The Desperate Hours

From 1955, William Wyler's drama was based on a play, and the setting shows it--basically one suburban house where three fugitives (Humphrey Bogart among them) take a nice middle-class family hostage. Fredric March is the patriarch who faces down Bogie's killer; each is like a doppelgänger of the other. Leading two goons, Bogie is a bit of a father figure, constantly having his authority questioned. And proud family man March must finally consider the violence latent within himself. There isn't tremendous subtlety to the source play (or the novel before that, both by John Hayes), but the players and director are experts in suspense. Shot in wide screen by Lee Garmes, the film also wrings considerable drama out of deep-focus compositions as the invaders and their hostages move about the house. Also look for Arthur Kennedy as one of the cops waiting outside. (NR) BRIAN MILLER

July 2-8, 6:30 & 9:30 p.m.; Sat., July 3, 4 p.m.; Sun., July 4, 4 p.m., 2010

 
comments powered by Disqus