Fourteen Hours ★★★

On what starts as a slow moving morning in Manhattan takes a turn when the room service attendant finds that the man he was delivering breakfast to has decided to go out the window and stand on the ledge rather than eat. At first this doesn't seem like it would be that extravagant a moment but then a woman in a building across the way screams and this single individual blocks traffic, crates a huge media frenzy and becomes the biggest story of the day as the crowd of onlookers grows. The potential jumper is first sought out by a traffic cop who runs to the scene and makes first contact. Once his superiors arrive he's removed but the young man appears to prefer him as his go to person. A number of other stories are also taking place by people watching or simply trying to pass through. One of which is a young woman who's in the process of filing for divorce. She is played by Grace Kelly in her feature debut. The best performance by far is Paul Douglas as the traffic cop. Despite the acknowledgment that this was entirely fictional. It was actually was based on the suicide of John William Warde, a 26-year-old man who jumped from the 17th floor of the Gotham Hotel in New York City on Tuesday, July 26, 1938, after 11 hours on a ledge. While the movie makes for a happier ending. I can't begin to gather the number of suicides that have occurred over the years in New York alone. Howard Hawks was originally offered the project but refused. Henry Hathaway ended up doing it with a production of six weeks. He also shot an alternate ending with the young man falling to his death. Unfortunately, on the same day as the preview, the daughter of Fox's president Spyros Skouras jumped to her death. Thus, Skouras wanted the film shelved, but instead released Fourteen Hours six months later with the ending that showed Robert surviving his fall. Afterall, truth is stranger than fiction.