Fourteen Hours (1951 Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller)

Directed by Henry Hathaway, which tells the story of a New York City police officer trying to stop a despondent man from jumping to his death from the 15th floor of a hotel. The film won critical acclaim for Richard Basehart, who portrayed the mentally disturbed man on the building ledge. Paul Douglas played the police officer, and a large supporting cast included Barbara Bel Geddes, Agnes Moorehead, Robert Keith, Debra Paget, and Howard Da Silva. It was the screen debut of Grace Kelly and Jeffrey Hunter, who appeared in small roles. The screenplay was written by John Paxton, based on an article by Joel Sayre in The New Yorker describing the 1938 suicide of John William Warde. Plot Early one morning, a room-service waiter at a New York City hotel is horrified to discover that the young man to whom he has just delivered breakfast is standing on the narrow ledge outside his room on the 15th floor. Charlie Dunnigan, a policeman on traffic duty in the street below, tries to talk him off the ledge to no avail. He is ordered back to traffic patrol by NYPD emergency services deputy chief Moksar, but he is ordered to return when the man on the ledge will not speak to psychiatrists summoned to the scene. Coached by a psychiatrist, Dunnigan tries to relate to the man on the ledge as one human to another. The police identify the man as Robert Cosick and locate his mother, but her overwrought, hysterical behavior only upsets Cosick and seems to drive him toward jumping. His father, whom he despises, arrives. The divorced father and mother clash over old family issues, and the conflict is played out in front of the police. Dunnigan seeks to reconcile Robert with his father, whom Cosick has been brought up to hate by his mother. Dunnigan forces Mrs. Cosick to reveal the identity of a “Virginia” mentioned by Robert, and she turns out to be his estranged fiancĂ©e. While this is happening, a crowd is gathering below. Cab drivers are wagering on when he will jump. A young stock-room clerk named Danny is wooing a fellow office worker, Ruth, whom he meets by chance on the street. A woman is seen at a nearby law office, where she is about to sign the final papers for her divorce. Amid legal formalities, she watches the drama unfold. Moved by the tragic events, she decides to reconcile with her husband. Cast Paul Douglas as Patrolman Charlie Dunnigan Richard Basehart as Robert Cosick Barbara Bel Geddes as Virginia Foster Debra Paget as Ruth Agnes Moorehead as Christine Hill Cosick Robert Keith as Paul E. Cosick Howard Da Silva as Deputy Chief Moskar Jeffrey Hunter as Danny Klempner Martin Gabel as Dr. Strauss Grace Kelly as Mrs. Louise Ann Fuller Frank Faylen as Walter, room service waiter Jeff Corey as Police Sgt. Farley James Millican as Police Sgt. Boyle Donald Randolph as Dr. Benson

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