The Desperate Hours (1955)
The Desperate Hours is a 1955 film from Paramount Pictures starring Humphrey Bogart and Fredric March. The movie was produced and directed by William Wyler and based on a novel and play of the same name written by Joseph Hayes which were loosely based on actual events. The original Broadway production had actor Paul Newman in the Bogart role but he was passed over for the movie because Bogart was a much bigger star. The character was made older in the script so Bogart could play the part. Bogart said he viewed the story as "Duke Mantee grown up," Mantee having been Bogart's breakthrough movie role in The Petrified Forest. Spencer Tracy was first cast to be in the film with Bogart, but the two friends both insisted on top billing and Tracy eventually withdrew. The role of Glenn Griffin was Bogart's last as a villain. The Desperate Hours was the first black-and-white movie in VistaVision, Paramount's wide-screen process. The house used in the final seasons of the television series Leave it to Beaver was used for exterior shots of the Hilliards' home. In 1956, Joseph Hayes won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Motion Picture Screenplay.