The Desperate Hours


Crime / Drama / Film-Noir / Thriller

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Humphrey Bogart Photo
Humphrey Bogart as Glenn Griffin
Beverly Garland Photo
Beverly Garland as Miss Swift
Mary Murphy Photo
Mary Murphy as Cindy Hilliard
Richard Eyer Photo
Richard Eyer as Ralphy Hilliard
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.01 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
P/S 2 / 6
1.87 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 52 min
P/S 2 / 14

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Leofwine_draca7 / 10

Home invasion, '50s style

THE DESPERATE HOURS is another classic example of the home invasion genre, an exciting and suspenseful black and white story about an ordinary suburban family finding their home taken over by a trio of escaped convicts. It's similar to the Frank Sinatra flick SUDDENLY, although perhaps not quite as exciting, but the real draw here is the presence of Bogart as the master criminal. Much of the story is a battle of wits between Bogart and old-timer Fredric March, another one putting in a fine performance. William Wyler's direction is assertive and intriguing, and the suspense builds to a surprisingly fresh and modern-feeling climax that delivers the goods.

Reviewed by classicsoncall7 / 10

"I got it in me, you put it there."

I don't know how movie goers in the Fifties reacted to this film, but viewing it today makes the events in the story seem pretty preposterous. Not that it didn't have it's moments of psychological drama and tense confrontation, but it seems to me that Dan Hilliard (Fredric March) and daughter Cindy (Mary Murphy) had way too much freedom to go about their normal routines without attempting to reach out for help. Granted there was the element of danger to the remaining family members, but the do nothing approach of playing along with gangster Glenn Griffin (Humphrey Bogart) and his cohorts wore thin on me as the story unfolded. Back that up with all of the unsupervised time that Ellie (Martha Scott) and son Ralph seemed to have, it just left me wondering why they didn't take advantage of all the windows and doors in their large suburban home.

As an experienced con, Griffin didn't seem to have that much control over brother Hal (Dewey Martin) and the big lug Kobish (Robert Middleton). That was most evident in the back to back scenarios where each refused to give up his gun to the boss. Allowing Hal to leave was another tactical mistake, at least he could have left his weapon. For all his macho bravado, Griffin wasn't thinking very clearly.

Even boyfriend Chuck managed to bother me; why take the hard line stance with the Feds when they're about to break the case? Getting to the Hilliard home before even one police car arrived also seemed to defy credibility.

Credit Fredric March for rising above the source material to provide a reasonably compelling performance as the put upon Ward Cleaver stand in. Now there's a thought - with the film shot using the same exterior set as the one used in "Leave It To Beaver", wouldn't it have been great to see the Beav put one over on the Griffin's and Kobish?

OK, I seem to be getting unduly harsh on "The Desperate Hours". I guess the best way to view the film is to tuck away the criticism and get caught up in the flow of the story. In his last gangster turn, Bogey's still credible as a movie tough guy, and wired about as hair trigger as Duke Mantee, Baby Face Martin and Mad Dog Earle. This was the only time he and March appeared in a film with each other, and their scenes together are stand out.

Reviewed by bkoganbing7 / 10

Bogey's return to the Thirties

Humphrey Bogart got his first real notice on the silver screen in The Petrified Forest, repeating a role he did on Broadway. As Duke Mantee, criminal on the run, he held the occupants of a diner hostage for several hours.

Here in The Desperate Hours, Bogey takes over a role that Paul Newman originated on Broadway. Bogart, Dewey Martin and Robert Middleton play three escaped convicts who drive to Indianapolis because Bogart wants to kill the officer that arrested him. Dewey Martin is Bogart's younger brother and Robert Middleton is their brutal partner in the escape.

Given the age difference between Bogart and Paul Newman, I'm sure the role of Glenn Griffin was played quite differently by Newman on stage. Similarly Karl Malden played Dan Hilliard on stage and Fredric March plays him for the screen. March is no hero here, he's just an ordinary family man trapped with his family in a terrible situation.

Rounding out the Hilliard family is wife Martha Scott, daughter Mary Murphy and son Richard Eyer. Martha Scott had appeared with March before as his wife in One Foot in Heaven. She does well here also, but I do wonder where the real Mrs. March was, Florence Eldridge. It seems like a good joint project for both of them.

The Desperate Hours is a good suspenseful thriller that will keep you glued to your seat. These are real people here, not some Hollywood type situation comedy family. You will care about what the eventual outcome will be.

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