In a Lonely Place (1950) Poster

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Laurel Gray: Yesterday, this would've meant so much to us. Now it doesn't matter... it doesn't matter at all.
bombersflyup5 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
In a Lonely Place is an unendearing film-noir murder mystery.

The biggest problem with the film was that the main characters are unlikable. Dixon was smug, rude, controlling and beat people, while Laurel was bland and unrealistic. The second biggest problem was that it's suppose to be a murder mystery, yet we are not following the investigation and we know that Dixon is innocent. The crime is resolved just like that and is of no importance, other than its impact on their relationship.
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Antonius Block23 January 2018
Humphrey Bogart turns in an outstanding performance in this gritty film noir about an aging screenwriter suspected of murder. One evening he takes a young checkroom woman home with him to talk about a book, and after she leaves that night, she's strangled in a car and dumped. His neighbor (Gloria Grahame) provides what seems to be an alibi, and then the two begin having an amorous relationship. The police, however, continue investigating him, and they have reason to, because Bogart is quite a hothead. He has a 'take no prisoners' approach to life, is unafraid of police questioning, and lets his fists do the talking when he flies into a rage, which he does several times.

There is a pathos to Bogart's flaws, which seem to have doomed him to life 'in a lonely place', despite his big heart and authenticity as a person. He just can't help himself when he does things he later regrets, and yet he "he has to explode sometimes," as his agent puts it. He always apologizes afterwards, sometimes in quiet ways, and he's also fiercely protective of friends, including an old actor with a predilection for drinking. He's aging, fighting the system, and fighting himself. We can't help but feel for him, even if he scares us. Bogart's eyes in the moments when he's explaining what must have happened during the murder to his police friend and his wife are truly frightening. It's hard to believe he wasn't nominated for an Oscar for his performance.

In one of the most touching scenes, he's driving with Grahame and says "I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me." They're lines he's trying to work into one of his scripts, but one senses real pain from his past.

In another fantastic scene, the two are in the kitchen after she's read his script, and he's clumsily trying to cut her a grapefruit for breakfast. In what defines his gruff yet tender character, after she's complemented the love scene in the script, he says "That's because they're not always telling each other how much in love they are. A good love scene should be about something else besides love. For instance, this one. Me fixing grapefruit, you sitting over there, dopey, half-asleep. Anyone looking at us could tell we're in love."

Grahame falls for him, and as improbable as the romance may seem, the pair have chemistry, and play their conflicted roles well. She shows great range as their relationship goes through stages, and without spoiling anything, I'll just say that things get difficult for her as Bogart gets erratic, and she realizes he may have committed the crime.

Director Nicholas Ray is taut in his story-telling, and there is a wonderful atmosphere to the film, such as when the two are in a nightclub sitting at a piano with other couples as Hadda Brooks performs "I Hadn't Anyone Till You", drinking and murmuring to one another. "Anything you want to make you happy?" he asks. "I wouldn't want anyone but you," she whispers. There is a sophistication to how people dressed and spoke in movies like this one, a coolness to the way they drank and smoked, and yet it's juxtaposed with violent passion and tragic flaws. The overall emotional effect of the film is like a punch to the gut, and much stronger because of its revised (and apparently improvised) ending. This is no-nonsense, fantastic film noir.
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Great acting talent, great story, great film.....
marshrydrob16 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Humphrey Bogart, driving the city streets at night. The opening scene suggests of a murder mystery thriller. Humphrey Bogart, plays a hard- boiled screenwriter by the name of Dixon Steele. another great character to add to Bogart's list of impressive acting roles. The story revolves around a novelist, looking to get Steele's attention for a future production, and a neighbor of Steele's interests. The novelist turns up murdered, and Dixon Steele is the prime suspect. Dixon Steele's alibi, Gloria Grahame's character Laurel Gray; the neighbor of his interests. The cast play well off from Bogart's and from Grahame's acting talent. Bogart plays one of his toughest roles yet, as a man quick to outbursts of temperament; trying to finish a script with his neighbor as his writer. The ending is unexpected, and all though I believe this to be a great film; I do wish the directors and producers would have extended the ending. It was a little abrupt for my interests. I recommend this movie to any classic film and to any Humphrey Bogart fan. This film is proof, that great movies are getting hard to find.
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"There is no sacrafice too great, for a chance at immortality." (Humphrey Bogart, 1950)
marshrydrob16 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The opening scene and music, they are suggestive of a mystery/ thriller. Humphrey Bogart driving in the city at night, is a fitting way to open the viewers to the film. Immediately, we find out Bogart's character; is a screen writer by the name of Dixon Steele. This is a good name for a Humphrey Bogart character. Steele's first stop, is a diner called Paul's. Here we find out that Dixon Steele is a hard- boiled aging man, with an explosive temperament. The first woman encountered by Bogart, a novelist the name of Mildred. as with other roles, Humphrey Bogart is consistent in his acting. he seems familiar in character to many of his other roles. I believe, Bogart puts a lot of himself into his acting. The novelist, after leaving Dixon Steele's residence; is found murdered, and the police focus on Bogart's character as the prime suspect. Gloria Grahme's character, Miss gray; makes her first appearance at the police station, while Dixon Steele is being questioned by detectives. This leads to a romantic interest between Steele and Gray, and the movie moves forward from there. The actors- Humphrey Bogart, and the rest of the assigned talent for the film; they all play well off of Gloria Grahme's acting talent. The ending is unexpected. This film introduces a great gathering of talent, a great story. In a Lonely Place, is a great movie. I would recommend this movie to all fans of classical film.
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Gloria & Bogie & Noir
DKosty12310 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This is an outstanding film. It is well directed, and the cat is given an excellent script.

