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Movie "Suddenly" on Turner Classics


Ron Ecker
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The prophetic film "Suddenly" starring Frank Sinatra as a presidential assassin is on Turner Classics today (Nov. 1) at 4:45 pm ET.

When told that Oswald had watched this movie not long before the JFK murder, Sinatra had the film withdrawn from circulation.

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The prophetic film "Suddenly" starring Frank Sinatra as a presidential assassin is on Turner Classics today (Nov. 1) at 4:45 pm ET.

When told that Oswald had watched this movie not long before the JFK murder, Sinatra had the film withdrawn from circulation.

I've written about this movie before, because there is a lot more to it than it simply being an assassination movie starring Sinatra, pulled from circulation by Sinatra after Kennedy was killed.

The assassin in the movie is named Johnny Baron. He and his crew are swarthy mafia-type figures. Baron is also unduly proud of his WWII service. Well, while watching the movie, I thought, "Huh. I wonder if Sinatra modeled his character on Johnny Rosselli," whom was both a flashy mobster proud of his military service, and someone well known to Sinatra. I then looked into the background of the screenwriter, and found he was married to the niece of legendary screenwriter Anita Loos. Well, this sealed it for me. Loos was close pals with Joe Schenck, whose testimony ultimately sent Rosselli to prison in the 40's. (His sentence, of course, was ultimately suspended through the actions of Tom Clark, Ramsey Clark's father, and the man reputed to have been the fix-it man for all things Dallas in the 50's. Clark was also, according to the testimony of Carlos Marcello's bagman, Jack Halphen, on Marcello's payroll.)

While reading All-American Mafioso, the biography of Rosselli, moreover, I realized that his nemesis--the Fed who sent him away in the forties--was named Jack (or Johnny) Barron. Huh. Now that's a coinkydink.

Anyhow, I'm not so sure Sinatra pulled the movie out of respect for Kennedy, and suspect instead it was due to his fear of Rosselli. Rosselli, one should recall, can be heard discussing Sinatra on a taped phone call with Giancana. Giancana was complaining that Sinatra had failed to deliver on the promised cooperation of the Kennedys, and Rosselli was suggesting they take care of Sinatra. If I recall, Giancana said no because he liked Sinatra's singing, and then forced Sinatra and his pals to help him open a nighclub...by performing for a week...for FREE.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Pat,

Do you know who the source was of Oswald seeing the movie?

If I recall, Gary Mack volunteered at one time that he'd looked through all the old TV Guides and had found no evidence Suddenly or the other movie Oswald supposedly watched were on TV when he supposedly saw them. As I recall the Oswald watching Suddenly story came from Priscilla McMillan in Marina and Lee.

This is pretty fuzzy, however. If anyone knows different please chime in.

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Guest Tom Scully
http://books.google.com/books?id=wVZsAAAAIAAJ&q=one+was+suddenly+%281954%29,+starring+frank+sinatra&dq=one+was+suddenly+%281954%29,+starring+frank+sinatra&hl=en&ei=9jrPTIzEGoGglAfq1ODlCA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CF4Q6AEwCQ

Marina and Lee

Priscilla Johnson McMillan - 1977 - 527 pages - Snippet view

now and then after that she felt him sit up straight and strain toward the television set, greatly excited. She had very little idea what he was watching.

One was Suddenly (1954), starring Frank Sinatra, which is about a plot to kill the President of the United States. In the film Sinatra, a mentally unbalanced ex-serviceman who has been hired to do the job, drives into a small Western ..

http://www.google.com/search?tbs=bks%3A1&tbo=1&q=lee+and+marina+shared+a+banana&btnG=Search+Books

Reclaiming history: the assassination of President John F. Kennedy - Page 764

Vincent Bugliosi - 2007 - 1612 pages - Preview

On Saturday evening of that weekend, Lee and Marina shared a banana and she put her head in his lap, dozing off now and then while he watched old movies on television, two films back to back, Suddenly and We Were Strangers. ...

http://www.google.com/search?tbs=bks%3A1&tbo=1&q=told+priscilla+sit+up+straight+and+strain&btnG=Search+Books

...that Marina told author Priscilla McMillan that while watching one or both movies, every now and then Oswald would sit up straight and strain toward the television set, greatly excited.1514 One person we know felt there may have .

