7.1/10
1,982
34 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:

From the edge of the ledge he defied them all! 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

Mentioned by blacklisted actor Howard Da Silva in an episode of Pantomime Quiz (1957) with Walter Brennan and Vincent Price, this was his last film or TV appearance until Play of the Week: Thieves Carnival (1959). 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

Robert Cosick: Life stinks and you know it.
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

He Ain't Superman
8 March 2009 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

A movie like this presents a real challenge. After all, the producers have got what amounts to a single set, two main characters, and 90 minutes to fill. So to please ticket-buying customers, they better come up with something good. Fortunately, they do. The plot is a literal cliffhanger or maybe skyscraper is more apt--- will a suicidal young Richard Basehart jump from his 20th floor ledge or not. He certainly has audiences on both sides of the screen glued to the suspense, at the same time city police try to convince him it's better to be an unhappy bi-ped than a bird without wings. Good thing that the producers also come up with one of the best young actors of the time--- Basehart, who acts just foggy enough to teeter on a ledge and play Hamlet. Then there's that genial roughneck Paul Douglas as the cop who tries to persuade him that it's really better to be than not-to-be.

Note how ace studio director Hathaway keeps the hotel room bustling so that the static ledge shots don't become boring. Also, note how TV is competing with radio coverage at a time when the tube was just beginning to take off. Then there're the subplots that take the pulse of the city. The cynical cabbies do offer comic relief. But, frankly, I could have done without the young lovers, Paget and Hunter, who appear better suited to a Pepsi commercial, or the Grace Kelly soap opera that comes across as trite and unimaginative. But I guess the producers figured a variety of relief was needed. Also, I can see from the close-ups why Hitchcock liked Barbara Bel Geddes (Virginia). She pulls off the really difficult task of being sweetly wholesome without drowning the part in sugar.

All in all, there's enough skill and craftsmanship in this TCF production to keep even digital- age audiences on the edge of their seat.


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