Martha Stewart had very few film roles, but makes the most of a few brief moments with Bogie before her murder. That crime then dominates the entire film plot, with Grahame even questioning who done it?

Watch for a young James Arness in the police station as a sort of junior officer serving coffee, housekeeping, and doing other chores.

Jeff Donnell is very effective as an actress in this one too. She is a detectives wife who is busy analyzing Bogart and Grahame. Bogart is really a character here, violent and uncontrolled at times, and always in a hurry. Why the speed? Watch the movie to find out.

The leading cast is so good, that you have to watch intently to pick up on clues leading to the surprise at the end.
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"Why can't he be like other people?"
thejcowboy229 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
In A lonely Place is one of those Bogart pictures I always seem to miss for one reason or another. I've watched this immortal talented natural actor work for years. From his early role in The Enchanted Forest then fighting the law in High Sierra or playing the dashing Rick in Casablanca or fighting a corrupt boxing world in his final film The Harder They Fall, Bogart performances are forthcoming and you seem to see it his way whether right or wrong.. On the other hand Co-Star Gloria Grahame developed her own resume of work throughout her career despite her stormy personal life with four failed marriages . The first time I laid eyes on this attractive woman was in the popular Christmas film It's A Wonderful life as the flirtatious woman of Bedford Falls. Gloria was predominantly used in pictures playing a gun mole in 1950's film noir. The Big Heat comes to mind when she gets boiling water splashed on her face. Here the two are playing a game of trust. Their relationship starts with a murder as the two are brought in for questioning as Bogart playing slumping screen writer Dixon Steele. Moreover Steele has a quick temper and would sock any antagonist at the drop of a hat. Steele through the years has a rap sheet from the law for bar room fights on numerous occasions. The detectives are perturbed by Steele's cool demeanor during questioning as he was last seen with the murdered woman the night before. Throughout the picture you question whether or not Steele committed the murder. Gloria Grahame's Character (Laurel Gray) was equally as coy and evasive with the two bewildered detectives. Not rattled or frazzled by the law she was strong and direct equally as Bogart was in his interrogation. Laurel Gray was the only person who saw the two together that night at the apartments. She felt that Steele was innocent and Steele is released on lack of evidence. As for the murder victim Mildred Atkinson played by Martha Stewart, (not to be confused with the popular homemaker/TV house planner.), Her opening performance as a restaurant hat check girl was strong and direct against the low keyed Bogart. The love dialogue was so eloquently presented as Grahame and Bogart relationship blossoms but that doubt was haunting the Grahame/Laurel Gray character throughout. The grapefruit cutting scene is a personal favorite of mine in the film. The only problem I had with the movie is Bogart's age is showing as he's 50 years old wrinkles and receding hair line apparent against Grahame who is only 30. Fine supporting role by Art Smith as Press agent/ long time friend Mel Lippman. Lippman plays the voice of reason for the irrational behavior of Steele. Unfortunately even Lippman gets a bloody face as tempers flare. Gray's dubious behavior mounts as Steele's unruly furor is about to erupt in a violent rage or will he? Great screenplay by Edmund H. North as Bogart kept his lines close to the original novel as possible. One of Bogart's finest .performances .
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Much overpraised
Orson-117 September 2017
Like many 50's films these days, all Hitchcock for example, this film's reputation, for some reason, has overshot reality.

Sunset Boulevard, released in the same year, is a much better film.

It doesn't go out of its way to be different for difference's sake, as this does. Lonely Place is less than the sum of it's parts and the parts ain't very good.

A slightly better than average film.

I would suggest watching Beat The Devil right afterward to get this film's turgid taste out of your mind.
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Bogart's Best Performance.
Takeshi-K10 September 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Fantastic in The Big Sleep and uber cool in The Maltese Falcon, Humphrey Bogart pushed the envelope on his acting range with In A Lonely Place. Its easily his best performance out of a career of great performances.

