The Desperate Hours

Overview

Based on the novel and play by Joseph Hayes, which in turn was inspired by an actual event, The Desperate Hours is the prototypical "family-trapped-by-criminals" drama. Escaped convicts Humphrey Bogart, Robert Middleton and Dewey Martin, seeking an appropriate hideout until they can make contact with their money supply, deliberately choose the suburban home of Fredric March and his family. The cold-blooded Bogart wants no trouble with the police, and he knows he can cower a family with children into cooperating ...
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Overview

Based on the novel and play by Joseph Hayes, which in turn was inspired by an actual event, The Desperate Hours is the prototypical "family-trapped-by-criminals" drama. Escaped convicts Humphrey Bogart, Robert Middleton and Dewey Martin, seeking an appropriate hideout until they can make contact with their money supply, deliberately choose the suburban home of Fredric March and his family. The cold-blooded Bogart wants no trouble with the police, and he knows he can cower a family with children into cooperating with him. The convict orders March, his wife Martha Scott, and their children Richard Eyer and Mary Murphy, to go about their normal activities so as not to arouse suspicion. Young Eyer, upset that March won't lift a hand against Bogart, assumes that his father is a coward. The authorities are alerted when March, at Bogart's behest, draws money for the convict's getaway from the bank. Pushed to the breaking point, March begins subtly turning the tables on the convicts. Bogart's character in Desperate Hours was originally written for a much younger man, which explains why Paul Newman was able to play the part in the original Broadway production. The film was slated to co-star Bogart with his old pal Spencer Tracy, but this plan fell through when the two actors couldn't agree on who would get top billing. Desperate Hours was remade in 1991 with Mickey Rourke in the Bogart role.
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Special Features

Closed Caption
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Adam Bregman
This is a great, hard-boiled crime film with Humphrey Bogart turning in another stellar performance near the end of his career. Bogart, along with Robert Middleton and Dewey Martin, are all excellent as a trio of escaped convicts confronting a suburban '50s-style family. In a way, you could look at the film as the last remnants of the noir era duking it out with the next generation of straight family men and their families who will rule the country in the late '50s. There's also the conflict of these poor, unmannered, violent crooks who resent Fredric March and his straight job and suit and tie. The Desperate Hours doesn't shy away from edgy violence. Bogart seems to be encouraging his younger brother to take advantage of Mary Murphy, and there's a scene where a completely innocent old man is driven out to the country and murdered in cold blood. For a two-hour film, The Desperate Hours is wound tight throughout and a thrill 'til the very last shot.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/2013
  • UPC: 883929303939
  • Original Release: 1955
  • Source: Paramount Catalog
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:52:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 9,205

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Humphrey Bogart Glenn Griffin
Fredric March Dan Hilliard
Arthur Kennedy Jesse Bard
Martha Scott Eleanor Hilliard
Dewey Martin Hal Griffin
Gig Young Chuck
Mary Murphy Cindy Hilliard
Richard Eyer Ralphie Hilliard
Robert Middleton Kobish
Alan Reed Sr. Detective
Bert Freed Winston
Ray Collins Masters
Whit Bissell Carson
Ray Teal Fredericks
Michael Moore Detective
Don Haggerty Detective
Ric Roman Sal
Pat Flaherty Dutch
Beverly Garland Miss Swift
Louis Lettieri Bucky Walling
Ann Doran Mrs. Walling
Walter S. Baldwin Patterson
Burt Mustin
Technical Credits
William Wyler Director, Producer
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
Farciot Edouart Special Effects
John P. Fulton Special Effects
Lee Garmes Cinematographer
Grace Gregory Set Decoration/Design
Hugo Grenzbach Sound/Sound Designer
Joseph Hayes Screenwriter
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
J. McMillan Johnson Art Director
Gail Kubik Score Composer
Winston H. Leverett Sound/Sound Designer
Hal Pereira Art Director
Robert Swink Editor
Wally Westmore Makeup
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Desperate Hours
1. Chapter 1 [:18]
2. Chapter 2 [3:40]
3. Chapter 3 [2:22]
4. Chapter 4 [:51]
5. Chapter 5 [3:24]
6. Chapter 6 [3:43]
7. Chapter 7 [1:47]
8. Chapter 8 [5:16]
9. Chapter 9 [1:57]
10. Chapter 10 [3:28]
11. Chapter 11 [2:10]
12. Chapter 12 [3:43]
13. Chapter 13 [3:24]
14. Chapter 14 [:40]
15. Chapter 15 [7:14]
16. Chapter 16 [5:10]
17. Chapter 17 [1:55]
18. Chapter 18 [3:14]
19. Chapter 19 [3:58]
20. Chapter 20 [1:04]
21. Chapter 21 [2:22]
22. Chapter 22 [3:39]
23. Chapter 23 [1:50]
24. Chapter 24 [5:18]
25. Chapter 25 [:39]
26. Chapter 26 [1:24]
27. Chapter 27 [5:19]
28. Chapter 28 [:34]
29. Chapter 29 [2:16]
30. Chapter 30 [2:37]
31. Chapter 31 [2:04]
32. Chapter 32 [:19]
33. Chapter 33 [5:47]
34. Chapter 34 [1:43]
35. Chapter 35 [4:41]
36. Chapter 36 [2:19]
37. Chapter 37 [2:26]
38. Chapter 38 [3:14]
39. Chapter 39 [1:15]
40. Chapter 40 [3:05]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Desperate Hours
   Scene Selection
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