In a Lonely Place
The Bogart suspense picture with the surprise finish -
Dixon 'Dix' Steele, a down-on-his-luck screenwriter needs to adapt a trashy novel. At a night club, the hat-check girl, Mildred Atkinson is engrossed reading it. Too tired to read the novel, he asks Mildred to go home with him, to explain the plot. Later that night, Mildred is murdered and Steele is a prime suspect, his record of violence when angry goes against him.
I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me.
It's not Nicholas Ray's most famous film, but it's his best. He directed it from a great script by Andrew Solt which is a loose adaptation of the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes and it features Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame at their very best. Ray directed it while going through personal problems of his own and ended up creating a dark masterpiece.
Bogart purchased the story to produce through his own company, Santana Productions. As the main character, Dixon Steele, is a screenwriter, I can't help but think this was one of the reasons that…
What an absolutely fantastic film. It is part love story, film-noir and dark satire of the Hollywood system.
Bogart is at his best here as Dixon Steele, a complex unsentimental screenwriter who is as charming and witty as he is cold, methodical and cynical. When he is reminded that he hasn't written a good script in years he delivers a scathing condemnation of Hollywood as relevant today as it was in the late 40s. Hollywood doesn't want good scripts; it has been remaking the same bad film for years because that is what sells popcorn.
Dixon is known to be quick-tempered and violent, which makes him the prime suspect in a major crime. His beautiful neighbour Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame…
A surprisingly complete film noir masterfully crafted by Nicholas Ray with a dark, psychologically polluted atmosphere that creates a constant state of suspense. Hollywood screenwriter Dix Steele is a suspect in the brutal of a young girl. When questioned he provides a solid alibi, but his detached, almost amused reaction leaves Captain Lochner deeply distressed. Humphrey Bogart plays mysterious, emotionally unstable antagonistic characters like no other. One moment he is sucking you in with his slick likability, the next moment he is giving you an chill with his cold demeanor or surges of abrupt violence. The plot simply follows Dix as he starts a love affair with his aspiring actress neighbor Laurel Gray, begins writing a new script, and tries…
I love movies about writers.
I love Humphrey Bogart.
I love romance.
I love murder mysteries.
Therefore, I have nothing but love for this film.
In a Lonely Place is a very well-done crime drama about a troubled screenwriter named Dix Steele who is implicated in the murder of Mildred, a woman he invited to his home on the night of her murder. Dix is a dick (sorry, I couldn't resist) to Mildred, but it doesn't stop you from mentally defending him against the investigator's accusations. He meets his neighbor Laurel Gray for the first time during the ordeal, an aspiring actress who falls for Dix immediately. As the investigation continues and her relationship with Dix becomes increasingly problematic, she desperately tries to disentangle herself. Highly recommended for fans of Bogey's brand of film noir.
Like Hitchcock written by Wilder, In a Lonely Place is a superior dark thriller with the inimitable Bogart on top form. As a screenwriter whose quick wits and hot temper get him both in and out of trouble, he's the perfect patsy when a clerk he has read a novel to him for research purposes winds up dead.
A troubled and highly-charged romance with one of his neighbours - the alluring Gloria Grahame - illuminates the more troubled (and troubling) aspects of the writer's character, giving Bogie ample opportunity to smolder, charm and terrify in equal measure.
I'm happy to trot out the old maxim whenever it's appropriate, and it certainly is here: they don't make 'em like this anymore. Clever, fast, sexy, cool and grown-up entertainment.
'' Remember, angel, in the beginning was the land. Motion pictures came later.''
There was once a cooler man than Humphrey Bogart...His name was April Fools! see what I did there ? its humorous because there is no one cooler than Bogey and it was also April fools day, oh the fun!
On a related topic this film was absolutely fantastic! incredible performances, incredible script and incredible Direction. You might just say it was...incredible.
Not as manic or eccentric as the other Ray films I've seen, but still interesting. It could have been a full star higher if the female lead was played by a real actress, instead of Gloria Grahame, who is awful.
Look, what can I really say here? This movie is a masterpiece and it's totally self-evident as far as I'm concerned. I can't believe it took me so long to finally watch it.
A very powerful and sad film-noir that stands above most films in the genre.
I still feel this film intrigues more than it satisfies, with Ray's typical dramatic continuity always just slightly askew and fascinating to no end.
My favorite piece of dialogue:
"I got married."
"Oh I don’t know. Guess she had a few bucks to spare."
I was born when you kissed me.
I died when you left me.
I lived a few weeks while you loved me.
Got to discuss this with Imogen Smith here, which was an utter delight. One thing I didn't mention: the piano bar scene is gotta be one of my favorite sequences, which begins as utterly romantic - the gorgeous tracking shot - the just under the breath whisper. And then everything goes to hell with the entrance of the cop and that amazingly strange way Bogart turns his head, which Ray shoots flat on. I feel like I'm finally getting exactly why Ray was so exalted; none of his cinematic decisions feel at all particularly classical, though he always maintains a sense of narrative continuity. He truly may have bucked the system.
you can't always put the pieces back together not even with all the glue in the world
What starts as a Hollywood studio film-noir production quickly turns into one of the great relationship dramas ever made. There is plenty of the film-noir foreboding in this plot of "did he or didn't he commit murder" but the story, and frankly Ray's direction, focuses more on the domestic relationship.
Like all of Rays's films, his shot choices are always on point and the scene of the coat-check girl telling the story to Bogart while looking straight into the camera seems to have influenced numerous moments in Godard's films.
But the legacy of "In a Lonely Place" seems to be in Martin Scorsese's "Casino" in which a woman does fear a potentially violent man. Ray's film is an honest portrayal of the domestic harm.