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14 Hours (Fox Film Noir)

Paul Douglas , Richard Basehart , Henry Hathaway    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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14 Hours (Fox Film Noir) + I Wake Up Screaming (Fox Film Noir) + Boomerang (Fox Film Noir)
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Product Description

Film noir, a classic film style of the ‘40s and ‘50s, is noted for its dark themes, stark camera angles and high-contrast lighting. Comprising many of Hollywood’s finest films, film noir tells realistic stories about crime, mystery, femmes fatales and conflict.

This compelling suspense drama spends its time with a tormented young man (Richard Basehart) as he teeters on a New York hotel’s 15th floor window ledge, deciding whether or not to jump. Paul Douglas plays a traffic cop, the first officer on the scene, and through his gentle, compassionate talk, he becomes the only one the man on the ledge trusts. He certainly doesn’t trust his mother (Agnes Moorehead) or ex-fiancée (Barbara Bel Geddes). The crowd below is mesmerized and for some, the fourteen hours that follow will change their lives forever. This film is notable for the film debut of Grace Kelly in a small role.


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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 Hours March 3 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this movie, as well as the performances of stars Richard Basehart and Paul Douglas. The movie keeps you and the edge of your seat, as Basehart threatens to jump, and Douglas is the man brought in to talk him down off the ledge.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tense FOURTEEN HOURS in 92 Minutes Sept. 1 2006
By Ray K. Sibul - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The-man-on-the-ledge theme has been used in movies and on TV so often over the years that it has surely reached cliche status by now.
Director Henry Hathaway, however, in FOURTEEN HOURS (1951) guides the drama and urban tensions with such sure-handed craftsmanship, that this ledge jumper based film has remained almost as powerfully involving and suspenseful today as it was 55 years ago.
Furthermore, Hathaway gives FOURTEEN HOURS a master's touch by utilizing his own established and innovative semidocumentary style (see THE HOUSE ON 92nd STREET (1945); KISS OF DEATH (1947)). Thus, FOURTEEN HOURS, with its low-keyed black-and-white cinematography, effectively captures a segment of Manhattan's dramatically restless urban world in moody noir fashion.
And in addition, strong performances abound.
Especially noteworthy is Richard Basehart (the cause of all the commotion) as the disturbed 14hr. ledge occupant way way up on the fifteenth floor of a Manhattan hotel on St. Patrick's Day. (Actually, all this is based on a true incident; the film realistically depicts the sensationalistic media frenzy surrounding the event, with news-starved reporters everywhere, and some crude, insensitive behavior by numerous spectators).
Paul Douglas likewise shines in his role as a traffic cop who tries to keep Basehart from jumping.
Also, Barbara Bel Geddes is impressive (and eloquently gentle) as Basehart's former fiancee.
The many-faceted spectator emotions (some quite strong) on the street and surroundings set other little dramas in motion.
Here even Grace Kelly makes her film debut, as a maritally unhappy spectator observing and reacting to Basehart's plight above. Debra Paget and Jeffrey Hunter are also nearby.

By all means, add this fascinating and strongly fatalistic noir to your collection. Here are 5 stars to welcome its DVD appearance in such excellent condition.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tense Docu-Drama Sept. 17 2006
By David Baldwin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This cinema-verite account of a man hovering on the ledge of a high story New York hotel works on all cylinders. Director Henry Hathaway masterfully weaves all the threads of the ensuing circus flawlessly. From the police operation, the media hordes, the curiousity seekers on the ground, and ultimately to the scenes on the ledge we are kept enthralled throughout. The film that this one brought to my mind is "Dog Day Afternoon" in it's portrayal of a media circus. For this type of film to work there has to be a certain suspension of disbelief. Despite the presence of some well known actors(Paul Douglas, Richard Basehart, Agnes Moorehead, Barbara Bel Geddes, et al) we are so caught up in the emotions of the events that we are led to believe them as real people. Film is also of interest for some up-and-coming actors who blend seemlessly into the fabric of the film(Grace Kelly, Jeffrey Hunter, Ossie Davis, Harvey Lembeck). "Fourteen Hours" definitely rates as an unqualified success.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional! April 26 2009
By Marvin B. Kujawski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film is a great example of film noir. Paul Douglas gives his usual rock-solid performance and the supporting cast is excellant; Agnes Moorehead and Jeff Corey in particular and Barbara Bel Geddes' performance is intregal but it is the great Richard Basehart that drives this movie. His performance is poignant,expressive,exciting and intense; truely remarkable!
I find the filming to be exceptional; the location shots adding great credibility to the story. Great movie!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great acting by Basehart March 31 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Richard Basehart (Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) is the man on the ledge. I thought he gave a great performance throughout. I didn't really care for the psychology bit, but that doesn't take up much of the movie. A few cuts to other things going on down on the street and in a building across the way (with Grace Kelly) add to the movie. Some film noir moments, but I don't know if I'd label it as film noir. Overall I enjoyed it and will definitely keep it in my collection and watch it more than once.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 1/2 Hours too short Sept. 16 2010
By ronzo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
***SPOILERS***

Realizing what a technical `tour de force' this film is begins when one finds out that much of this film, though it looks like it was shot mostly on location in New York, was actually filmed in Fox's Studio, Stage 8. What a superb job by all the crew, especially director Henry Hathaway, cinematographer Joe MacDonald, and film editor Dorothy Spencer. I wouldn't be surprised to find that those with a fear of heights have difficulty watching it; it looks very realistic.

On the surface, our story involves Robert Cosick (Richard Basehart). The film begins with a series of locational and studio shots that emphasize loneliness and desolation. Soon, Cosick is outside his hotel room, on a ledge, which is on the 15th floor. A woman's scream alerts Police Officer Charlie Dunnigan (Paul Douglas), who is on traffic detail at the time, that there is a `jumper'. After a quick phone call into police headquarters, Dunnigan rushes to the scene, and is the first to usefully help Cosick. One gets the feeling that he could have had him off the ledge had not the police (led by Howard Da Silva) started pouring into the room, exciting the high-strung Cosick.

The authorities and behavioural specialists try to establish who `the jumper' is and why he might be in trouble. Eventually, Cosick's mother (Agnes Moorehead), his father (Robert Keith), and his ex-fiancee (Barbara Bel Geddes) are called up to talk to him. Unfortunately, his mother and father are part of the reason that he is up there, and the apparent reason why his relationships all fail.

In a way, Cosick is there to counterpoint what is going on around him. Being a film noir, there is a certain amount of cynicism. But for all the selfishness, cynicism, and despair the film contains, there is also a lot of hope. Grace Kelly, in her first role (a small one), was on her way to get a divorce finalized when she saw Cosick on the ledge and thought how her own situation was not really that bad: the couple reconcile. Elsewhere Debra Paget and Jeffrey Hunter meet in the crowd and fall in love. Hunter says that beautiful things can spring from the greatest tragedies: he and Paget usually went to work at different times and never would have met otherwise.

On yet another level, this John Paxton screenplay is most assuredly, IMO, a critique of contemporary American society. But it can also simply be savoured for the humanism and superb performance of Paul Douglas as Officer Dunnigan.
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