Desperate Hours



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Time Out says

From its two opening scenes - scenic and sensational(ist) respectively - it's pretty clear that Cimino's film of Joseph Hayes' thriller (a virtual remake of William Wyler's 1955 version) will be strong on visuals, weak on continuity and characterisation. Three hoodlums (Rourke, Koteas, Morse) randomly choose the Cornell home as a hideaway, and hold the family (Rogers, estranged husband Hopkins, and two kids) hostage. But where Wyler was content to wind up the claustrophobic tension, and focus on getting the best out of Bogart and Fredric March, Cimino appears distinctly frustrated by the scale of his materials. He does, however, manage to keep Rourke's escaped con - a volatile mix of charm and menace - under control, while Hopkins is dependably solid, if miscast as a Vietvet. Mostly, however, the impression is of Cimino trying to prove he can behave himself, and deserting his cast in the process. Not desperate, but disappointingly ordinary.


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Release details

UK release:



105 mins

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