Sudden Fear

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

An early run of the Adjective Noun movie title algorithm generator. Fatal Instinct, Endless Love, Indecent Proposal, Blazing Saddles, … was this the first?

Also, it's a big eyebrow fight between Joan Crawford and Gloria Grahame. Has any subsequent actress ever approached these two icons?

Well, anyway: Joan plays Myra Hudson, a very rich playwright. As the movie opens, she's arranging to have Lester (Jack Palance!) fired from a leading role in her new play. Turns out to be a good move because the play's a hit, making Myra even richer. She hops a train back home to San Francisco, but who should show up on the same train, but … Lester!

Love unexpectedly blooms, because Lester's a charmer. But is there more going on? You bet, and it becomes explicit when Irene (Gloria Grahame) shows up unexpectedly; it turns out she and Lester had a previous relationship. They conspire! Will Myra survive?

For a 1952 movie, it's pretty racy. And there's lots of 1950s San Francisco scenery. Joan Crawford and Jack Palance got Oscar nominations. Neither won, but if they'd had a category for Overacting, I think Joan would have easily won that.

Trivia: In the credits is a guy named "Touch Connors". When he eventually shows up: "Hey, that's Mannix!"

Even more trivial: the credits devote an entire screen to the folks behind Joan Crawford's dresses, hats, furs, hair, and makeup. It takes a village.