|Genre: Thriller, Film-Noir, Drama, Suspense, Hostage, Marriage, Police|
Plot: Director William Wylerís tense crime drama is set in a quiet midwestern town. In the middle of a summerís day, three escaped convicts--Glen (Humphrey Bogart), his brother Hal (Dewey Martin), and the threatening Sam (Robert Middleton)--blunder into a suburban home. There they confront Eleanor Hilliard (Martha Scott). Soon the rest of Eleanorís family return--first her accountant husband, Dan (Fredric March), and daughter, Cindy (Mary Murphy), then her young son, Ralphie (Richard Eyer). To the familyís horror, the convicts decide to stay in their home until Glenís girl arrives with help. The police, led by Deputy Bard (Arthur Kennedy), have lost the trail of the convicts. Everyone waits: the convicts for help, the Hilliards for the convicts to leave, and the police for them to reappear. Then Glenís girl runs into trouble.
Using his trademark long takes and claustrophobically confining most of the action to the beleaguered Hilliardsís home, Wyler and veteran director of photography Lee Garmes create an atmosphere of tension. At first it seems the Hilliards will be rescued if the police discover the whereabouts of the convicts. Then it becomes clear that things will get much worse for the family if the police do arrive.
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