Yesterday Jim Molner was an ordinary guy. Today he's a desperate man, frantically trying to save himself and his family, held hostage by a demented terrorist who's demanding $500,000 not to... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Molner
Mrs. Joan Molner
Paul Hoplin
Eileen Kelly
Agent Frank Cole
Vince, a thug
F.B.I. Agent Charles Pope
Roger Adams
Dan Pringle
Harlan Warde ...
Bert, Operative
Ed Hinton ...
Chet Huntley ...
Roy Neal ...
Jonathan Hole ...
Airline Executive


Yesterday Jim Molner was an ordinary guy. Today he's a desperate man, frantically trying to save himself and his family, held hostage by a demented terrorist who's demanding $500,000 not to detonate a bomb he's planted on a domestic airliner. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M-G-M's masterpiece of excitement! See more »


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Release Date:

2 May 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

24 ores agonias  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$482,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)
See  »

Did You Know?


The film was a very mild success for MGM and showed a profit of $48,000 ($400,000 in 2016) according to studio records. Two thirds of the box office take was from outside the USA and Canada. See more »


When Joan is at Steve's house, she sits down at a table to cry and her dress is pulled way down on her back. In the next shot, the dress is cinched around her upper back. See more »

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User Reviews

Exceptionally taut and well-acted thriller
27 November 2012 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

The airline is getting bomb threats. Chet Huntley reports. Mastermind Rod Steiger has an extortion scheme to collect half a million abetted by Klugman Dickinsom, and Brand. Steiger bamboozled Mason into building his bombs, then kidnaps his family to execute the plot. Interestingly, Stevens is overwrought (purposefully directed so)while nearly everyone else underplays it very effectively - UNTIL things start unwinding. Then Brand's psycho begins to freak out, Steiger's mastermind blows his cool, and Mason loses it - all very realistically done in semi-documentary fashion. I do not see the "routine" aspects others cite. These characters are quite different from the ordinary - especially Dickinson's matter-of-fact criminal who has no compunction about killing if necessary and has ice water running through her veins

  • a great performance. It makes fabulous use of its New York locations

on a low budget. Stevens' race to make the ransom delivery on time despite being diverted by traffic miles in the wrong direction is a tour-d-force like I have seldom seen. The wrap-up is a bit melodramatic considering the tension that came before it - but only then did I breathe normally again. If you are from New York or interested in New York in the 50's, this is an edge-of-your seat treat.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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