Bogart plays Dick Steele, a Hollywood screenwriter who is on the verge of being washed up, after not having had a box office success in years. He is still well respected though, producers still want to hire him and some very glamorous leading ladies are desperate to speak his lines. However his career is harmed by having a reputation of violence and disharmony.

After crossing paths with a future young murder victim, he becomes suspected of being the man responsible. This dilemma threatens to ruin the relationship with the woman that loves him, played by Gloria Grahame. While she is initially supportive of him she too begins also to suspect him.

Its a gripping tale with complex characterisations, with some of the best acting ever in this type of film. Its a timely film to be rediscovered with domestic violence being a current topic too.
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Not that great Bogart as they say...
og_swifty6 July 2017
In a Lonely Place is one of the two successful movies produced by Santana Productions, company owned by Bogart himself and named after his yacht. Humphrey appears in a role of down-on-luck screenwriter Dixon Steele who struggles to write a good script.

Without saying anything else that might be considered a spoiler, his acting was highly praised by back-then movie critics and is considered as one of his best movies ever made. I personally don't agree with these critics and found his acting a bit .. weird, maybe because he was visibly getting old and his wild lifestyle started to take its toll on him.

What is also important to mention is how did Gloria Grahame get the main role (which later become one of her finest ever)? Well, Laurel Gray was initially supposed to be portrayed by Humphrey's wife (and fine actress indeed) Lauren Bacall but she was contracted to Warner Bros and they decided to not release her of their contract for the movie produced by independent Santana Productions in a fear of becoming a threat to their monopoly. The second option was casting Ginger Rogers (the big star of 30's and 40's) but director Nicholas Ray stepped in and decided to cast his own wife - Gloria Grahame. That later turned out to be one of the few good decisions he has made in regard to this movie. Despite the Gloria's fine acting, her marriage with Ray was deteriorating, ending up with Ray catching Gloria in bed with his 13 year old son.. well, she sure was a man- eater, lol.

At last but not least, we have to compare the final version with its novel predecessor by Dorothy Hughes. In a novel, Dixon Steele is only pretending to be a screenwriter, in fact he is just living lavish lifestyle thanks to money from his rich uncle. He is also helping his friend Det. Stg. Brub track a serial killer and is later exposed that the serial killer is no one else but Steele himself. All this that happened in a novel did not happen in a movie itself so if you haven't watch the movie yet, don't worry - the story is a bit different. Writer Hughes describes Steele as a violent psycho and misogynist (back then wide known American social issue) and who knows, maybe Humphrey didn't have to play this part much ;) The ending itself was also changed (thank you Ray!) and in my personal opinion that affected the movie in not exactly favorable way. I won't describe the different but let's say that tragic ending would suit the whole movie better.

To sum this up, movie is definitely worth watching. Besides Gloria Grahame, I'd like to point out fine acting of Frank Lovejoy and Martha Stewart whose presence I enjoyed a lot. Altogether 85%.
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Bogart is fantastic
thompsonm-0503130 June 2017
I am unsure why this film is receiving such high marks as a film noir. For me, this has to be one of the most boring noirs I have ever seen, and as a noir buff, I've seen dozens and dozens of films noir. The entire movie takes place in the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes. The remaining middle of the movie can be excised without affecting the outcome at all. This movie doesn't seem to know what it wants to be: mystery, drama, crime story, or comedy. The music is childish and cartoonish and often intrusive.

The only aspect of this movie that makes it worth watching is Bogie's slow 'crash and burn' as Dix Steele, who realizes how shallow his relationships with others are, even the woman he loves, played by the unbelievably wooden and amateurish Gloria Grahame.

She is supposed to be a woman living in fear that she might have gotten involved with a murderer but there is no love in her, or fear, or happiness, or any other emotion for that matter. I find myself not caring one iota about her and wondering why Dix even bothered pursuing her in thee first place.

The rest of the cast is a mélange of interchangeable, immediately forgettable characters that add very little to the story. There are 2 cops on the case, but one would have been plenty. We have the obligatory drunk friend who adds nothing at all, except for the minuscule comedy relief, which is not welcome here, and the balance of the cast is just filler material. The only exception being Dix's agent Mel who is surprisingly realistic.

All in all, a very forgettable film. Too bad, because Bogart is awesome.
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In a Boring Place
frankwiener23 June 2017
Speaking as a Bogart fan, this movie just didn't click for me, and I'm not going to blame the leading male for its serious flaws and weaknesses. I found it ironic that the story revolved around a Hollywood screenwriter who was grappling with a script because this script must have involved quite a bit of struggling, possibly from a lack of inspiration on the part of the writer.

