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

The exterior of the house used in the film is the same set used as the Cleaver home in the TV series Leave It to Beaver (1957). 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

Featured in The Best of Film Noir (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Terrific suspense
22 January 2004 | by perfectbondSee all my reviews

This is yet another feather in the incomparable Bogart's cap. Terrific tension is generated in the hostage taking and the need to cover it up (I know it's wrong but I wanted the Griffin boys to succeed). The supporting cast is perfect in depicting a typical American family of the period. Kobish, the dimwitted but violent felon, was a great character and Dewey Martin, as the younger Griffin (he was also in another Bogart film, Knock on Any Door), probably had the most poignant line in the whole movie when he responds to his older brother, who said he "taught him everything," by replying "except how to live in a house like this." One thing I can't remember is whether or not we see Griffin's girlfriend onscreen at all. Well anyway, terrific movie, 9/10.


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