|John Baron (played by Sinatra) berates one of his hostages|
The film is set in the tranquil town of Suddenly. When the American President is scheduled to make a visit to the town while passing through on a train, three gangsters, led by John Baron (Sinatra) hold a family hostage in their home as part of an assassination attempt on the president.
Ironically at the start of a film, a police officer says: "Things happen so slow now, the town councillor is thinking of changing the name to Gradually". Little do they know what is about to happen in this small town.
Use of guns
|Sterling Hayden as Todd|
Another key theme in the film is home invasion. The home is the one place where we expect to feel and be safe. Being held captive removes the barrier between personal and public space, and bring the dangerous realities of the outside world inside our front door. The claustrophobia you would feel when being held hostage in your home I imagine would be one of the most terrifying ordeals a person could experience.
Did you know...
- This film was shot in 4 weeks
- Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly watched this film a few days before assassinating President Kennedy - one could consider if this film was a catalyst for the assassination, or whether the event may not have taken place had Oswald not seen this film
- When 'Suddenly' was colorised for home video in 1986 by Hal Roach Studio, they coloured Frank Sinatra's famous blue eyes brown, causing much controversy. A second colourised version from 2009 by Legend Films, restores his eyes to it's natural blue color.
- The film's copyright was not renewed and the film is now in the public domain - hence the myriad of budget home video releases and availability online