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Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at tawses67424@mypacks.net and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

FOURTEEN HOURS

Richard Basehart and Robert Keith
FOURTEEN HOURS (1951). Director: Henry Hathaway.

A troubled and emotionally disturbed man, Robert Cosick (Richard Basehart), climbs out on a ledge of a New York City hotel and refuses to leave. No one -- not his ex-fiancee (Barbara Bel Geddes), mother (Agnes Moorehead), father (Robert Keith), or a traffic cop named Dunnigan (Paul Douglas) -- can coax him to come inside as others try to figure out who he is and what's upsetting him. Fourteen Hours is well-photographed and well-acted -- Douglas is especially outstanding -- but neither its characters nor psychological undertones are developed in any compelling fashion, and as a thriller it only works sporadically. The big climax is disappointing as well. Still, it holds the attention and has some exciting moments even though it fails to sustain the tension of the situation. [Part of the trouble is that you sense Cosick's problems aren't all that severe. Some feel that he is a gay man struggling with his sexuality in a less-enlightened time period, and while that might certainly fit, the film itself doesn't really explore or confirm this.] Grace Kelly plays a woman in a divorce lawyer's office in a building across the way, while Jeffrey Hunter makes time with another woman (Debra Paget?) down in the crowd -- these unnecessary side stories are not well-integrated into the plot. [The lady Hunter is interested in seems to have concern for Cosick, but whey would she actually want to be there to see it if he jumped?] Howard Da Silva plays a testy police chief.

Verdict: Okay suspense film with some good performances. **1/2.

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