Desperate Hours (1990)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  5 October 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 5,040 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 21 critic

An escaped con on the run from the law moves into a married couple's home and takes over their lives.



(novel), (play), 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brenda Chandler
Nancy Breyers
Danny Gerard ...
Ed Tallent
John Christopher Jones ...


Michael Bosworth is a psychotic criminal who is about to go on trial however, he seduces his lawyer into helping him escape. But as they try to make their getaway, she's left behind. He decides to wait for her to come to him, so he decides to hide at the house of the Cornells. Now it appears that the Cornells have problems of their own. The husband and wife are separated. And there's an FBI agent after them who is using the lawyer to lead them to Bosworth. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Who is stronger? A psychopath who feeds on terror? Or a father driven by fear? Only time will tell. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

5 October 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

24 Stunden in seiner Gewalt  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)


$2,742,912 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The only English language filmed version of the movie's source play and novel both by Joseph Hayes not to be titled "The Desperate Hours". See more »


Michael Bosworth: There's too many rules in this house.
See more »


Version of The Desperate Hours (1955) See more »


Performed by Cindy Bullens
Written by Cindy Bullens and David Mansfield
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Great remake of a Humphrey Bogart psycho drama
7 October 2002 | by (Hamburg, Germany) – See all my reviews

"Desperate Hours" is a 1990 remake of William Wyler's psycho drama of the same name from 1955 featuring Humphrey Bogart and Fredric March as original cast. Michael Cimino directed this story of a blood-thirsty gang raiding an upper class suburb house on their run from the police after a series of ambitious big projects like "Heaven's Gate", "Year of the Dragon" and "The Sicilian" in the eighties.

In this remake, it is Mickey Rourke's turn to play Bogart's leading role, and he turned Bogart's coolness into a portrait of a psychopathic gentleman gangster whose violent dominance is about to erupt like a volcano every second. His counterpart is lawyer Anthony Hopkins, an upper-class citizen and head of a broken family. Both men are fighting against each other in every possible way, starting with psycho duels and witty conversations to hard fights and pure wars of nerves.

Most of the plot takes place in Hopkins' house, and as soon as the story is settled out of this apparent suburb paradise hell breaks out, starting from Rourke's violent escape from a courthouse prison in the beginning of the film to the final showdown when the police arrives.

Cimino's direction works well with his whole ensemble often placed in the living room like actors on a static theater stage, and the camera views the psychological warfare often from a very distant ankle like in a documentary. The great cast of all actors featuring Mimi Rodgers, Kelly Lynch, Elias Koteas and David Morse and the minimal and seducing sound track score by David Mansfield add much tension to this well-dome remake of a great fifties crime drama.

16 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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