SCV In the Movies | Episode 08: Frank Sinatra & Sterling Hayden in ‘Suddenly’ (1954) – Part 1 of 2
SCV In the Movies presents…
Starring Frank Sinatra & Sterling Hayden
Shot on the streets of Newhall and Saugus in April 1954
United Artists 1954
With host Jessie Seely
Frank Sinatra and Sterling Hayden spent April of 1954 in the Santa Clarita Valley — and a good thing they did, because they’ve given us a cinematic record of downtown Newhall and Saugus. Oh, and it’s a good movie, too — what you’d call a “psychological thriller” today as Old Blue Eyes takes a family hostage and holes up in their house as he lies in wait to assassinate the president of the United States.
The assassination is to take place at the Saugus Train Station, which was in its original location at Bouquet Canyon Road and Drayton Street. It was moved June 24, 1980, to its current location two miles down the road in Newhall. A little bit of movie magic put the hostage house on a hill overlooking the depot; of course there is no such hill and the house was elsewhere in Saugus.
But the rest of it is the way it was, right down to the interior of the M&N Market where Sheriff Tod (Hayden) tries to convince Ellen Benson (Nancy Gates) to let her young son have a gun (a key plot point). The names haven’t been changed to protect the innocent … only the name of the town. As the chamber of commerce sign notes, this is Suddenly, where nothing much ever happens — except for a few little things like California’s first discovery of gold in 1842.(c)2011 SCVTV