One of Humphrey Bogart's finest performances dominates this unusual 1950 film noir, which focuses less on the murder mystery at the center of its plot than on the investigation's devastating effect on a fragile romance. For Bogart, already a noir icon, the Andrew Solt script afforded an opportunity to explore a more complex and contradictory role--an antiheroic persona in line with the actor's most accomplished and absorbing triumphs throughout his career.
For maverick director Nicholas Ray, the film posed the challenge of taking crime dramas beyond their usual formulas and into a more mature realm, as well as a chance to cast a jaundiced eye on the film industry itself. Its protagonist is Dixon Steele, a Hollywood screenwriter with an acerbic wit and a violent temper. Tasked with adapting a bestseller, he meets a hatcheck girl who's read the book, hoping to glean its highlights before writing the script. When she's found murdered, Steele becomes the prime suspect, and a tightening knot of suspicion forms around the writer.
Steele's only, inconclusive witness is a pretty new neighbor, Laurel (Gloria Grahame), and the couple fall in love even as the pressure mounts. At first the new relationship is a tonic to the hard-boiled writer, who plunges into his script with a renewed vigor and discipline. But as the police continue to shadow him, Steele's own penchant for violence erupts against friends, strangers, and even Laurel herself, whose feelings are increasingly eclipsed by suspicion that her lover is a murderer, and fear that he'll harm her.
Bogart conveys Steele's world-weariness and underlying vulnerability, and manages the delicate task of making both his romantic yearning and sudden, murderous rages equally convincing. Ultimately, that performance and Grahame's sympathetic work elevate In a Lonely Place into what has been called "an existential love story" more than a crime drama. --Sam Sutherland --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Columbia Pictures presents "IN A LONELY PLACE" (1950) (94 min/B&W) -- Starring Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid & Art Smith
Directed by... Read more
This is one of those 50+ year old classics. The acting is superb and the story is typical 'film noir' of that era. Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2008 by chuck canuk
I found this DVD at Wal-Mart in the five dollar bargain bin. I like old movies so I snatched it up. I am glad I did. For that price you can not go wrong!Published on April 1 2008 by Jackson Spines
Here's late 1940's early 1950's Film Noir, a love gone wrong drama. Bogart's ugliness, the angles of his forehead, the lines about his mouth are fascinating. Read morePublished on June 16 2004 by R. A Rubin
"In a Lonely Place" is usually considered a classic example of film noir, although-as other reviewers have pointed out-- it doesn't completely fit the mold. Read morePublished on April 27 2004 by abt1950
Nicholas Ray's film noir is a departure for Humphrey Bogart and for the film noir genre itself.
Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart), a washed-up screenwriter with a flashpoint... Read more
I checked this out of my local library because I am a big fan of Frank Lovejoy's 1950's radio drama "Nightbeat." This film comepletely took me by surprise. Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2004 by M. Hencke
"In a Lonely Place" is widely considered to be one of the best of the film noir genre, but I can't quite bring myself to give it noir status. Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2004 by brewster22