and all this was going down ca. 1:00 am in the morning...i dunno, there's things to raise an eyebrow at with respect to the story, but the finale scans with me.

 

besides, as someone once said:

 

"it's only a mooo-vie."**

 

 

 

 

** tried to post several images of Hitchcock here,

but apparently they are all copywritten and can't be posted.

Guess we have Pat to thank for that.

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it was mentioned in the script that Joan's house was two blocks from Gloria's apartment, and all this was going down ca. 1:00 am in the morning...i dunno, there's things to raise an eyebrow at with respect to the story, but the finale scans with me.

I guess I'm just a reality junkie.

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