Bogart aside, I have seen Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, and Art Smith in other films, and they were much better in them. In Grahame's case, perhaps it was the collapse of her marriage to Director Nicholas Ray that seriously weakened her lackluster performance here, but it could have been the very poor, lethargic script as well. Art Smith as the prison physician in "Brute Force" demonstrated how well he can do in much better circumstances.

Very rarely do I appreciate Hollywood films about Hollywood. They always seem self-absorbed to me as someone who is 3,000 miles away from the place, not only physically but culturally. Perhaps I am incapable of understanding the occupational hazards and tribulations of Hollywood folks during the often difficult process of film making. I have yet to reach a conclusion about this. The jury is still out.

For me, the film opens well and finishes on a dramatically compelling and thought provoking note, but I found it very tiresome for at least an hour in between. In my view, the actors were emotionally detached from their characters, most likely as the result of a limp script that, for the most part, lacked energy. Maybe if Bogie took that carefully carved grapefruit and smashed it into Graham's face or threw a pot of hot coffee at her, I would have been jolted out of my yawning listlessness. At any rate, I found this film to be extremely overrated and at or very near the bottom of my Bogart movie list.
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"I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me."
Tim Daldrup22 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The review contains some very light spoilers:

After watching this Bogey movie I am in various ways shocked! First of all I am shocked I never saw this picture before.

Second I am shocked of Bogart's performance. This was tremendous! On the one hand so dark, deeply self-destructive and desperate, the mind of a writer oscillating between the fascination of the violence, which he puts in his screenplays and the film noir generic heavy, but belated regret - on the other hand so gentle swaying and charming, causing an extraordinary desire in us to be accepted by our environment, to be accepted by him. Bogart's face does the rest. After all he remains in the people's head as one of the untouchables, whom about nowadays only few living human beings can tell us.

Third I am shocked of the dramaturgical brilliance of this film. The vehicle to generate tension through leaving the audience in the unknown of whether their favorite character is a murderer or not finds perfection here. Nicholas Ray proceeds with us to a roller coaster drive of hope, anger, fear and satisfaction.

Even if this is a pre-Strassberg movie all the actors do a very good job. Jeez they even move pretty much around and interact with the other cast members instead of staying at one designated spot. Especially Bogart and Gloria Grahame perform together very intensively. Laurel Gray seems to be so afraid of Dixie Steele at some point I was concerned about, if all this wasn't just acting on the set. At last we also can find some obvious, but really cool meta-thoughts on theater and the Hollywood star- and production system at that time. Or you just smile at the scene, where Nicholas Ray tries to convince the audience through the actors and explicit dialogue that this particular one is the perfect love scene.

Well hats off for "In a Lonely Place"! Watch it, you won't regret it.
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Nick Ray gets the best from Bogart and Graham
Phillim19 May 2017
Ostensibly a story about PTSD before it had that clinical name: an otherwise decent, high-functioning, articulate guy explodes at the drop of a fedora. Scrapes and scuffles -- forgiven and/or passed off as typical post-WWII tough stand-up guy behavior, until the police identify him as the last person to have seen a murder victim alive.

For me personally, Bogart as mega-star was a given since I was a tyke watching him on TV, to the point that I find myself not taking him in fully; but his performance here is a revelation: no risk goes unrisked as the man unhinges one hinge at a time. Nick Ray creates a universe where everything and everybody is slightly off, where negative capability -- the promise of very bad things -- is possible at every turn. Bogart the idol is subsumed by Dix Steele, trouble man. In the early scenes there's lots of puerile dialogue wherein that absurdly phallic name is bandied about, to the point of giddiness. This along with slightly more erudite comedy serves to disarm the viewer as we're drawn deeper into the serious subject matter. Like much film noir, it's a comedy about tragedy.

The gifted, always-vulnerable Gloria Graham (bless her!) loves the ruffian and brings out his sweetness. Ray's direction (they were in the midst of a tumultuous marriage off-screen) keeps her character smart and strong -- struggling with loving a man she also fears, not afraid to confront her own masochistic tendencies -- peeling back the layers, peeling back the layers . . .

Like Ray's 'Born to Be Bad' also released in 1950, 'In a Lonely Place' is so different from other films of its time it appears to be made with different chemicals. Ray does the unexpected with familiar faces and familiar genres, and employs audacious rhythms -- lingering too long here, too briefly there. Both films feel beautifully modern for all that.
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What is the right thing to do in a morally vacuous setting?
Lee Eisenberg18 May 2017
It isn't enough to call Nicholas Ray's "In a Lonely Place" a film noir. While it has some of those elements, the movie is more of a commentary on Hollywood's general amorality. Humphrey Bogart's down-on-his-luck screenwriter Dix becomes a suspect in the murder of a woman whom he had recently met, so his neighbor Laurel (Gloria Grahame) gives him an alibi. However, Dix's volatile temper casts doubts on this even for her.

