Saturday, March 24, 2018

TCM's Film Noir of the Week for Saturday Night-Sunday Morning at Midnight ET is No Questions Asked (1951)



By David in TN
Friday, March 23, 2018 at 4:42:00 P.M. EDT


Barry Sullivan and a nice girl

TCM's Film Noir of the Week for Saturday night-Sunday morning at Midnight ET is No Questions Asked (1951). Barry Sullivan stars as an insurance lawyer who becomes a kind of legal fence, working with fur and jewel thieves to return stolen merchandise for a price saving his insurance company money.

Mystery player

No Questions Asked repeats at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday, March 25.

Arlene Dahl

Arlene Dahl plays Sullivan's gold-digging fiancee who throws him over for a wealthy man. He makes a nice commission on the side but predictably, gets into trouble.



Sorry for the belated heads-up, The Third Man (1949) is on TCM at 8 p.m. ET tonight, Friday, March 23.


N.S.: I’m likewise sorry—I was asleep when you posted this, and didn’t wake up until 10 p.m.!


David In TN said...

In his introduction, our host Eddie Muller gets off a great line. Of Jean Hagen and Arlene Dahl, Eddie says: "He (Barry Sullivan) has the good fortune to appear with two of MGM's brightest stars, Jean Hagen and Arlene Dahl, who just standing up straight could make any man go crooked."

TCM's Film Noir of the Week will take Easter Weekend off, but will be back the following week with one of the more controversial film noirs.

David In TN said...

TCM's Film Noir of the Week at Midnight ET Saturday Night-Sunday Morning is Suddenly (1954) starring Frank Sinatra and Sterling Hayden.

Sinatra plays a would-be Presidential assassin with two partners. They take over a house overlooking a train station through which the President (Eisenhower in 1954) is going to pass.

They take hostage the family living in the house including Hayden who plays the police chief of the small town named "Suddenly." A widow living in the house (Nancy Gates) is being courted by Hayden, without success so far.

Sinatra's character is a psycho WW II veteran who loves killing nad has been hired by somebody to kill the President. Sinatra has a good time chewing the scenery. Hayden's character is also a veteran. He scoffs at Sinatra's claimed heroics enraging him.

It was a B film at the time and looks in parts like a 50's TV show. Suddenly was filmed at Newhall, California, a small town 30 minutes north of Los Angeles. Note what the area looked like circa 1954.

The subject matter is why Suddenly has some controversy attached to it. It was long thought Frank Sinatra had the film pulled from circulation after the JFK assassination, which apparently wasn't true.

Another legend is Lee Harvey Oswald supposedly watched Suddenly shortly before killing President Kennedy. The film doesn't seem to have been on Dallas TV during the time period or in a local theater.

Still, a movie about a plot to kill the president took on extra meaning after November 22, 1963.

There is a similarity. In both the fictional film and real life, the shooter uses an enemy rifle from WW II. Oswald used an Italian Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, probably because it was cheap to buy.

Sinatra's character has a German G43 semiautomatic rifle, which the Germans introduced in the last year and a half of the war to counter the American M1 Garand. In one scene, Sinatra has his minions bolt the rifle to a table due to "heavy recoil."

Not so. The G43, like the M1, doesn't have a heavy recoil due to being gas operated. I've collected WW II rifles and have fired both.

Suddenly repeats at 10 am ET Sunday, April 8.

Nicholas said...

Thanks for the summary and backstory, David.

I have seen Suddenly; once, I believe, on TV, and once on a godawful VHS video. It's really hard to find a good quality video of it.

Sinatra was amazing, and though it's a shoestring production, it has no lack of talent: Sterling Hayden, James Gleason, Willis Bouchey, et al.