review for The Stolen Hours on AllMovie

The Stolen Hours (1963)
by Craig Butler review

The Stolen Hours is a perfectly respectable tearjerker, and those who have not experienced the far superior Dark Victory are likely to find it quite enjoyable. Unfortunately, for those familiar with Victory, the shadow of the earlier film haunts every frame of the remake, getting in the way of enjoying the film on its own terms. This extends even to the very fine acting of star Susan Hayward. She gives an all-out, affecting performance, full of the flash and fire that Hayward is noted for, as well as the vulnerability that liked to fight its way out from beneath all of the bluster. But as fine as her work is, it's not in the same league as that of Victory's Bette Davis, who achieved one of her career highlights in the original. Stolen also is a victim of time; by 1963, society and culture were changing, and "old time" Hollywood projects like this were often filmed with the hint that their makers just didn't quite believe in the material any more. Stolen also doesn't develop its supporting players enough, and while Michael Craig is good, he's still a bit stiff. Stolen does have a delicious, glossy look (and an overabundance of costume changes for Hayward), and there's some gorgeous scenery as well; this and Hayward's star presence make Stolen more than watchable, if less than classic.