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The Desperate Hours (Bilingual)

22 customer reviews

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Desperate Hours
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Product Details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Fredric March, Arthur Kennedy, Martha Scott, Dewey Martin
  • Directors: William Wyler
  • Writers: Jay Dratler, Joseph Hayes
  • Producers: William Wyler, Robert Wyler
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Closed-captioned, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Paramount
  • Release Date: June 10 2003
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008Z44E
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Product Description

Product Description

Escaped criminals hold a family hostage.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: NR
Release Date: 12-DEC-2003
Media Type: DVD

Humphrey Bogart is at his villainous best in William Wyler's taut home-invasion thriller, The Desperate Hours. Sharply adapted by John Hayes from his own fact-based novel and Broadway play, this marked a slight departure for Wyler, whose celebrated versatility is on ready display as Bogart--leading a panicky trio of escaped convicts--seizes control of a suburban family in the (dis)comfort of their own home. The domestic terror (similarly dramatized in the 1954 potboiler Suddenly) escalates as cautious patriarch Frederic March waits for an opportunity to retaliate, while the police (led by Arthur Kennedy) close in for an ambush. Viewers may recognize the home's exterior from TV's Leave It to Beaver, while its interior gives Wyler a sealed chamber for nail-biting advances and setbacks--and Bogey was rarely better at portraying ruthless, unpredictable menace. Poorly remade in 1990, The Desperate Hours remains a potent precursor to the many similar films (like Panic Room) that followed its enduring example. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: DVD
The Desperate Hours(released Oct/55)stars,among others,Humphrey Bogart as Glenn Griffin,Fredric March as Daniel C. Hilliard,Arthur Kennedy as Deputy Sheriff Jesse Bard,Martha Scott as Eleanor Hilliard,Dewey Martin as Hal Griffin and Gig Young as Chuck Wright.Veteran director William Wyler is at the helm of this mid 50s thriller,with the pairing for the first and only time of thesps Bogie and Fredric March.It is the Petrified Forest meets suburbia.While Petrified had enough eccentricity in its characters and plot to keep you glued to your seat,this one doesn't have near the same dynamic at all.Wyler's direction is good and all actors apprise themselves with surprising hutzpah,but I was expecting a little more tension and twists.It's not bad,it's just could have been much better.
The story finds Bogie as one half of the Griffin brothers,along with an overgrown child/convict as their tag along.They have just broken jail and are looking for some place to crash until they're able to get out of town and slip through a dragnet the police have thrown up in the area.The police know they're somewhere nearby but they don't,as the film opens,know exactly.We are introduced,next,to the Hilliard family,with March as the head of the household,who has a wife,a teenage daughter and a young son.It's Father Knows Best,typical suburbia of the 50s time.Bogie and his entourage of course pick the Hilliard home as their hide out when everyone but Mrs.Hilliard is out.
One by one each member of the household make their way back home throughout the day the day to find their new guests.Bogie of course has to get tough not only with the Hilliards,but his accomplices also,who both balk at their having to stay so long.
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Format: DVD
THE DESPERATE HOURS (USA 1955): The patriarch of a middle-class suburban family (Fredric March) is forced to take action when they're held hostage in their own home by three escaped convicts, one of whom (Humphrey Bogart) is an experienced lifer with nothing to lose...
The first and only pairing of superstars Bogart and March is a tightly-wound thriller, written by Joseph Hayes (based on his novel and stageplay, inspired by actual events), and directed by Hollywood veteran William Wyler, distancing himself from the 'women's pictures' he had helped to popularize during the 1940's (THE LITTLE FOXES, MRS. MINIVER, THE HEIRESS etc.). Photographed in gleaming deep-focus VistaVision by Lee Garmes (SCARFACE, THE PARADINE CASE), the movie wrings incredible tension from the claustrophobic settings and frequent stand-offs between staunch family man March and embittered con Bogart. The movie's themes are fairly conservative and the outcome is never really in doubt, but this is a top-drawer thriller from Hollywood's 'golden age'. Also starring Arthur Kennedy, Martha Scott, Dewey Martin and Gig Young in crucial supporting roles. Unmissable.
The movie runs 112m 25s on Paramount's region 1 DVD, and the image is letterboxed at approx. 1.85:1 (anamorphically enhanced), the recommended aspect ratio of most VistaVision movies. The beautiful black and white photography is supported by a strong Dolby 2.0 mono soundtrack, and the disc contains English captions and subtitles. There are no extras, not even a trailer.
NB. Though nowhere near as dreadful as most critics would have you believe, Michael Cimino's remake DESPERATE HOURS (1990) isn't a patch on the original.
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Format: DVD
this film, like many other great classics, been forgotten or so it seems. i have always cherished this little gem. it was directed by William Wyler, a man whose name is synonymous with great filmmaking. though this film may pale in comparison to the epic "Ben Hur" it should by no means be disregarded.
the basic premise is a band of criminals "on the lam" from the police decide to converge upon a midwestern family and use their home as a refuge from the authorities. Humphrey Bogart gives one of the best performances of his career, reviving the old gangster type roles which propelled him to stardom in the 1930s. to divulge any of the plot elements would be unfair to anyone considering the viewing or purchase of this great little gem of a film. it seizes your attention from the beginning with its ominous score to the last riveting scene and never lets go.
as for the DVD, the picture clarity is amazingly sharp and the sound is good too. as for the special features, there are none. this was very disappointing. this one really deserved the special treatment. in spite of its lack of special features, the clarity and sound are enough to warrant a closer look at this wonderful little film.
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Format: VHS Tape
I have been a Bogart fan all my life. He was that rare Hollywood breed so seldom seen today - and actor AND a movie star. In this "little" movie, Bogart and March lock wills - each knowing that the other is dangerous and desperate, each knowing that they both have more than their own lives to lose. They take the conflict to the edge, their hands, virtually at each other's throats in nearly every scene and then find a way to back off to live another day or another hour. In the quiet moments, March stares away from the camera several times, effectively showing the "wheels turning," an action not lost on Bogart. When he catches him at it he says "click-ity, click-ity" and warns him not to try anything. Advice, you know he'll never heed. This movie may not appeal to viewers who have grown up watching shoot-em-ups but movie fans and fans of good acting will find plenty to hold their attention. A few of the bit players, especially the cops, are saddled with hokey 1950's dialog but you'll get over it. The ending is all you could ask for. I suggest you give it a shot.
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