Thursday, May 6, 2010

Joan Crawford in "Sudden Fear"

Joan Crawford received her last Oscar nomination for playing Myra Hudson, a playwright, in Sudden Fear.

Sudden Fear is a very entertaining thriller, and all thanks goes to Joan Crawford.

Myra Hudson is a successful playwright, when she meets a struggling actor Lester Baine (Jack Palance). He wants to be in her upcoming play, but she thinks he has no talent. Soon, the two meet up again on a train, and they she immediately falls for him, and they marry. Soon, though, Myra learns after one thing...and it's not her love.

As I said before, Sudden Fear is an extremely thrilling movie thanks to Joan Crawford. She uses her fierce presence here like in no other film. Let me just say Myra is not stupid, but the story has a major plot hole (that I won't reveal or go into), but because of this Myra seems like a complete idiot. But, besides that, she is a smart woman, caught in a bad situation.

Joan probably gives her toughest performance here as well. It's her responsibility to sell you on this story, to make you believe that she is being the victim of an elaborate scheme.

She appears romantic and happy with her life in the beginning, and as the story sets in motion, her insecurities, and "sudden fear" is more realized, much to the power of Joan's acting ability. What surprised me most was how many witty lines she got perfect.

Once she becomes more paranoid and frightened, Crawford always keeps it down, instead of going completely over the top with her fear. I especially liked how much energy was thrown into her more "smart" scenes.

As I said in my review of Crawford in Mildred Pierce, whenever she gets a tough woman to play, Joan nails it. And this is no exception. She gets why her character would be with this unattractive and mysterious actor, and never makes Myra seem like a complete idiot even when the script wants her to be. Might be her best performance...


joe burns said...

Great writeup! But only four stars? I thought it would get four and a half when I was reading.

Sage Slowdive said...

Just feels like a 4 for me :)

joe burns said...

I think she'll be your second choice!

Louis Morgan said...

Nice Write up. She never really achieves past a 4 then in any of her performances? What did you think of Palance?

Sage Slowdive said...

Well, she did have another nomination, which is why I said, maybe :)

He was a worthy nominee...he really got the sleazy crook actor part nailed down.