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In a Lonely Place

[THREE NIGHTS ONLY, REVIVAL] “The Bogart suspense picture with the surprise finish,” promises the mendacious poster for this dark gem by Nicholas Ray. At least they got the actor right. As for suspense, it’s virtually nonexistent. And the ending is only surprising if you are expecting a surprise. In a Lonely Place begins in the standard noir mode, with the midnight strangling of a bright-eyed Hollywood naif who spent her few final minutes on earth with cantankerous screenwriter Dixon Steele (Bogart). Luckily for Dix, his svelte neighbor Laurel Gray (a glowing Gloria Grahame) saw the doomed dame leave Dix’s apartment alone, so there’s little doubt Dix is innocent. There’s also little doubt Dix is a world-class dick. He’s a brawler with a hot head and a cold heart—Laurel, of course, falls head over heels—and Bogart digs into the bastard with that famous brow furrowed so intensely it looks like the accordioned hood of a wrecked Packard. This is the Bogie show, dammit, and Ray knows it. So the mystery falls away, and Laurel falls into Dix, and Ray zeroes in on the darkness at the center of Dix, in the heart of Bogart, at the edges of our more morbid moments, and it is, in fact, very lonely there.

Special Note

 5th Avenue Cinema. 7 and 9:30 pm Friday-Saturday, Oct. 14-15. 3 pm Sunday, Oct. 16.
  • Genres: Drama
  • Running Time: 91 minutes
  • Release Date: Wednesday, May 17, 1950
  • Country: United States
  • Language: English
  • Critic's Score: 88
  • Starring: Humphrey Bogart [Dixon Steele], Gloria Grahame [Laurel Gray], Frank Lovejoy [Det. Sgt. Brub Nicolai], Carl Benton Reid [Capt. Lochner], Art Smith [Mel Lippman], Jeff Donnell [Sylvia Nicolai], Martha Stewart [Mildred Atkinson], Robert Warwick [Charlie Waterman], Morris Ankrum [Lloyd Barnes], William Ching [Ted Barton], Steven Geray [Paul], Hadda Brooks [Singer], Alix Talton [Fran Randolph (uncredited)], Jack Reynolds [Henry Kesler (uncredited)], Ruth Warren [Effie, Cleaning Lady (uncredited)], Ruth Gillette [Martha, Masseuse (uncredited)], Guy Beach [Mr. Swan (uncredited)], Lewis Howard [Junior (uncredited)], Mike Romanoff [Himself (uncredited)], Arno Frey [Joe (uncredited)], Pat Barton [2nd Hatcheck Girl (uncredited)], Cosmo Sardo [Bartender (uncredited)], Don Hamin [John Mason (uncredited)], George Davis [Waiter (uncredited)], Billy Gray [Young Boy seeking autograph (uncredited)], Melinda Erickson [Tough Girl (uncredited)], Jack Jahries [Officer (uncredited)], David Bond [Dr. Richards (uncredited)], Myron Healey [Post Office Clerk (uncredited)], Robert Lowell [Airline Clerk (uncredited)]
  • Directed by: Nicholas Ray [Director], Dorothy Hughes [Writer], Edmund North [Writer], Andrew Solt [Writer], George d [Original Music], Burnett Guffey [Cinematographer], Viola Lawrence [Film Editor], Robert Peterson [Art Direction], William Kiernan [Set Decoration], Jean Louis [Costume Designer]
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  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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