‘Suddenly’ on Blu-ray

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's

In this newly restored edition of Suddenly, Frank Sinatra is even more psychotic than ever. The original 1954 black and white film has been completely restored in HD and gives fans of this film a new experience watching the classic story of a man intent on killing the president.

The town of Suddenly, California is a sleepy little community. One day the sheriff learns the president will be making a stop in town, requiring a lot of additional security. The Secret Service arrives, as do the state police. They are all locking down the town to make sure the president has a safe transition from the train to a waiting limousine. Why all this fuss? Because they were tipped off someone was going to assassinate the president when he stepped off the train.

The main street is locked down but there is one house on the hill with a perfect view of the train station. The house belongs to a retired Secret Service agent (James Gleason) who lives there with his widowed daughter-in-law (Nancy Gates) and his young grandson (Kim Charney).

Before the agents can get to the house to alert the occupants, a trio of men arrives posing as FBI. Led by John Baron (Frank Sinatra), they eventually take over, keeping the occupants hostage. Then they are joined by the sheriff (Sterling Hayden) and the head of the Secret Service detail who unwittingly find themselves caught in the middle of the assassination plot and although shot, the sheriff tries his best to keep the remaining hostages calm.

So now there is an assassin in wait in a house on a hill with a perfect view of the president when he steps off the train. The hostages try what they can but nothing works. How can they persuade a psychotic man not to shoot the president?

Sinatra is brilliant. He often looks directly at the camera, which adds to his psychotic appearance with his wide eyes and odd behavior. This is Sinatra like you’ve never seen him before. He’s creepy yet at the same time manages to add some sympathy to his evil persona.

While the hostages are attempting to talk Baron out of killing the president, they remind him that no one had ever gotten away with it before. That was true then and it is still true. But Baron insists he will be the first one. All he wants is the money owed him for his work. He has nothing against the president. Viewers learn the money and his love of killing are the only things he is interested in.

Because of Sinatra’s close association with President Kennedy, his performance in this film most likely passed through his mind in the days after November 22, 1963.

This HD version adds an element of starkness to the story. It’s still in black and white, yet the restoration to high definition makes everything pop.

Suddenly was released the year after Sinatra won an Academy Award for his performance in From Here to Eternity. The singer/actor combined musicals with dramatic films during his career. He was good at both and never failed to entertain his fans.

Suddenly, the restored classic, is now available from The Film Detective.

About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment industry for over 20 years. She also writes about products and travel. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as Internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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