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The Hostage (1967)

5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 95 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 1 critic

Pesky little boy Davey Cleaves stows away on a moving truck that's driven by volatile psychopath Bull and his meek partner Eddie. Naturally, Davey finds himself in considerable danger after he's discovered by the two no-count criminals.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Don Kelly ...
Bull (as Don O'Kelly)
...
Eddie (as Dean Stanton)
...
Otis Lovelace
Danny Martins ...
Davey Cleaves
Ron Hagerthy ...
Steve Cleaves
Jennifer Lea ...
Carol Cleaves (as Jenifer Lea)
...
Miss Mabry
Raymond Guth ...
Sam Morton
Nora Marlowe ...
Selma Morton
Shirley O'Hara ...
Mrs. Primus
Mike McCloskey ...
Bartender
Dick Spry ...
Mr. Thomas
Leland Brown ...
Glenn
Pearl Faessler ...
Olive
James Almanzar ...
Officer-in-charge
Edit

Storyline

Pesky little boy Davey Cleaves stows away on a moving truck that's driven by volatile psychopath Bull and his meek partner Eddie. Naturally, Davey finds himself in considerable danger after he's discovered by the two no-count criminals.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Outrageous Kidnapping ... and a town is gripped with FEAR! See more »

Genres:

Thriller

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Geisel  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first feature length film to be shot in Iowa. See more »

Soundtracks

The Hostage Theme
Sung by Steve Smith
Written by Ronald Hanna
See more »

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User Reviews

Look where mischief can get you kid.
6 May 2007 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

When Davey gets in the way of his parents when they're trying to pack up their belongings to move to another house, he enters the removal truck and unknowingly gets locked it. The removalists Bull and Eddie happen to be criminals, and they use the truck to transport a dead body and Davey witnesses the two burying the body. Bull spots him, and they imprison him. Meanwhile his parents have grown worried over his disappearance, and their interfering neighbour claim to see him with a vagrant, which leads everyone chasing the wrong lead.

Like the other user-commenter mentioned, this one does have a striking resemblance to Macauley Culkin's "Home Alone (1990)", but without comic humour. What eventuates from "The Hostage" is dry suspense leisurely springing from a reasonably old-fashion and simplified plot (taken off Henery Farrell's novel) of well-conceived episodic sub-plot developments to gradually lead up to its suspenseful closing. Really, this minimalist low-budget production is nothing out of the ordinary, but it was the name of character actor Harry Dean Stanton which drove my interest to watch it. His nervous performance was solid, as the scrawny, slow-witted criminal Eddie, but it was Don Kelly's ominously hammy turn as the "Oh, I can get so angry after a few drinks. So you better not cross me" browbeater villain Bull. A cranky looking John Carradine pops up as the bumming vagrant Otis P. Lovelace, who has plenty of caustic things to say about his situation. Danny Martins is rather decent in the child role, even though at times he got on my nerves, he was a true nuisance and portrayed a frighten face well enough. The rest of the performances are fine. Director Russell S. Doughten did a sturdily realized job, where his framework is taut and nicely demonstrates few moody and sinister images. Helping out on the smoky atmosphere, was Ted Mikels' stark photography of the locations of Des Moines, Iowa and a washed-out (I don't think it was on purpose) colour scheme. An overwrought and sappy soundtrack is a bit off-putting, and the music score sounds too generic to sustain or create any sort of feeling and tension. Certain moments in the black and white script can lead to some sequences stalling the pace, especially when it's not focusing on the two thugs and the kid.

"The Hostage" can feel forced and weepy, but it does have its effective spells and the acting is above-average to make you kinda glad you stole away for the ride.


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