August 9, 2007


With his career rebirth firmly secured by winning an Oscar for his performance as Maggio in From Here to Eternity (1953), Frank Sinatra must have felt people wanted to see him in darker, more dramatic films than ones like the string of big, MGM musicals he had made in the 1940s. If this was the case, he chose wisely when following up From Here to Eternity with Suddenly in 1954. In Suddenly, Sinatra, future JFK buddy, plays a presidential assassin. He would return to lighter fare a year later with Young at Heart, co-starring Doris Day.

One of the quirky things about Frank Sinatra's long career are the parallels and similarities between Suddenly and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Both films deal with political assassination, and both films were withdrawn from circulation by Sinatra, or his "people," after the Kennedy assassination Wikipedia entry:

According to Kitty Kelley's biography of Sinatra, it's rumored that Lee Harvey Oswald watched this film just a few days before assassinating President John F. Kennedy, a fact that Sinatra learned years after the tragedy, prompting him to withdraw the film from circulation. After that withdrawal, there was a failure to renew the copyright and, ironically, it fell into the public domain. As a result the film became widely available from a number of discount/public domain distributors. The film also became part of the colorization controversy in the mid-1980s when Suddenly was colorized for home video—turning Sinatra's blue eyes brown.

You can watch the entire movie at the Internet Archive. Suddenly is considered to be part of the public domain.

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