Yup...definitely the "straight and strain", telltale signs of a LN killer...case closed! The newest "decider" in the White House has unilaterally assumed unto himself, the power to pre-emptively and indefinitely detain anyone who acts in such a suspicious and troubling manner. Too bad the PTB were not savvy and assertive enough back in '63 to announce such a policy of nipping the scarey people in the bud.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/national/101810_Court_asked_Can_Ashcroft_be_sued_for_911_policy.html

U.S. Supreme Court asked, Can Ashcroft be sued for 9/11 policy?

Monday, October 18, 2010

..John Ashcroft was the attorney general who approved a policy that led to the arrests of al-Kidd and dozens of others without evidence of crimes in the Bush administration's aggressive response to the 9/11 attacks...

The lawsuit has not gone to trial, and Ashcroft, represented by the Obama administration, says he should be shielded from suits concerning his official duties. The former attorney general should not subjected to "burdensome litigation and potential damages for the conduct of his subordinates," acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, the administration's top Supreme Court lawyer, has told the court....

....Rejecting Ashcroft's bid for immunity, Judge Milan D. Smith Jr. strongly criticized the use of material witness warrants for national security. "We find this to be repugnant to the Constitution," Smith said in a 2-1 decision.

Edited by Tom Scully
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http://dvp-video-audio-archive.blogspot.com/2012/03/suddenly-1954-movie.html

Many/most people regard "Suddenly" as a B-grade film, but I think it's much better than that. It's really quite a good movie, with Sinatra putting in a very good performance as assassin Johnny Baron.

Edited by David Von Pein
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The prophetic film "Suddenly" starring Frank Sinatra as a presidential assassin is on Turner Classics today (Nov. 1) at 4:45 pm ET.

When told that Oswald had watched this movie not long before the JFK murder, Sinatra had the film withdrawn from circulation.

I've written about this movie before, because there is a lot more to it than it simply being an assassination movie starring Sinatra, pulled from circulation by Sinatra after Kennedy was killed.

The assassin in the movie is named Johnny Baron. He and his crew are swarthy mafia-type figures. Baron is also unduly proud of his WWII service. Well, while watching the movie, I thought, "Huh. I wonder if Sinatra modeled his character on Johnny Rosselli," whom was both a flashy mobster proud of his military service, and someone well known to Sinatra. I then looked into the background of the screenwriter, and found he was married to the niece of legendary screenwriter Anita Loos. Well, this sealed it for me. Loos was close pals with Joe Schenck, whose testimony ultimately sent Rosselli to prison in the 40's. (His sentence, of course, was ultimately suspended through the actions of Tom Clark, Ramsey Clark's father, and the man reputed to have been the fix-it man for all things Dallas in the 50's. Clark was also, according to the testimony of Carlos Marcello's bagman, Jack Halphen, on Marcello's payroll.)

While reading All-American Mafioso, the biography of Rosselli, moreover, I realized that his nemesis--the Fed who sent him away in the forties--was named Jack (or Johnny) Barron. Huh. Now that's a coinkydink.

Anyhow, I'm not so sure Sinatra pulled the movie out of respect for Kennedy, and suspect instead it was due to his fear of Rosselli. Rosselli, one should recall, can be heard discussing Sinatra on a taped phone call with Giancana. Giancana was complaining that Sinatra had failed to deliver on the promised cooperation of the Kennedys, and Rosselli was suggesting they take care of Giancana. If I recall, Giancana said no because he liked Sinatra's singing, and then forced Sinatra and his pals to help him open a nighclub...by performing for a week...for FREE.

And the nightclub Sinatra played for FREE was Skinny D'Amato's 500 Club in Atlantic City. Sam Giancana had recruited Skinny to be the manager of the Cal-Neva Lodge, near Lake Tahoe.

The Big Party was planned for Atlantic City in the fall of 1964 when they would hold the Democratic National Convention on the Boardwalk, and Sinatra would play the Five, as they called it. But then it didn't play out as they planned when JFK was wacked at Dealey Plaza and the Democratic Convention handed off the title to LBJ, who stayed at Carroll Rosenbloom's house while he was in town. Rosenbloom and Mike McLaney, both golfing partners with JFK, had purchased the Hotel Nacional in Havana from Meyer Lansky a month before Castro took over, and both were instrumental in their support of LBJ.

