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With: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid, Art Smith, Jeff Donnell, Martha Stewart, Robert Warwick
Written by: Andrew Solt, Edmund H. North, based on the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes
Directed by: Nicholas Ray
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 94
Date: 17/05/1950

In a Lonely Place (1950)

4 Stars (out of 4)

I Told My Story Better...

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The more I see of Nicholas Ray's work, the more I appreciate his intense, visual treatments of potent emotional themes. One of Ray's best and surprisingly most underrated films has just been released on DVD, In a Lonely Place (1951).

Humphrey Bogart plays a Hollywood screenwriter, Dixon Steele, who invites a coat check girl home to tell him the plot of a book he's too lazy to read. When she turns up murdered the next day, Steele is the prime suspect.

At the same time, he meets his sexy new neighbor (Gloria Grahame) and she inspires him to begin a new script. But the tension from the murder case and Steele's bursts of rage threaten to tear the new couple apart.

Ray makes striking use of Los Angeles locations, notably Steele's apartment complex with the connecting courtyard. One of the best scenes has Bogey cutting grapefruit and mistakenly straightening out the curved grapefruit knife, very subtly setting Grahame on edge. It's a truly great film.

Columbia/TriStar's DVD release comes with a "restoration" featurette, and a "In a Lonely Place: Revisited," featuring director Curtis Hanson's take on the film.

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