review for Fourteen Hours on AllMovie

Fourteen Hours (1951)
by Adam Bregman review

This exceptional and mostly forgotten drama about a man on a ledge threatening to jump has several stories encircling the main conflict Irish beat cop, Dunnigan (Paul Douglas), attempting to talk down the jumper, Robert Cosick (Richard Basehart). Douglas is excellent with a genuine warmth to his character that moves Robert to talk with him and consider coming down. Basehart has a tough role and isn't up to it, coming off as so depressed and out of it that he fumbles through his lines. His character isn't nearly as strong or as interesting as Douglas'. Robert's mom Agnes Moorehead and dad Robert Keith show up and add to his misery, as the police make many varied and unsuccessful attempts at grabbing him and talking him down. Grace Kelly, in her first film, appears in a very tiny role as one of the spectacle's many witnesses, which range from a bunch of disgruntled taxi drivers stuck in traffic to a young couple that falls for each other to a crazy pseudo-priest. Fourteen Hours is a compelling story stolen from the headlines of the time and skillfully directed by Henry Hathaway.