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Suddenly (1954)

Eager to reinforce his burgeoning dramatic reputation, Frank Sinatra seized the role of the psychologically damaged war veteran hired by unseen forces to shoot the president during a stopover in a sleepy Californian town called Suddenly.


“I’m not an actor,” he snaps while menacing his hostages (the birth scars on his neck clearly visible to make him more sinister), but a withering look of contempt when his courage is questioned and a glaring close-up directly into the camera suggest otherwise.

Such was his shock at the assassination of close friend John F. Kennedy that Sinatra had this taut noir and The Manchurian Candidate (1962) withdrawn from circulation.

Yet, despite the rumours, there is no evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald saw Lewis Allen’s claustrophobic thriller the night before JFK perished in Dallas.

John Baron
Frank Sinatra
Tod Shaw
Sterling Hayden
Pop Benson
James Gleason
Ellen Benson
Nancy Gates
Pidge Benson
Kim Charney
James Lilburn
Clark Howat

Lewis Allen