What sets the stage is that Dix hasn't had a hit in years, so he's just the type whom the Hollywood execs would throw out face first. And it's unlikely that they'll come to his aid if he gets in trouble. But the tension between Dix and Laurel dominates the story. Far from the widely seen glitz and glamor with which Tinseltown in usually associated, Dix's world is the lonely place.

Ray took a different gritty approach to the LA area with "Rebel without a Cause", showing the seething tensions beneath the surface of 1950s optimism. Those are the only movies of his that I've seen, but having seen "In a Lonely Place" I would really like to see his other movies. This mixture of cynicism, romance and torment in a pitiless world makes sure to not turn the characters into bland caricatures. We sympathize with them throughout the movie. Basically, the movie asks what one is to do amid his horrifying position in a heartless setting (in this case Hollywood).

Not to be missed.
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An Unpleasant Mystery Man
bigverybadtom19 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Dixon Steele is a Hollywood screenwriter in career difficulty, going to a nightclub to see his longtime agent, who tries to help Steele's career by having a trashy novel adapted to the screen. Steele agrees, but in the process gets into two violent confrontations at the nightclub. Despite this, a hat check girl at the club who has read the novel, which Steele didn't want to read, agrees to visit Steele at his apartment to describe what was in this novel, despite the fact that she would break a date with her boyfriend as a result. She does so and Steele pays her, but after she has left, she is later murdered.

New neighbor Laurel Gray and Steele are called to the police station and questioned, and upon their meeting, develop a romance. Trouble is, Steele has a long record of violent behavior, and Steele alternately acts kind and generously and then threatening towards Gray, making her question her relationship with him. Continuing such behavior makes everyone else, including the police, more and more fearful of Steele. Who is he and what has he done? Great performances from all cast members, great noir atmosphere, but ultimately this is not a pleasant story. The ending in fact is a blessing in disguise.
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"There's no sacrifice too great for a chance at immortality."
elvircorhodzic15 September 2016
IN A LONELY PLACE is a film in which the action takes place in two apartments and a picturesque courtyard. The paradox in the title of the film is excellent. Souls are lonely. Incapable of changing and incapable of love. The mystery surrounding the murder of a young girl is a certain kind of trial for the main protagonists.

Angry and aggressive writer who lives at the expense of success in the past and lawfully but very clever actress connects a murder mystery. Both of them are in some way involved and carry a certain burden. They fall in love and problems arise when the burden should be divided. I think they are both burned in their own idealism. The story can be viewed as a mystery, and the main male character as an enigma. Although, I can easily say that this is a character who has a problem with a lack of understanding and control of emotions. This is certainly not a heartbreaking love story but a classic noir attitude of a man with a dark place in his soul and a woman who at all costs trying to heal him. The main male character becomes a victim of its nature, the main female character are the victim of his self-esteem.

Humphrey Bogart as Dixon Steele just plays well sensitive characters. At this point I would like that fact attributed experience. Characters that are not true heroes, with the specific style and tone. They are appealing and interesting, but often persecuted and sinful. Sometimes guided by greed and lust.

Gloria Grahame as Laurel Gray is a change in man. A woman who can change the human temperament. Her self-esteem and fear they create an alarm that was waking up from a fairy tale in the real world close to a nightmare.

