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The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

For over a hundred years some of the greatest video treasures of all time have been produced. Some have been lost in the sands of time and others, soon to be rediscovered, will become fan favorites for a whole new generation.

Each week we will feature just one of the many hidden gems that you can see on RCN TV with insights and commentaries on classic television shows and legendary cinematic performances.

In a career filled with tremendous individual accomplishments too lengthy to list in a single blog entry, Frank Sinatra’s performance in the 1954 thriller, Suddenly, is probably one of his greatest, underrated works as an actor.

After a decade of multiple number one hits and rave reviews as a happy-go-lucky leading man on the silver screen, Sinatra’s film career dipped in the early part of the 1950s.

But with a starring role in the iconic film, From Here To Eternity, Sinatra was back in the public eye and had the screen credit to play possibly the biggest “departure role” of his career.

In Suddenly, Sinatra’s character is John Baron, a psychopathic killer disguised as a government agent and a paid assassin who’s hell-bent on shooting the President of the United States of America at any cost.

Baron leads a small group of henchmen who ruthlessly take over an innocent family’s house, located next to the train tracks that will be escorting the President through the sleepy town of Suddenly, California.

Baron and his thugs take hostages and show no mercy in this gritty film, with many twists-and-turns in this fast-paced 75-minute flick.

This film further deepened “‘Ol’ Blue Eyes”’ range as an actor and was part of over a dozen highly successful films in the 1950s which further advanced his already successful singing career.

Two interesting bits of trivia concerning Suddenly.  An ill-conceived idea of colorizing this film in the mid-1980s went awry when they mistakenly painted Sinatra’s eyes brown throughout the film.

A less humorous antidote: Sinatra unsuccessfully attempted to purchase and destroy all copies of this film as well as the 1962 classic, The Manchurian Candidate, after a rumor surfaced that Lee Harvey Oswald watched both of these films before deciding to shoot President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Both films starred Sinatra with plot lines involving assassination attempts, although he handled the protagonist duties in Candidate.

Suddenly also stars Sterling Hayden (the crooked Captain McCluskey in The Godfather) and is a must-see for Sinatra followers and fans of thrill-seeking film noir works alike. 

Suddenly is featured on the “RCN Movie Theater/Retro Special” on Wednesday, May 13, at 9pm and Saturday, May 16, at 8:30pm on RCN-TV.

To view the complete rundown of classic programming on RCN TV, check out the weekly listings here on our website.