This is a 1951 film noir drama about a young chap who wants to jump from the 15th floor of a hotel because life sucks, and the cop who tries to talk him off the ledge.
I had not heard of most of the actors, although upon researching this film I found that they were all significant film and TV actors in the day and beyond, just not up there with The Kirkster or Elizabeth Taylor or whatnot. Grace Kelly made her film debut in this with a minor role.
The young chap was played by Richard Basehart who would go onto play Wilton Knight of Knight Rider fame, although he was killed off in the pilot episode. His voice lived on though in the intro…
The cop was played by a fellow named Paul Douglas who had a decent career in radio, TV, and film but nothing as significant as Knight Rider. He died aged 52.
Barbara Bel Geddes played the fiance of the young chap. She had a role in Vertigo, and was Miss Ellie Ewing in Dallas.
Debra Paget played a sympathetic onlooker on the street (everyone else was waiting for the young chap to jump, including a bunch of comedy relief taxi drivers who placed bets on when he would jump). She would go on to play Elvis’ love interest in his film debut in Love Me Tender. She is also the only main cast member who is still alive, she is 86 now. Elvis apparently took a liking to her…
From Wikipedia: During production of Love Me Tender (1956), Elvis Presley became smitten with Paget, who in 1997 claimed the singer even proposed marriage. At the time, however, the media reported that she was romantically linked with Howard Hughes and nothing came of this. A 1956 article quoted Paget’s comments about Hughes:
I was in love with Howard for two years, and I don’t care who knows it… I was never alone with him in the whole two years. Mother was always with us… I haven’t seen Howard for a long time now, because I’m a one-man woman, and I’ve got to have a one-woman man… But I’ll always remember Howard with fondness.
Agnes Moorehead played the young chap’s mother. She appeared in Citizen Kane (her first film) and had a very long and successful career. She played Samantha’s mother in the TV series Bewitched, she was fab in that.
The film itself was decent. It moved a long at a good pace and despite mostly taking place on a hotel ledge or in the hotel room it worked well. The acting was pretty good on the whole. It was nominated for an Academy Award, but did not win anything (An American in Paris won best picture).
Events for the film were closely based on an actual event in New York in 1938 which had a tragic ending. According to Wikipedia the film too was going to have a tragic ending, but due to the daughter of the Fox president killing herself by jumping from the roof of the Fox West Coast Building, the ending was changed (two endings were filmed). As in the film the cop tried for fourteen hours to talk the man down, and was almost successful until a photographer interfered (read the Wiki article).
This is not an essential film to watch, but I found it to be a decent watch.
Date watched: September 14th
Film count 2019: 25