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The Desperate Hours

It takes courage to wait, to hang on when there seems to be no hope. Both Dewey Martin and Mary Murphy have had to go through periods of near-despair, when it looked as if their careers had hit a dead end. But when executive producer Don Hartman of Paramount gave them their chance in “The Desperate Hours,” their waiting was over.

Dewey’s the husky youth who got off to a flying start in “The Big Sky”—and didn’t make another picture for two years. Mary’s the soft-eyed brunette who was named officially as one of her studio’s most promising newcomers—and then faded from view, the promise unkept. After their anxious interlude, both Dewey and Mary did go on working: lead roles in minor pictures, subordinate roles in big pictures. He signed with another studio; she tried turning blond. Now “The Desperate Hours” brings a just reward for their long persistence. And their story carries a message of encouragement.

In this suspense epic, they’re bucking a big-name cast, loaded with such well-established talents as Humphrey Bogart, Fredric March, Martha Scott, Arthur Kennedy. Producer-director William Wyler knew the talent he had in Mary and Dewey; his work with them shows true imagination. The breaks that come to young players keep movies fresh and vital—and keep would-be stars, opportunity still to come, from losing heart in the desperate hours.



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