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       Credits spell the producer’s last name as both DeLaurentiis and De Laurentiis.
       The 1 Nov 1989 Var announced that principal photography began 27 Oct 1989, with a reported budget of $18 million, according to the 3 Nov 1989 DV. The 7 Oct 1990 LAT estimated the cost to be closer to $20 million. The 28 Nov 1989 HR noted that director-producer Michael Cimino was set to finish shooting in early Dec, “five days ahead of schedule.”
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, principal photography began at Trout Lake near Telluride, CO, where Kelly Lynch’s “Nancy Breyers” parks her car and Elias Koteas’ “Wally Bosworth” later drives a Mercury Cougar into the water. Moving to Salt Lake City, UT, the production filmed at the Federal Courthouse, the City and County Building, a state prison, a television station, and other locations. Exteriors of the “Cornell” mansion were filmed in Salt Lake City’s exclusive Arlington Drive area, A confrontation between “Nancy Breyers” and Lindsay Crouse’s “Brenda Chandler” was shot at Brigham Young University’s empty football field in Provo, UT. Interiors of the Cornell house were built at the Ventura Entertainment Center in Orem, UT, with fully constructed rooms instead of studio breakaway walls and false ceilings, in order to create a look and feel of claustrophobia, both for actors and viewers. Several publications, including the 3 Nov 1989 DV and 4 Oct 1990 HR, noted that filming also took place in UT’s Zion National Park. An eight-minute interrogation scene between FBI agent Chandler and Breyers was edited out of the film because test audiences “read lesbian ... More Less

       Credits spell the producer’s last name as both DeLaurentiis and De Laurentiis.
       The 1 Nov 1989 Var announced that principal photography began 27 Oct 1989, with a reported budget of $18 million, according to the 3 Nov 1989 DV. The 7 Oct 1990 LAT estimated the cost to be closer to $20 million. The 28 Nov 1989 HR noted that director-producer Michael Cimino was set to finish shooting in early Dec, “five days ahead of schedule.”
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, principal photography began at Trout Lake near Telluride, CO, where Kelly Lynch’s “Nancy Breyers” parks her car and Elias Koteas’ “Wally Bosworth” later drives a Mercury Cougar into the water. Moving to Salt Lake City, UT, the production filmed at the Federal Courthouse, the City and County Building, a state prison, a television station, and other locations. Exteriors of the “Cornell” mansion were filmed in Salt Lake City’s exclusive Arlington Drive area, A confrontation between “Nancy Breyers” and Lindsay Crouse’s “Brenda Chandler” was shot at Brigham Young University’s empty football field in Provo, UT. Interiors of the Cornell house were built at the Ventura Entertainment Center in Orem, UT, with fully constructed rooms instead of studio breakaway walls and false ceilings, in order to create a look and feel of claustrophobia, both for actors and viewers. Several publications, including the 3 Nov 1989 DV and 4 Oct 1990 HR, noted that filming also took place in UT’s Zion National Park. An eight-minute interrogation scene between FBI agent Chandler and Breyers was edited out of the film because test audiences “read lesbian overtones” into their relationship.
       The Desperate Hours, a novel by Joseph Hayes, was published in 1954, followed by Hayes’ 1955 Tony Award-winning play of the same title, starring Karl Malden as the father and a little-known Paul Newman as the main intruder. That same year, Hollywood made The Desperate Hours (1955, see entry) with Fredric March as the family patriarch and Humphrey Bogart as the lead home invader. The 1990 remake, with The removed from the title, was several years in preparation. According to the 7 Oct 1990 LAT, it began at Paramount Pictures, home of the original film, with Dino De Laurentiis attached as producer. After the project moved to Tri-Star Pictures, Chris Cain was set to direct, but was replaced by William Friedkin, who promptly left. Actor Mickey Rourke, already involved in the film, suggested Michael Cimino, who had worked with him on Year of the Dragon (1985, see entry). The title was briefly changed to Compulsion, and filming was scheduled to begin in Apr 1989, the 5 Feb 1989 LAT reported. Cimino was scouting locations in Dallas, TX, and Pathé Communications was scheduled to produce the film for Warner Bros. according to the 9 Jul 1989 LAT. In the end, nothing was shot in TX and Dino De Laurentiis’ own company produced the film and sold North American theatrical rights to MGM/UA for $9 million. Although the 20 Sep 1989 HR and 21 Sep 1989 LAT reported that Cimino was shooting his own script, Writer’s Guild arbitration established that earlier contributors, Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal, along with original writer Joseph Hayes, were the screenwriters of record, and Cimino’s name was omitted. Although every character from the original novel/play/movie was renamed (e.g., “Glenn Griffin” became “Michael Bosworth” and the “Hilliard” family became the “Cornells”), film critic Michael Wilmington, in his 5 Oct 1990 LAT review of Desperate Hours, referred to them using original 1954-55 character names.

