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 <email@example.com>
When Edmund H. North adapted the story, he stuck close to the original source and John Derek was considered for the role of Dix because in the novel he was much younger. North's treatment was not used, and Andrew Solt developed the screenplay with regular input from producer Robert Lord and director Nicholas Ray, and the end result is far different from the source novel. Solt claimed that Humphrey Bogart loved the script so much that he wanted to make it without revisions - Solt retains that the final cut is very close to his script - but further research shows that Ray made regular re-writes, some added on the day of shooting. In fact, only 4 pages of the 140 page script had no revisions. See more »
In the Laurel's apartment, Mel talks with her about Dixon. In a certain moment he has his right arm by his side. Next shot he walks away with his right hand in the pocket. See more »
[as Mel enters the house he intoduces him to Laurel]
Oh, come in. Mr. Lippman, my agent.
[He intoduces Laurel to Mel]
Miss Gray, my alibi.
See more »
Bogart stretches his acting muscles and allows his vulnerability to be on display in this realistic gut-wrenching love story. Gloria Grahame, one of the underrated great US actresses of the 40's and 50's, has an electrifying chemistry with Bogie, touching a side that we'd never seen -- not even with Lauren Bacall, laced with an odd kind of violent tenderness. Frank Lovejoy heads a fantastic supporting cast, heavy on three-dimensional characterisations. This unknown classic is Bogie's most complete performance ever. I give it 10 out of 10.
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