This film is born and dies in a few weeks of love.
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I Really Wanted To Like It
Peter Loew18 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I want to start off by saying that I really wanted to like this movie. I gave it so many chances and, admittedly, really liked the first twenty or thirty minutes. The beginning establishes (albeit through unconvincing choreography in the fights, but still) our main character as complex and full of inner demons. He has violent tendencies and after the girl he brings home one night is murdered, it's only natural to think he might have had something to do with it. However, this all goes downhill once Gloria Grahame's character comes in. At first, her character seems strong, independent, and about as bored of life as Bogart's, but once Bogart "falls" for her (in ten seconds) she loses all those qualities. After this, we get to see just how bad her performance is. She reciprocates the "love" in an awful, cliché kissing scene that features typical 50s music rising to a "romantic crescendo" and then the movie shifts focus from the interesting, complex Bogart to the horribly uninteresting Grahame. The rest of the movie is just a huge combination of typical, cheesy romance with hints of "I'm having doubts" because of more horribly choreographed fight scenes from Bogart. Everything feels rushed and unimportant, which makes the entire base of the movie fall apart. The supposed "amazingly tragic" ending is undermined because we don't CARE about these characters. We learn nothing more about Bogart's character and Grahame's… well, what does she have? She must be interesting, right? If she's the main character? Well… she's been with a lot of guys? That's about it. Her character spends the whole movie partaking in romantic banter and worrying about the same thing over and over. Now, why is her acting so bad? Look at any of the reviews on this site, everyone says she is "as usual, amazing" so how could she be bad? Well, I'm not sure what everyone here is smoking, but take a look at her facial expressions. She's always having her right eyebrow up as if she's some kind of prude and her eyelids are always, ALWAYS lowered a bit to seem seducing, I guess? Her tone never changes and during her most emotional scenes all she does is have some fake tears poured on her (but not too much, because the audience needs to see her as "beautiful and perfect" no matter what human thing she does, including crying) and covers her face. Still with the eyebrow, still with the lowered eyelids. She does this throughout the entire movie. In It's A Wonderful Life, her style worked because she was playing a shallow, popular girl, but here she needs to be emotional and sensitive, but also strong, but she just looks bored all the time! Bogart's acting is somewhat admirable. Again, most reviewers say this is his best performance, which might be true. But Bogart was never a top-notch actor, he just played himself in every role, so this probably is his best on THAT scale. He's a lot like George Clooney. He's definitely the best actor in the movie, but I wish the movie focused more on him so we could see the tortured soul of the character and the acting chops on Bogart to bring those qualities out. But instead, we get brief glimpses into that (such as the "fake killing story" scene, which is the best scene of the movie, because of the shadows and vigor with which Bogart talks) and then go into typical romance territory ("I Hadn't Anyone Till You"? Really? As if the point that the characters are in love weren't more obvious?). I suppose these actors (being old) are revered simply for that reason. Bogart was in one of the most acclaimed movies of all time and Graham was another "beautiful face" and "classic" actress. I feel like most people are scared to see that these performances are underwhelming. Again, these performances aren't found in ALL old movies; 12 Angry Men has a great performance from Lee J. Cobb and Henry Fonda and James Stewart if amazing in It's A Wonderful Life. These types of movies seem to go for the "cool" type performances that aren't very human at all. And human is exactly what the character of this movie needs to be (if we only got to see more of him). These things aside, the cinematography is very nice. Dark areas and shadows everywhere adds to the feel of the movie (it reminds me a lot of Bigger Than Life, Ray's later movie, which had masterful use of shadows). The soundtrack is god-awful, like most old movies. It adds nothing but cheese. The supporting performances don't need to do much, but they aren't bad. Again, everything else is just okay. But the central parts of the movie are weak. Very weak. I looked up Ebert's four star review to see if I could understand the reasons why this movie is praised so much and only found a plot summery and typical performance praise for these veteran actors. The ending… is not that great, people. Spoilers, they break up because of the "turmoil" all the crime drama caused and Graham's character tearfully (but still beautifully, just in case you forgot she needed to be pretty all the time) spouts a line Bogart came up with that was so obviously going to come in later. Of course, Bogart didn't commit the murder, but he lost his, oh, god, ONE TRUE LOVE. Again, if you don't care about the characters or give time and thought to the relationship, nobody will care when it comes to an end. And if you're main lady looks at the audience with her eyebrow raised ALL THE FREAKING TIME then the audience might get a tad annoyed and possibly be glad when the relationship doesn't work out.

A great plot that could have had potential, but was lost in tired tropes of the times. This is a 4 out of 10. Rock and roll, deal with it.
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Incredibly dark
Leofwine_draca11 June 2016
IN A LONELY PLACE is a brilliant little film but also one that's difficult to sit through because the central story is so damned depressing. This has to be one of the bleakest-ever film noirs to come out of Hollywood; it's a film so dark that it feels incredible it ever got made, with the central thrust of the tale building up to a powerhouse climax which is a near-perfect culmination of everything that's built up to that point.

I'm amused to think of theatregoers heading off to see this film expecting a typical romance between big movie stars Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Graham. What a shock they must have been in for! Both actors act their socks off throughout, although it's Bogart who gets all the plaudits for playing such a complicated and unpleasant character.

The central narrative is a murder mystery in which the authorities suspect Bogart of committing a crime but don't have the evidence to convict him of it. It doesn't help that Bogart plays a violent man given to violent acts throughout the movie. The screenplay keeps you guessing as to his guilt right until the end, and it's never less than well directed throughout. I thought the supporting cast were a little weak here, but when so much of the focus is on Bogart and Grahame, it doesn't really matter.
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Shawn Watson7 June 2016
There are many hidden classics in the noir genre that are waiting to be rediscovered by modern audiences. In a Lonely Place is so contained and concise that it could almost be a stage play, while very nearly being a super-metafictional experience.

Bogey plays Dixon Steele (yeah, Dick Steele) a Hollywood screenwriter with a very short temper in need of inspiration and a hit. His latest assignment is to adapt a popular novel but he can't be bothered reading it. Instead he pays a girl to recite the story to him until he gets the gist and can wings it from there. When he sends the girl home she is never seen alive again and Dix is the main suspect.

