7.5/10
7,835
61 user 27 critic

The Desperate Hours (1955)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 13 February 1956 (Sweden)
Three escaped convicts move in on and terrorize a suburban household.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

Joseph Hayes (screenplay), Joseph Hayes (adapted from the novel and play by)
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Glenn Griffin
Fredric March ... Dan C. Hilliard
Arthur Kennedy ... Deputy Sheriff Jesse Bard
Martha Scott ... Ellie Hilliard
Dewey Martin ... Hal Griffin
Gig Young ... Chuck Wright
Mary Murphy ... Cindy Hilliard
Richard Eyer ... Ralphie Hilliard
Robert Middleton ... Sam Kobish
Alan Reed ... Detective
Bert Freed ... Tom Winston
Ray Collins ... Sheriff Masters
Whit Bissell ... FBI Agent Carson
Ray Teal ... State Police Lt. Fredericks
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Storyline

After escaping from prison, Glenn Griffin, his brother Hal and a third inmate Sam Kobish randomly select a house in a well-to-do suburb of Indianapolis in which to hide out. The home belongs to the Hilliard family, Dan and Ellie who live there with their 19-year old daughter Cindy and their young son Ralph. They plan on staying only until midnight as Griffin is awaiting his girlfriend who will meet them with some money he had stashed away. When she doesn't arrive, their stay stretches out to several days. Dan Hilliard plays their game knowing that if he makes any attempt to contact the police, his family could be caught in the crossfire. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A reign of violence sweeps the screen


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 February 1956 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Horas desesperadas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,388,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,500,000, 31 December 1955
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie and the play on which it was based, are loosely based on the experience of the Hill family in 1952. An article published by Life magazine about the play is the subject of the Supreme Court case Time Inc. v. Hill, in which the family sued the magazine for stating that play depicted what really happened. See more »

Goofs

When Eleanor makes the phone call, she and Glenn change position between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[the morning newspaper hits the front door]
Eleanor Hilliard: I'll get it, darling.
Dan Hilliard: Some morning I'm gonna catch up with that kid.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Birth of the Living Dead (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not bad but a bit of a letdown
24 September 2016 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Trio of escaped convicts, led by Humphrey Bogart, take Fredric March and his family hostage in their own home. A well-acted thriller directed by William Wyler that, unfortunately, doesn't have as much edge as it should. This doesn't even seem particularly gritty by 1955 standards and it's certainly tame in comparison to the decades of far more brutal home invasion movies. It is interesting and the cast does a good job for the most part, but it's lacking that extra something to give it the proper amount of tension it needs. I didn't even find these guys all that menacing. Plus the characters do things that just seem to make no sense other than to keep the plot going in the way the writer needs it to. It's certainly not a bad movie, and I would probably watch Bogart and March read the phone book, but I just can't help but feel that this doesn't quite click. At least for me. I really think it would have been much better if it had more of a film noir style and edge to it. As it is, it has no visual style at all and the only menace comes from threats and tough guy talk.


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