5.4/10
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52 user 33 critic

Desperate Hours (1990)

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

Director:

Michael Cimino

Writers:

Joseph Hayes (novel), Joseph Hayes (play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mickey Rourke ... Michael Bosworth
Anthony Hopkins ... Tim Cornell
Mimi Rogers ... Nora Cornell
Lindsay Crouse ... Brenda Chandler
Kelly Lynch ... Nancy Breyers
Elias Koteas ... Wally Bosworth
David Morse ... Albert
Shawnee Smith ... May Cornell
Danny Gerard Danny Gerard ... Zack Cornell
Gerry Bamman ... Ed Tallent
Matt McGrath ... Kyle
John Christopher Jones John Christopher Jones ... Neff
Dean Norris ... Maddox
John Finn ... Lexington
Christopher Curry ... Chabon
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Storyline

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 <rcs0411@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

24 Stunden in seiner Gewalt See more »

Filming Locations:

Alta, Utah, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,742,912
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An interrogation scene between Chandler (Lindsay Crouse) and Breyers (Kelly Lynch) was cut from the final film, because test audiences were convinced that the scene implied that the two are lesbians. See more »

Quotes

Cop: [Brenda warned her agents to not fire at the house, but she wasn't heard and they fired anyway. A cop tries to rescue her] Are you hurt?
Brenda Chandler: Only in my ego!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Beyond: Last Action Hero (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

BREAKIN' THE CHAIN
Performed by Cindy Bullens
Written by Cindy Bullens and David Mansfield
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A perfect example of a movie being so bad it's good
16 July 2008 | by squeezeboxSee all my reviews

This is one of those movies that is very difficult to give a star rating because its high entertainment value is due to the fact that it's almost completely terrible.

A remake of the 1955 Humphry Bogart-Fredric March potboiler, DESPERATE HOURS is an unrelentingly bizarre piece of exploitation trash. There's virtually nothing "good" about it. The screenplay ranges from scattershot to just plain off-the-wall weird, the performances are some of the most over-the-top ever committed to film and the direction is borderline psychotic. Director Michael Cimino and producer Dino De Laurentiis once again prove that they are more capable than anyone else in the film industry of taking a potentially good idea and drowning it in excessiveness.

Mickey Rourke and Anthony Hopkins are both excellent actors. They are also actors who go from mannered to berserk very quickly. Both chew the scenery as if their lives depend on it. Mimi Rodgers is wooden even during emotionally intense scenes, Shawnee Smith is distraught before the home invaders show up and Lindsay Crouse is both wooden and over-the-top at the same time.

Kelly Lynch is the only actor who turns in even an appropriate performance, evoking a sense of hopelessness and panic from the start that makes you feel for her character, even if she has dug her own grave. This doesn't help a bewildering early scene in which her blouse spontaneously pops open to reveal her bare breasts make any more sense, however.

There are a lot of interesting plot and characterization ideas floating around the proceedings but none of them are ever fully developed. It reminds me of Cimino's HEAVEN'S GATE and De Laurentiis's DUNE, two similarly flawed but occasionally brilliant disasters which have grown better with age. Maybe with time, viewers will begin to see the tight, complex thriller struggling to break through the mess that is DESPERATE HOURS.

But all this analysis begs the question, would the movie have been more entertaining had it been put together more coherently? The answer is: probably not.


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