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?


There is a moment in the trailer for the film that doesn't appear in the final cut. As Laurel is talking to the detective at the end of the film, Dix starts to leave. In the "lost moment," Laurel calls out Dix's name and they have one last embrace on the steps before he descends. See more »


When Dixon supplies drinks for him and Mildred, we see him uncaps 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 »


Dixon Steele: A man wants to apologize to you...
See more »


Featured in The Rules of Film Noir (2009) See more »


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

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User Reviews

A brave and smart twist to the "man alone" theme...

There was a brave and smart twist to the 'man alone' theme in an unusually literate thriller which isolated its ambivalent hero having conflicting feelings inside his own negative personality... This man was not physically isolated as Robert Ryan ('Inferno') had been: he was an embittered Hollywood screenwriter who needed self-discipline and trust… The lonely place in which he was trapped was his own mind...

Perhaps some people thought Bogart over-acted, played the writer like a criminal aggressively apt to be easily offended... but he played his role well. No gangster this time, or cop, or private eye... He was a Hollywood screenwriter—strong, easily annoyed, depressed; his nerve-ends constantly steaming; living alone with his talent, his reputation and his typewriter; impulsive rather than strengthened by a diet of alcohol and nicotine… His savage temper was uncontrollable: anything, it seemed, could explode it; and his violence was more than merely verbal…

Bogart found himself capable of murder... He might have been anti-social... But the stress within him, reacting to the pressures without, built up so strongly that his rages, always near boiling point, became explosive... He hit people without good reason...

One watched the reactions of his dream girl, the beautiful blonde Gloria Grahame, and his two close friends... With them, one came to wonder if he was not really a murderer after all...

40 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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