His neighbor Laurel vouches for him, but secretly has doubts about his innocence. They begin a turbulent affair, which is just the inspiration Dix has been looking for and he fires out his script with many changes along the way, though the studio just wanted a straight adaptation. Laurel's suspicion of Dix builds as his rage reaches a critical mass and their relationship begins to buckle under the pressure. This is noir after all. Doom slowly permeates everyone's life and there are never happy endings.

The themes of artistic aloneness and alienating Hollywood culture remain timeless to this day. Based on a novel by Dorothy B. Hughes the first writer of the movie was himself tasked with delivering a straight adaptation but a rewrite deviated from the material and came up with something new. Bogey loved the script and there are many who say that his own propensity for sudden rage made him the perfect actor for the role of Dixon Steele. The acting and connections between the characters give this film a lot of rewatch value. You really get pulled into their world and dark affair. There are a couple of weaknesses though. The score is often intrusive and tonally inappropriate and a few of the sets are disappointingly sparse. It doesn't spoil the atmosphere too much though.

In a Lonely Place is most certainly one of my favorite film noirs and will never be lonely sitting on my shelf.
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They should have changed the name
Richard E. Boardman2 June 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I just finished reading the Dorothy Hughes' novel which this movie was named after and which it supposedly was based. I had not seen the movie so I rented it from iTunes right after putting down the book. I must say I enjoyed them both but also discovered they had almost nothing in common. Okay there was an LA apartment in both of them. The movie uses many of the names from the book but the personalities and roles are completely different. I knew the endings were quite different (i.e. the protagonist is guilty in one and innocent in the other) but I thought there might be one line of dialog taken from the book. No, not one line that I could tell.

That aside, the movie should be judged on it's own merits and the acting and directing are excellent. I love seeing the old L.A. scenes. The plot is dated in that it is way more tolerant of male spousal abuse than you would ever see today. The ending in the movie seems to imply that the big breakup was all due to a misunderstanding over the false accusations against Bogie's character Dix. By today's standards leading lady Laurel had more than enough reason to give Dix his walking papers way earlier than she did. I think as a viewer I was supposed to be hoping they would patch things up and get together but I found myself yelling at Laurel, "Get the hell out. Now!!! You don't have to put up with that s***." And I'm a guy.

Bottom line: although the book is a bit better, read it AND see the movie. They are two very different animals.
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A profound digging to the core of primitive emotional bog
lasttimeisaw31 March 2016
A Humphrey Bogart headlined suspense drama, directed by Nicholas Ray, his fourth feature, also co-starring Ray's then wife Gloria Grahame, IN A LONELY PLACE has enjoyed a steady augmentation of accolades through the years, Bogart's performance is praised as one of his finest, as Dixon Steele, a Hollywood screenwriter with a propensity for violence, who becomes a major suspect of the murder of Mildred Atkinson (Stewart), a hat-check girl whom he had brought home to read him the story of a book, which he has been required to adapt.

A key witness is Dixon's new neighbour, Laurel Gray (Grahame), a young lady just gets out of an unfruitful relationship, who attests that Mildred left Dixon's place alone and unharmed. A mutual attraction burgeons rapidly between Laurel and Dixon, and Mel Lippman (Smith), Dixon's long-time agent, gladly finds Dixon is back on track in his works while nurtured by the new romance. But still, the murderer is at large, and Dixon's history of violence starts to take a heavy toll on Laurel, upset by Dixon's escalating outrageous behaviours to either strangers or those who are around him, Laurel begins to question his innocence and develops a deep fear for him, she decides to run away, but, will Dixon let her off the hook so easily and a more crucial question, who is the heartless killer?

With the foreground of a plot about murder and the introduction of Laurel as an alluring pseudo- femme fatale, viewers might expect that the picture would be a taut whodunit or a scheming film- noir, however, the film actually dodges them both, Dixon has no motive to conduct the crime at the first place, although Captain Lochner (Reid) once hectors Laurel that the act might be executed by a psychopath, but it transpires that there is rationale behind the homicide in the end of the day. Instead, the remarkable thing Ray and his writers have done is to emphasis on the commoner but far more profound groundings, the two incongruous characteristics between man and woman, i.e. the latter is greatly threatened by man's inbred inclination towards physical violence whereas the former is forever frustrated and infuriated towards the latter's capricious paranoia (quite a dichotomous conclusion might not apply to today's climate of gender politics, but 65 years ago, it is as incisive as any filmmaker can get). So the unsolved murder case becomes a perfect hotbed for the ill-fated lovers to lash themselves into distrust, doubt, fear and anger, until the climax, a belated telephone ingeniously draws to a poignant close.

