Best Movies by Farr

The Desperate Hours

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What's it About

Three escaped convicts led by Glenn Griffin (Bogart) hold a family hostage in their middle-class suburban home, urging them to go about their normal routine so as not to arouse suspicion. Griffin is waiting for his girlfriend to deposit getaway cash in a local bank, but when she does, policeman Jesse Bard (Kennedy) begins to close in with his men. Meanwhile, dad Dan Hilliard (March) is hatching a more subtle plan of his own to foil the home invaders.

Why we love it

Based on an actual incident, Wyler’'s nail-biting, hard-boiled thriller was adapted from his own novel by John Hayes, who keeps the dialogue and scene-to-scene transitions sharpened to a point. But it’'s the acting that makes “"Hours"” so memorable: Kennedy, March, Martha Scott (as the mother) and Dewey Martin (as Glenn’'s kid brother) are all superb, and Bogie is at his villainous best as Griffin, a desperate man driven to increasingly desperate measures. Wyler wanted the audience to feel anxious; will the arrival of the cops help or imperil the Hilliards? That’'s the squeaky hinge on which this nerve-wracking domestic-terror film swings.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"