      End credits contain the following information: “Grateful acknowledgement to The Department of the Interior and The National Park Service for the use of Zion and Capitol Reef National Parks; The Utah Film Commission, Leigh von der Esch, Lawrence Smith and the people of the State of Utah; and the town of Telluride, Colorado; and special thanks to the Utah State Highway Patrol.”
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
3 Nov 1989
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Sep 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
3 Nov 1989
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Nov 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Oct 1990
p. 10, 24.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Oct 1990
p. 6, 24.
Los Angeles Times
5 Feb 1989
Calendar, p. 31.
Los Angeles Times
9 Jul 1989
Section L, p. 37.
Los Angeles Times
21 Sep 1989
Section H, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
2 Feb 1990
Section D, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
17 Apr 1990
Section D, p. 7.
Los Angeles Times
5 Oct 1990
Section F, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
7 Oct 1990
Section F, pp. 26-29, 31-32.
New York Times
5 Oct 1990
p. 23.
Variety
1 Nov 1989.
---
Variety
22 Oct 1990
p. 62.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Dino De Laurentiis Presents
A Michael Cimino Film
A Dino De Laurentiis Communications Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Line prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Focus puller
2d asst cam
Loader
Special photog
Gaffer
Rigging gaffer
Best boy elec
Set elec
Key grip
Key grip, The Grip Firm
Dolly grip
2d unit aerial photog
Video consultant
Video tech
Cranes and dollys by
Cam equip supplied by
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst to the art dept
FILM EDITORS
Supv ed
Assoc film ed
Assoc film ed
1st asst film ed
1st asst film ed
2d asst film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Const coord
Prop master
Weapons specialist
Set des
Lead person--Salt Lake City
Lead person--Los Angeles
Asst set dec
Swing gang
Const foreman
Stand-by painter
Const buyer
Greensman
Greensman
COSTUMES
Mickey Rourke's ward by
Key women's costumer
Key men's costumer
Set costumer
Set costumer
Special thanks for ward
Special thanks for ward
Special thanks for ward
Special thanks for ward
Special thanks for ward
Special thanks for ward
Special thanks for ward
Special thanks for ward
Special thanks for ward
Kelly Lynch's fur by
MUSIC
Mus comp, cond and arr by
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd boom
Supv sd ed
1st asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
ADR ed
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Sd facility supv
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Asst spec eff
Title des
Titles and opticals
MAKEUP
Mickey Rourke's makeup
Women's makeup
Men's makeup
Spec eff makeup
Hair stylist
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Dial coach
Helicopter pilot
Helicopter pilot
Aircraft pilot
Unit pub
Prod accountant
Prod accountant
Post prod accountant
Prod office coord
Prod office coord
Asst to Mr. DeLaurentiis
Asst to Ms. Schumacher
Prod office asst
Prod office asst
Los Angeles prod asst
Casting Salt Lake City
Casting asst
Asst to Mary Colquhoun
Key set prod asst
Set prod asst
Law enforcement, Tech consultants
Hostage negotiations, Tech consultants
Courtroom-Legal, Tech consultants
L.A. District Attorney's office, Tech consultants
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation dispatch
Loc mgr
Catering
Craft service
First aid
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
Co-stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
Col timer
Col timer
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Desperate Hours by Joseph Hayes (New York, 1954) and his Broadway play of the same name (New York, 10 Feb 1955).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Fight For Me," performed by Cindy Bullens, written by Cindy Bullens and David Mansfield (Mommy's Geetar Music, Jocada Music), courtesy of MCA Records
"Breakin' The Chain," performed by Cindy Bullens, written by Cindy Bullens and David Mansfield (Mommy's Geetar Music, Jocada Music), courtesy of MCA Records
"Letters Of Fire," performed by Cindy Bullens, written by Cindy Bullens (Mommy's Geetar Music), courtesy of MCA Records.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Compulsion
Release Date:
5 October 1990
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 5 October 1990
New York opening: week of 5 October 1990
Production Date:
27 October--early December 1989
Copyright Claimant:
Dino De Laurentiis Communications
Copyright Date:
30 October 1990
Copyright Number:
PA504769
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Prints
Prints by Deluxe
Duration(in mins):
105
Length(in feet):
9,438
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30309
