8.0/10
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In a Lonely Place (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery | 17 May 1950 (USA)
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A potentially violent screenwriter is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts...

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(screenplay), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

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

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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THE BOGART SUSPENSE PICTURE WITH THE SURPRISE FINISH - (original poster)


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Details

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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?

Trivia

Gloria Grahame, at the time, was estranged from her husband, the film's director Nicholas Ray. She would subsequently go on to marry her stepson, Ray's son from a previous marriage. See more »

Goofs

When Dixon supplies drinks for him and Mildred, we see him uncap a bottle and spills in the glass. Between cuts, the bottle appears capped before we see him capping it. In the subsequent shots, he moves the same bottle from one place to another uncapped/capped. See more »

Quotes

Frances Randolph: Do you look down on all women or just the ones you know?
Dixon Steele: I was pretty nice to you.
Frances Randolph: No, not to me. But you were pretty nice.
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Connections

Featured in Histoire(s) du cinéma: Les signes parmi nous (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Either It's Love Or It Isn't
(uncredited)
Written by Doris Fisher and Allan Roberts
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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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I cried at the ending. nimstic
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