The film is a small-scale production with a lucid narrative, but it is enormously engaging (both Bogart and Grahame are marvellous here), a telling proof that movies can be done in a very economic budget, as long as its story is brilliant enough. However, as the narrative goes on, audience is gradually predisposed to side with Laurel, since the method to externalise Dixon's innate defect is way too progressive, and it becomes rather tough to sympathise with Dixon although Bogart leavens him with astonishing pathos, how can you expect any sensible woman to indulge such a trigger-happy brute, eventually, we feel glad that the story ends that way, but that's not what we suppose to feel, in a perfect world, we should be sorry for both of them.
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Good noir, some lame irony
begob2 March 2016
A volatile screenwriter avoids a murder charge on the alibi of his beautiful neighbour, and they fall in love. But the honeymoon gets complicated.

Enjoyable noir, with two fascinating leads. Bogart is gruff and smart, sympathetic and overbearing. Grahame is haughty yet supine, and her eyebrows do their thing. Also some unexpected titillation.

The plot has a lot of writer as misunderstood hero navel-gazing, plus lame showbiz humour (especially the agent and the drunk Shakespearean actor). Can't say any of the lines really struck home, but the actors work the chemistry. There's a lovely scene at the piano about halfway through that sparks off some confusion in the plot by adding even more to a cast of unnecessary characters, but in the end the emphasis is on the lead actors with a well judged outcome. If only people could get along when they're destined to - howl!

Photography is OK, but some great close ups. And the music suits just right.

Overall - good genre with great performances. And I just realised where Scarlett Johansson got her inspiration.
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Wacky noir with Bogart & Grahame
JasparLamarCrabb29 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Quite possibly the wackiest film noir. Screenwriter Humphrey Bogart has serious anger management issues and finds himself accused of murder. Seemingly too-good-to-be-true neighbor Gloria Grahame helps him out until she begins to have her doubts. Bogart's performance is absolutely explosive and he's well matched with the off-kilter Grahame. Director Nicholas Ray wastes no time in establishing that this relationship is going to be decidedly outré and the film is full of bizarre touches (Grahame's unusual dependency on her masseuse is a real head scratcher). The chemistry between Bogart & Grahame is dynamite and Ray moves this film along at a real brisk clip. It's oddly claustrophobic with it's apartment house/court yard setting but it's also never dark (as most noir films are). Burnett Guffey, who shot everything from GIDGET to BONNIE CLYDE, did the stunning cinematography.
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I Can Understand Why Bogie is Lonely
tybrando-32-7482287 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I like Bogart . . . I'm a fan . . . however, (SPOILER ALERT!!! from here on out) the character he plays in this movie has got to be one of the biggest assholes ever! It isn't really explained WHY he is a supreme asshole -- he just is. And, if you "love" him, you are just supposed to tolerate it. An ex-Army buddy says, "He's dynamite and bound to explode once in a while -- ya gotta take the good with the bad." Maybe it wasn't the army buddy -- it may have been his "agent" (whom he socks around).

Dix (Bogart) gets accused of murdering a young woman he'd been seen leaving a club with. He is a primary suspect for pretty much the entire movie. I (personally) never believed he killed her. I think the audience is "clued in" early on that he did not. So, there's no suspense there. It may have been a better film if the audience wasn't informed of this and we were all wondering, "Did he do it?"

An attractive woman who lives in the same building complex eyes him and lets him know that she "Likes what she sees". So, pretty soon they are a "couple." But, as much as she likes/loves this guy, she also realizes he is not quite "normal". At one point she sees him lose control and almost beat a guy to death with his fists (and about to bash his head in with a rock) over a traffic incident!

I did enjoy the locale, sets, and some of the scenery. The acting is pretty good. But I'm not sure anyone under 60 would enjoy this B&W film, which is quite dated compared to the tastes and standards of 2015.

The movie is mostly much ado about nothing. What is the point? The point is (I hope), if you EVER encounter a guy like Bogie, RUN (don't walk) the other way!

There IS "something wrong with him" lady. You are right! This movie came out in 1950 and I hope that Bogie wasn't any kind of 'role model' for anyone with *this* film. He is the kind of guy that gives "guys" (in general) a bad name.
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A Film-Noir Classic!
framptonhollis6 December 2015
This is a great, classic film directed by Nicolas Ray.

Using a clever and witty script, an engaging and simple story, and just, overall, great execution, "In a Lonely Place" is one of the absolute greats. I think that it's pretty underrated, or at least under seen by most people. If you have never seen this, I highly recommend you do soon as possible, and it doesn't even matter what you think of film noir, because "In a Lonely Place" is a lot more than just a film noir.

The script is both heartbreakingly tragic (I was genuinely surprised at how bleak the ending was), and pretty funny at times. It has the strong wit and cleverness that most great film noir's do.

The characters are also pretty great. Humphrey Bogart succeeds to be pretty intimidating and violent, while still being enjoyable and somewhat sympathetic.

Highly, highly recommended classic.
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