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Ghost Canyon

'Suddenly (The Film Detective Restored Version)'
(Frank Sinatra, Sterling Hayden, James Gleason, et al / Blu-ray / NR / (1954) 2016 / The Film Detective)

Overview: Frank Sinatra is unforgettable as a psychotic war veteran whose goal is to assassinate The President of the United States!

Blu-ray Verdict: In a town called Suddenly - which might pass for any small Midwestern town - little of note happens. But the normally quiet Mayberry gets more than its share of action and attention on this Saturday. The President of the U.S. is scheduled to arrive via train, so the Secret Service get there first to reconnoiter the train station and the properties that overlook it.

It would be a shame to reveal too many details, but some locals get involved in a suspenseful showdown that might easily serve as the basis for a Hitchcock film. I would not call this film noir, but it is filmed in B&W. It is a psychological drama which delves into post-war issues.

Frank Sinatra turns in a rare performance as the villain and he's rather good at it. Nancy Gates plays a widow who inadvertently enters the cross-hairs of the villain's plan. She delivers a strong performance as a mother whose primary motivation for living is the protection of her young son. Also, you should know various political messages can be read into the plot. No matter which subtext one advocates, this is a story about courage. Maternal courage. Patriotic courage. And the behaviors that are often mistaken for being courageous.

'Suddenly' is not glittering masterpiece, but it's a hell of great story that I do not tire of watching - and seeing each piece of the puzzle fall into place. And now having been restored by The Film Detective company for this stunning Blu-ray, crystal clear remaster, it has to be said that suddenly is all begins to make sense (sorry!). This is a Full Screen Presentation (1:75.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.