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Attorney Nancy Breyers parks her car at a remote lake and catches a bus into Salt Lake City, Utah. Later, she meets with her client, prisoner Michael Bosworth, after he disrupts courtroom proceedings. Bosworth verbally abuses and slaps her, then reaches under her skirt to grab a gun strapped to her thigh. Subduing and choking a federal marshal, he uses Nancy as a fake hostage to escape. His brother, Wally Bosworth, and Wally’s boyhood friend, Albert, wait outside with a Mercury Cougar. Telling Nancy he will wait for her, Michael shoves her away and makes his getaway. Meanwhile, attorney Tim Cornell arrives at his former home to pick up his son, Zack. His estranged wife, Nora Cornell, and daughter, May, are not happy to see him, and Tim is dismayed that Nora is selling the house. He apologizes for running off with a younger woman, but claims the affair is over. Meanwhile, Wally, Michael and Albert get the car Nancy left for them. Elsewhere, Carl Ornitz from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Bob Neff, and Special FBI Agent Brenda Chandler hold Nancy in an interrogation room. They believe Nancy was an accessory to Bosworth’s escape, but cannot prove it, so Chandler frees her. Meanwhile, Michael Bosworth cruises through wealthy neighborhoods. The slow-witted Albert feels uncomfortable and wants to run to Mexico, but Michael overrules him. Seeing a “For Sale” sign, Michael gets out, looks around, and tells Wally to drive to the rear of the house. Inside, Nora telephones a heating company to complain that her system is not working. After she hangs up, Michael knocks on the front door and Albert and Wally enter through the back. They take ... +


Attorney Nancy Breyers parks her car at a remote lake and catches a bus into Salt Lake City, Utah. Later, she meets with her client, prisoner Michael Bosworth, after he disrupts courtroom proceedings. Bosworth verbally abuses and slaps her, then reaches under her skirt to grab a gun strapped to her thigh. Subduing and choking a federal marshal, he uses Nancy as a fake hostage to escape. His brother, Wally Bosworth, and Wally’s boyhood friend, Albert, wait outside with a Mercury Cougar. Telling Nancy he will wait for her, Michael shoves her away and makes his getaway. Meanwhile, attorney Tim Cornell arrives at his former home to pick up his son, Zack. His estranged wife, Nora Cornell, and daughter, May, are not happy to see him, and Tim is dismayed that Nora is selling the house. He apologizes for running off with a younger woman, but claims the affair is over. Meanwhile, Wally, Michael and Albert get the car Nancy left for them. Elsewhere, Carl Ornitz from the U.S. Attorney’s office, Bob Neff, and Special FBI Agent Brenda Chandler hold Nancy in an interrogation room. They believe Nancy was an accessory to Bosworth’s escape, but cannot prove it, so Chandler frees her. Meanwhile, Michael Bosworth cruises through wealthy neighborhoods. The slow-witted Albert feels uncomfortable and wants to run to Mexico, but Michael overrules him. Seeing a “For Sale” sign, Michael gets out, looks around, and tells Wally to drive to the rear of the house. Inside, Nora telephones a heating company to complain that her system is not working. After she hangs up, Michael knocks on the front door and Albert and Wally enter through the back. They take Nora prisoner and search the house for jewels and money. Albert finds a gun on top of a cabinet in Nora’s bedroom, but says nothing about it to the others. Michael instructs Nora to telephone Nancy and leave an innocuous message on her answering machine, along with the Cornell telephone number. When Tim Cornell and son Zack return to the house, the men take them prisoner. Meanwhile, Nancy arrives at her apartment, listens to Nora’s message, repeats Nora’s telephone number to herself, and burns the tape. At the Cornell house, a television news announcer reports that Nancy was the victim of her client. When May Cornell arrives home with her boyfriend, Kyle, Michael sends Tim outside to make them leave. However, Kyle is driving to work, so May runs into the house. Seeing Albert using her Walkman tape player, she demands he give it to her, but Albert crushes it with his foot. May calls him an idiot, which inflames the slow-witted man. Tim jumps between them to protect his daughter. At that moment, the heating man arrives and, told he came too late, demands payment for the visit regardless of whether Nora allows him into the house. She keeps him waiting at the door while she writes a check, but Michael sees “Help us” written on the back and orders her to write another one. In the confusion, Tim picks up a steak knife from the dining room table, hides it, and goads Albert over waiting for police to arrive instead of being miles away. When Michael slaps Nora for trying to alert the heating man, Tim grabs Albert and presses the knife to his neck. In response, Michael presses his gun against Nora’s head. When Tim drops the knife, Albert grabs it in anger and stabs Tim in the chest, mildly wounding him. Albert stumbles in the