14 Hours (aka Fourteen Hours) (1951): Hathaway’s Thriller, Starring Paul Douglas, Richard Basehart, and Grace Kelly in her Screen Debut

Henry Hathaway’s exciting thriller, 14 Hours, 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.

Fourteen Hours
Fourteen hours 1951 poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster

The film won critical acclaim for 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.

Among those who appear in cameos are Ossie Davis, Harvey Lembeck, and Joyce Van Patten.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Art Direction-Set Decoration: Lyle Wheeler and Leland Fuller; Thomas Little and Fred J. Rode

Oscar Awards:


Oscar Context:

The winner of the Art Direction was Kazan’s masterpiece, A Streetcar Named Desire.


Directed by Henry Hathaway
Screenplay by John Paxton, based on The Man on the Ledge 1949 short story by Joel Sayre
Produced by Sol C. Siegel
Cinematography Joseph MacDonald
Edited by Dorothy Spencer
Music by Alfred Newman
Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox

Release date: March 6, 1951 (United States)

Running time: 92 minutes