Stolen Hours

  • 1963
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

A sudsy remake of Bette Davis' DARK VICTORY, this was shot in England and had a largely British supporting cast. Hayward, a rich, twice married (and divorced) socialite, is driving to London airport to meet her sister, Baker, when she has a dizzy spell and almost crashes. (In the original, the "sister" was a secretary played by Geraldine Fitzgerald.) She...read more

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A sudsy remake of Bette Davis' DARK VICTORY, this was shot in England and had a largely British supporting cast. Hayward, a rich, twice married (and divorced) socialite, is driving to London airport to meet her sister, Baker, when she has a dizzy spell and almost crashes. (In the original,

the "sister" was a secretary played by Geraldine Fitzgerald.) She gathers her senses about her and continues to the airport. Hayward has just left a soiree at her country place, and Baker is concerned about Hayward's call to come to England. They drive back to her estate where the party continues

and she introduces Baker to her latest amour, Judd, a handsome race car driver. While Baker and Judd have a conversation, Hayward goes to her sumptuous bedroom with a blinding headache and takes some pills to ease the pain. Down in the main room, Judd tells Baker that he suspects Hayward may be

quite sick and that he has hired a doctor, Craig, to examine her. Hayward comes down to talk to the other guests and seems fine. She meets Craig, and he deftly does some tricks with her, almost in the form of a parlor game. But these tricks have an underlying purpose. Craig has performed them to

learn what he can about Hayward's condition. Hayward is angered when she finds out what he's been up to and lets him know that, but there is already a sexual stirring between the two, and she heeds his advice for her to see a brain physician in London. Later, the specialist, Rogers, tells Craig

that his worst fears have been realized. Hayward must have an operation immediately. Hayward is almost flighty about going in for surgery, but Craig sees right through her "la-dee-da" attitude and knows that it's only a cover up, that she is truly frightened by what's going on inside her head. The

operation takes place, and Rogers thinks that he's gotten all of the tumor out, or so he tells Judd and Baker. But he's not being honest. Craig now tells them the truth, that Hayward has, at most, a year left to live. Judd and Baker make a pact to keep the news from Hayward because they feel she

just might give up if she knew, and why not let her have some fun while she can. At first Craig is all for telling Hayward, but when he sees her he can't bring himself to do it because he's fallen in love with her. They begin to date and are both crazy about each other. There is talk about getting

married, then Hayward discovers the reality of her situation. She is irate at Craig for not being truthful and accuses him of being her doctor, not her lover. Hayward walks out on Craig and flies to Italy to be with Judd, who is busily following the racing circuit. Craig can't bear being without

Hayward and flies to Italy to bring her back. They are married in a Cornish village near the sea, and Craig has decided to give up his London practice and spend the rest of Hayward's days in this charming town. Craig opens up a medical office and the two are happy. She knows now how good life can

be and how much the love of a fine man can enrich a woman, especially after her two failed unions. Time is a precious commodity to both, and they use it well to get to know each other, sharing every waking moment. There's no time for them to have children, but since she loves them, Hayward finds a

friend in little Bacon, a young lad with a mother who doesn't appreciate him. Days go by all too quickly and the clock ticks down. Hayward begins to go blind and her last moments are spent with Bacon after she's told Craig to go off and deliver the baby of a villager. She knows her moment is near

but she doesn't want him to be there, so Craig goes off to do his medical work and Hayward dies next to the young Bacon as the movie ends. A good enough remake, but it might be that the production was too expensive. Hayward changed clothes about 30 times and wore a fortune in baubles. The movie

took more than three months to shoot and would have been welcomed had it not been for the shadow of Davis' performance in DARK VICTORY hanging over the actress's shoulder. Jazz trumpeter Chet Baker is seen as himself, and a scene showing Hayward being taught "The Twist" by 1960s idol Chubby

Checker was edited out of the film. Too bad. It could have used some fun to relieve the oppressive sadness. The lyrics for the movie's song were by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Keith. Bring two boxes of tissues.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: A sudsy remake of Bette Davis' DARK VICTORY, this was shot in England and had a largely British supporting cast. Hayward, a rich, twice married (and divorced) socialite, is driving to London airport to meet her sister, Baker, when she has a dizzy spell and… (more)

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