This week’s mystery movie was the 1952 RKO film Sudden Fear, with Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, Gloria Grahame, Bruce Bennett, Virginia Huston and Touch (Mike) Conners.
Screenplay by Lenore Coffee and Robert Smith. Based on Edna Sherry’s story Sudden Fear.
Music composed and directed by Elmer Bernstein. Afraid by Elmer Bernstein and Jack Brooks. Sudden Fear by Irving Taylor and Arthur Altman.
Photography by Charles B. Lang Jr. Edited by Leon Barsha. Art direction by Boris Leven.
Second unit director Ralph Hoge.
Assistant director Ivan Volkman.
Set decorations by Edward G. Boyle. Production supervisor Henry Spitz. Production assistant B.C. Wylie.
Miss Crawford’s makeup by Edwin Allen. Mr. Palance’s makeup by Josef Norin. Hairstyles by Jane Gorton. Sound by T.A. Carman and Howard Wilson. Optical effects by Consolidated Film Industries.
Miss Crawford’s gowns by Sheila O’Brien. Furs by Al Teitelbaum. Lingerie and hostess gowns by Tula. Hats by Rex. Jewels by Ruser.
Produced by Joseph Kaufman.
Directed by David Miller.
More on the history of Sudden Fear is available from the AFI catalog.
Sudden Fear is available on DVD from Critics’ Choice Videos.
I picked Sudden Fear somewhat at random, mostly because it received good reviews and has only aired three times on TCM. The most interesting mystery was Monday’s guest, who is most likely Robert Lee Goodwin, based on a reverse image search. Monday’s fellow has a fair amount of solo screen time, some lines and gets some closeups. But he isn’t mentioned anywhere.
Goodwin, if it is Goodwin, had an interesting life and worked as a writer, actor and director, though none of his credits is this early. His 1983 obituary calls him one of the first Black TV writers, having sold two scripts to Bonanza in 1965. Black Chariot, written, produced and directed by Goodwin, will be shown by the Motion Picture Academy Museum on Sept. 29, 2022.
I’m going to guess Bosley Crowther did not approve of Sudden Fear. Or fobbed it off on one of the alphabet critics.
A.W. (possibly Abe Weiler) said (New York Times, Aug. 8, 1952):
Since she is an actress who is sturdy enough to bear the weight of an unsensational yarn, Joan Crawford should be credited with a truly professional performance in Sudden Fear, which came to Loew’s State yesterday. in this romantic suspense story, Miss Crawford, playing a rich, successful playwright, who gives her heart and hand to the wrong actor, does notably well in an exercise which involves practically all the emotions. Sudden Fear is a polished vehicle for her talents but it contains nothing that is strikingly surprising.
For Monday, we have a mystery guest.
Update: This is possibly Robert Lee Goodwin.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery guest.
Update: This is George Chan.
For “Hm Wednesday,” we have two photos with Back of the Head Persons. Here’s photo No. 1 with Mystery Bow Tie Guy and two Back of the Head Persons.
Update: This is Taylor Holmes, with Joan Crawford and Lewis Martin as Back of the Head Persons.
Then we have Mystery Necktie Guy with two Back of the Head Persons.
Update: This is the Lewis Martin, with Taylor Holmes and Joan Crawford as Back of the Head Persons.
For “Aha Thursday, we have two mystery persons and Back of the Head Woman.
Update: This is Virginia Huston and Mike (Touch) Connors with Joan Crawford as Back of the Head Woman.
And a mystery fellow with Back of the Head Guy.
Update: This is Bruce Bennett with Jack Palance as Back of the Head Guy.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mystery butler, Wednesday’s mystery play backer and mysterious director, and Back of the Head Woman), Jenny M. (mystery movie, possibly Monday’s mystery guest, Tuesday’s mystery butler, Wednesday’s mysterious play backer and mystery director) and Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie, Tuesday’s mysterious butler and Wednesday’s mystery play backer, mysterious director and Back of the Head Woman).
Update: This is Jack Palance and Joan Crawford.
We also have this mystery woman. She may not approve of such goings-on.
Update: This is Joan Crawford, with the eyes of Joan Crawford.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mystery guests and Back of the Head Persons), Sarah (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery men and Back of the Head Woman), Incredible Inman (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery men and mysterious leads), Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mystery guests and Back of the Head Persons), Robert Morrissey (mystery movie), B.J. Merholz (Thursday’s mystery guest No. 2), Mike Hawks (mystery movie, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests and Back of the Head Persons), Sylvia E. (Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests and Back of the Head Persons, and Friday’s guests), Gary (mystery movie, Thursday’s mystery fellow No. 2 and Back of the Head Woman), McDee (Thursday’s mystery fellow No. 2), L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast) and Megan and Thom (mystery movie, Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests).