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Plays/Facts in "The Desperate Hours"


Karen Smith wrote at 2009-10-03 19:40:07
The book, play, and eventual 1955 movie are, in fact, based on actual events. The crimes took place in New York and my Grandfather was one of the detectives to enter the house.  His partner told him he would go in the house first because my grandfather had children, as soon as they entered the house my grandfather's partner was shot in the heart and was killed.  The criminals were arrested and charged with murder.  My grandfather has since passed but the story of the ordeal still lives on in our family.  In short, yes the book, movie, and play are all based on actual events that took place in New York.

Malcolm Brodrick wrote at 2012-11-02 00:18:34
The Desperate Hours was based on a true case. In 1952 The James Hill family, were held prisoners in their home outside Philadelphia by three escaped convicts from the Lewisburg penitentiary.  


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Arlene Schulman


A professional stage director and dramaturg, I`m familiar with many plays of various types. I am particularly familiar with the plays of such playwrights as Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams and Neil Simon, and the musicals of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Sondheim, Jerry Herman and many other musicals, particularly those if the "Golden Age" before 1975. I am experienced in both staging and acting in comedy, drama and musicals, and can give you historical and staging information for most plays.


A professional stage director and dramaturg for over 25 years in the NYC/NJ area, I have directed and acted in over a hundred plays and musicals of all kinds. I have a huge theatre library and access to info on just about any play or musical, both historically and for staging purposes.

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