struggle, and Michael kicks him for complicating the situation. He orders Nora to take Tim upstairs and dress his wound. In the bedroom, May searches the top of the cabinet for her mother’s gun and finds it missing. Nora expresses anger toward Tim for breaking her trust with Michael and endangering the family, but Tim counters that she has to trust him, not the criminal’s assurances that he means them no harm. Wally enters and orders Zack and May into another bedroom for the night. Early next morning, FBI agents follow Nancy’s car while Brenda Chandler flies overhead in a surveillance airplane. Nancy stops at a pay telephone to contact the number Nora gave her, but the call does not go through. Chandler radios her agents to check the pay phone and get the number Nancy dialed, and let State Police arrest her outside the city, so they can have time to interrogate her privately. At the Cornell house, May takes a telephone call from Kyle, but they argue and she hangs up. Zack climbs out an upstairs window and drops to the ground below, just as realtor Ed Tallent arrives. Wally steps outside, points a gun at Tallent, and orders him and Zack into the house. Tallent’s presence disturbs Albert, who wants him to leave. Michael grabs a sofa pillow, pushes it against Tallent’s chest with his gun barrel, and shoots. After Tim whispers to Albert that Michael will probably kill him next, the nervous accomplice points Nora’s gun at Michael and demands they leave now or he is going alone. Michael tells him that if he puts the body in the trunk of Tallent’s car, he can drive alone to Juarez, Mexico, and they will meet him later. Albert carries the body to the car and leaves. Michael sends Tim to the bank to get $10,000. Meanwhile, Albert sees police cars and thinks they are following him. He gets stuck in a ditch, tosses Tallent’s body in a creek, and runs. At the Cornell house, Tim returns with the money, but he is faint from the stabbing. Meanwhile, Maddox, a policeman, tells Brenda Chandler that the body of a realtor, Ed Tallent, was found in a creek and may be connected to their case. Albert stumbles upon two young women, who notice blood on his shirt. One escapes in a truck, and the other runs to a nearby gas station and telephones police. Maddox’s special weapons team traps Albert in a canyon creek and shoots him dead. Checking Albert’s gun through records, Maddox traces it to Nora Cornell. Chandler notices that Nora’s telephone number is almost the same as the one Nancy Breyers tried to call. Later, under Chandler’s direction, Nancy telephones Michael at the Cornell house and he gives her the address. Lawmen form a cordon around the Cornell neighborhood. Maddox wants the special weapons team to assault the house, but Chandler refuses. She explains to Nancy that charges against her will be reduced if she gets Michael to flee the house without harming the hostages. Crying and frightened, Nancy demands a gun. Chandler surreptitiously removes the bullets from her own weapon and gives it to her. As Nancy drives to the house, Kyle circumvents the police roadblock and arrives at the Cornell house. Tim keeps him outside, calls May downstairs, and orders her to leave, but May refuses until Michael also orders her to go. Kyle and May drive away. After Nancy shows up, Michael calms her by putting Nora’s wedding ring on her finger as a symbol of his love. He sends Tim outside to get Nancy’s car keys, and Chandler, hiding in the back seat, alerts Tim that she and the police are there to help. He demands to be allowed to return to his family, so she gives him a gun, but he empties it before going back inside. When Michael finds the gun, Tim says it was on the seat in Nancy’s car. Hearing him from the next room, Nancy hides Chandler’s gun to preserve Tim’s story. Tim goes upstairs to say goodbye to Zack and Nora, then comes back downstairs as Michael sends Nancy and Wally out to the car. Nancy notices a police sharpshooter, and freezes. Wally shoots at the police, setting off a barrage of gunfire, and Michael pulls them back into the house, although Wally is mortally wounded. Upstairs, Nora and Zack push a heavy dresser in front of the bedroom door. When Chandler telephones the house, Michael tells her he wants a car, an airplane with five hours of fuel, and free passage. He runs upstairs and breaks into Nora’s bedroom, but Zack has already jumped out the window. Downstairs, as Wally dies from his wounds, Tim grabs his gun and confronts Michael. Using the gun Tim brought into the house, Michael threatens to kill Nora, and Tim, knowing the gun is empty, taunts him to pull the trigger. When the gun clicks harmlessly, Michael realizes Nancy has betrayed him. Tim drags him outside and throws him on the lawn. Michael stands up with the gun and brandishes it, drawing fatal fire. Before police take Nancy away, Tim removes Nora’s ring from her finger, then embraces his family. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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