The Desperate Hours

by  Joseph Hayes

Full Length Play, Melodrama  /  11m, 3f

"That very rare thing, an almost perfect melodrama, fast, tight, logical, combining sentiment with gunfire in exactly the right proportions." - The New Yorker

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The Desperate Hours

by  Joseph Hayes

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    11m, 3f
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Mystery/Thriller
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Tony, From Broadway

Additional Info

The Hilliards are a typical family living on the outskirts of Indianapolis; abruptly, their pleasant home becomes a jungle full of cunning and violence. Mr. Hilliard and nineteen-year-old Cindy are allowed to go to work, while Mrs. Hilliard and ten-year-old Ralphie remain in the house as hostages. Meanwhile, the police search closes in inexorably, conducted by a deputy sheriff who has his own reasons for wanting to kill. The Hilliards are helpless. A murder occurs. The police move closer. Adapted from Joseph Hayes' best-selling novel. A smash hit on Broadway starring Paul Newman, this revised edition of The Desperate Hours has been simplified to employ a less complicated set.

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Accolades

  • Winner! Tony® Award for Best Play

Reviews

"That very rare thing, an almost perfect melodrama, fast, tight, logical, combining sentiment with gunfire in exactly the right proportions." - The New Yorker

Considerations

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Present Day
  • Setting: Indianapolis. The present. Autumn.
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

11m, 3f

TOM WINSTON
JESSE BARD
HARRY CARSON
ELEANOR HILLIARD
RALPHIE HILLIARD
DAN HILLIARD
CINDY HILLIARD
GLENN GRIFFIN
HANK GRIFFIN
ROBISH
CHUCK WRIGHT
MR. PATTERSON
LT. CARL FREDERICKS
MISS SWIFT

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Authors

Joseph Hayes

Joseph Hayes (August 2, 1918 – September 11, 2006) grew up writing novels and plays in his native Indianapolis, Indiana. His most successful work, The Desperate Hours, was turned into a novel, a Tony Award-winning Broadway play, and a film, which in 1956 won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America. In 1962 ...

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The Desperate Hours was first presented at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York City on February 10, 1955. Directed by Robert Montgomery.

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