BK

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The prophetic film "Suddenly" starring Frank Sinatra as a presidential assassin is on Turner Classics today (Nov. 1) at 4:45 pm ET.

When told that Oswald had watched this movie not long before the JFK murder, Sinatra had the film withdrawn from circulation.

I've written about this movie before, because there is a lot more to it than it simply being an assassination movie starring Sinatra, pulled from circulation by Sinatra after Kennedy was killed.

The assassin in the movie is named Johnny Baron. He and his crew are swarthy mafia-type figures. Baron is also unduly proud of his WWII service. Well, while watching the movie, I thought, "Huh. I wonder if Sinatra modeled his character on Johnny Rosselli," whom was both a flashy mobster proud of his military service, and someone well known to Sinatra. I then looked into the background of the screenwriter, and found he was married to the niece of legendary screenwriter Anita Loos. Well, this sealed it for me. Loos was close pals with Joe Schenck, whose testimony ultimately sent Rosselli to prison in the 40's. (His sentence, of course, was ultimately suspended through the actions of Tom Clark, Ramsey Clark's father, and the man reputed to have been the fix-it man for all things Dallas in the 50's. Clark was also, according to the testimony of Carlos Marcello's bagman, Jack Halphen, on Marcello's payroll.)

While reading All-American Mafioso, the biography of Rosselli, moreover, I realized that his nemesis--the Fed who sent him away in the forties--was named Jack (or Johnny) Barron. Huh. Now that's a coinkydink.

Anyhow, I'm not so sure Sinatra pulled the movie out of respect for Kennedy, and suspect instead it was due to his fear of Rosselli. Rosselli, one should recall, can be heard discussing Sinatra on a taped phone call with Giancana. Giancana was complaining that Sinatra had failed to deliver on the promised cooperation of the Kennedys, and Rosselli was suggesting they take care of Giancana. If I recall, Giancana said no because he liked Sinatra's singing, and then forced Sinatra and his pals to help him open a nighclub...by performing for a week...for FREE.

And the nightclub Sinatra played for FREE was Skinny D'Amato's 500 Club in Atlantic City. Sam Giancana had recruited Skinny to be the manager of the Cal-Neva Lodge, near Lake Tahoe.

The Big Party was planned for Atlantic City in the fall of 1964 when they would hold the Democratic National Convention on the Boardwalk, and Sinatra would play the Five, as they called it. But then it didn't play out as they planned when JFK was wacked at Dealey Plaza and the Democratic Convention handed off the title to LBJ, who stayed at Carroll Rosenbloom's house while he was in town. Rosenbloom and Mike McLaney, both golfing partners with JFK, had purchased the Hotel Nacional in Havana from Meyer Lansky a month before Castro took over, and both were instrumental in their support of LBJ.

BK

And Today - Seven Days In May.

Edited by William Kelly
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It's important that in the Cold War climate, John Frankenheimer was making films prophetic of assassination and coup, one starring semi-insider Frank Sinatra, who also starred in Suddenly. There's one other of Sinatra's pictures that resonates in the same atmosphere, and that - believe it or not - is Ocean's Eleven, a story in which a group of Special Ops guys from World War II try to make it in the post-war prosperity, but find that they can't keep up, and are drawn into a plot to rob Las Vegas through a paramilitary operation using their wartime skills. They respond as if it's a natural development in their careers.

The drama of the film, such as it is, turns on these moments, so this part of the story is more than just subtext (it's also the blueprint for a thousand action movies to come, down to the age of Jerry Bruckheimer). This is one of the imaginings of the post-war man that was in the wind in those days, and has become an archetype in our entertainment.

And you know what they say about making faces that stick....

Edited by David Andrews
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Watched the movie. Sinatra was good, but the movie was definitely B quality. Sterling Hayden was wooden with all the hokey lines he had to speak. I wanted to kill the obnoxious kid who kept yelling "You stink!" and was hoping that Sinatra would do it. And the ending was really bad. Did Sinatra really expect the train to stop and let the president off with all the shooting that had just taken place? Unbelievable.

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