In a Lonely Place (1950)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery  |  17 May 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 15,531 users  
Reviews: 135 user | 83 critic

A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts...



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Complete credited cast:
Carl Benton Reid ...
Art Smith ...
Jeff Donnell ...
Martha Stewart ...
Robert Warwick ...
Morris Ankrum ...
William Ching ...
Steven Geray ...
Hadda Brooks ...


Screenwriter Dixon Steele, faced with the odious task of scripting a trashy bestseller, has hat-check girl Mildred Atkinson tell him the story in her own words. Later that night, Mildred is murdered and Steele is a prime suspect; his record of belligerence when angry and his macabre sense of humor tell against him. Fortunately, lovely neighbor Laurel Gray gives him an alibi. Laurel proves to be just what Steele needed, and their friendship ripens into love. Will suspicion, doubt, and Steele's inner demons come between them? Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




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Release Date:

17 May 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Behind the Mask  »

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The apartment complex in which Dixon and Laurel live in was a replica of Nicholas Ray's own residence when he first moved to Hollywood. See more »


When Dixon and Laurel are in the car, the window glass of his left hand-side is up. But after he stops the car, in the shots from the left, the window glass disappears. See more »


Dixon Steele: You know, you're out of your mind - how can anyone like a face like this? Look at it...
[leans in for a kiss]
Laurel Gray: I said I liked it - I didn't say I wanted to kiss it.
See more »


Referenced in Mulholland Drive (2001) See more »


I Hadn't Anyone Till You
Written by Ray Noble
Performed by Hadda Brooks
See more »

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User Reviews

Essential Bogie
7 September 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Bogart is at his uncompromisingly dark best as the Hollywood writer whose temper leads to accusations of murder and conflicted relationships. By turns charming, cold, romantic and remorseful, Dix Steele is as unpredictable a character as Bogie has ever played.

He shows no emotion on learning that Mildred - the innocent he has just met - has been killed, and those who know him accept his violent nature as simply part of the Steele package. But thanks to the skill of Bogie and director Ray, the audience never entirely loses sympathy for him. The moments of tenderness he shows to his alibi-turned-lover Laurel (an ethereal Gloria Grahame; imagine Hope Davis glammed-up for the 50s) alternate with fits of anger to turn their relationship into that of a tragic poem.

In A Lonely Place is film noir that focuses on romance rather than crime. The reasons for Mildred's murder are never satisfactorily made clear, but it doesn't really matter. The movie asks whether love and trust are earned by what a person says or what they do. And in the end, actions speak louder than words.

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