7.1/10
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36 user 22 critic

Fourteen Hours (1951)

An unhappy man threatens suicide by standing on the ledge of a high-rise building for 14 hours.

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

John Paxton (screenplay), Joel Sayre (story)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Douglas ... Police Officer Charlie Dunnigan
Richard Basehart ... Robert Cosick
Barbara Bel Geddes ... Virginia Foster
Debra Paget ... Ruth
Agnes Moorehead ... Christine Hill Cosick
Robert Keith ... Paul E. Cosick
Howard Da Silva ... Deputy Police Chief Moskar (as Howard da Silva)
Jeffrey Hunter ... Danny Klempner
Martin Gabel ... Dr. Strauss
Grace Kelly ... Mrs. Louise Ann Fuller
Frank Faylen ... Room Service Waiter
Jeff Corey ... Police Sgt. Farley
James Millican ... Police Sgt. Boyle
Donald Randolph Donald Randolph ... Dr. Benson
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Storyline

A young man, morally destroyed by his parents not loving him and by the fear of being not capable to make his girlfriend happy, rises on the ledge of a building with the intention of committing suicide. A policeman makes every effort to argue him out of that. Written by Tiziana Totaro <susannkey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A new element in screen suspense See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1951 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

14 Hours See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A number of character actors in this film who had been associated with or accused of associating with left-wing political groups or causes, or even communist groups or causes, such as Howard Da Silva, Martin Gabel, Jeff Corey, Leif Erickson and John Randolph, were soon to be called before the House Un-American Activities Committee to testify about supposed "Communist infiltration of Hollywood", or were listed in the anti-communist publication Red Channels, which was used to blacklist "suspect" actors, writers and producers. Most were blacklisted and did not appear again in films for many years; one (Erickson, who had been married to Frances Farmer) named names and was cleared. See more »

Goofs

Stock rear projection footage of normally-moving motor traffic while Cosick is on ledge is not consistent with huge traffic jam shown in area surrounding hotel where he is threatening suicide leap. See more »

Quotes

Deputy Chief Moskar: [Inquiring about Cosick's hysterical mother] What goes with her anyway?
Dr. Strauss: [Disgusted] She's a case, just like the boy!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Two endings were shot, one in which Richard Basehart dies, one in which he doesn't. Some original prints show the two different endings one right after the other. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Grace Kelly: The American Princess (1987) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Absolutely Superb -- and What a Cast!
9 January 2007 | by HandlinghandelSee all my reviews

If I were in emotional distress, I would want someone like Paul Douglas to try to help me out. He was one of the best actors in Hollywood during his too-shirt career. Here he is superb as a compassionate traffic cop.

Richard Basehart plays a man threatening to jump from the ledge on a high floor of a hotel. Basehart was another of the best actors of the late 1940 and the fifties. He pulls off an almost totally stationary role very well. This is particularly intriguing given his vibrant, physical performance in "La Strada" a few years after this.

I had never heard of "Fourteen Hours" till it appeared at my neighborhood video store yesterday. Now, it is one of my top noirs. And that is saying a great deal.

Agnes Moorehead, another superb performer of the period, plays Basehart's mother. She engages in the same sorts of hysterics that are so memorable in "Citizen Kane" and particularly in "The Magnificent Ambersons." It's a very fine performance. What a shame that to the degree that she is known at all today, she is primarily known for her (admittedly mildly amusing role in the "Bewitched" series! Robert Keith is just the kind of father (in this role) who might have a confused, possibility suicidal son. Here he plays a mousy businessman. Two decades later, he was to be memorable in a totally different kind of role, in Don Siegel's "The Lineup"! Debra Paget is very appealing in a very small role that gets her fourth billing. Jeffrey Hunter is likable as the man in the crowd outside the hotel who falls for her.

This was Grace Kelly's first film role. She looks gorgeous and seems very poised. Her store, that of an onlooker on her way to divorcing her husband, is extraneous. Yes, it sets up a different kind of relationship to others and to the world from what the Basehart character has. But it is far from integral.

Barbara Bel Geddes is very likable as the girl who loves Basehart. She has a small but very significant role.

The movie is very sad. In a way, it is as if Tennessee Williams had written a very fine script for a thriller. We like many of the characters and are put off by others. But we're deeply moved by what goes on.


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