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In A Lonely Place [DVD] [2003]

38 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid, Art Smith
  • Directors: Nicholas Ray
  • Writers: Andrew Solt, Dorothy B. Hughes, Edmund H. North
  • Producers: Henry S. Kesler, Robert Lord
  • Format: Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Dutch, English, French, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Jan. 2003
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007JGKS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,363 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Academy Award(r) winner Humphrey Bogart (Best Actor, The African Queen, 1951) stars as Dixon Steele, a down-on-his-luck studio scribe who reluctantly agrees to adapt a trashy bestseller to the silver screen. Rather than read the book himself, Steele convinces a star-struck hatcheck girl, Mildred Atkinson, to accompany him home and tell him the story in her own words. Later that night, Mildred is found murdered and Steele, who has a history of violent behavior, becomes the prime suspect. Fortunately for him, his sexy neighbor, Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame), who is physically attracted to the writer, lies to the police by providing Steele with an air-tight alibi. But is he truly innocent of Mildred's death or is Laurel destined to become the next victim of Steele's violent temper?


One of the classics of the noir psychological thriller, In a Lonely Place is one of Humphrey Bogart's finest performances. He is almost unbearably intense as Dixon Steele, a screenwriter with high standards and a nasty temper who finds himself under suspicion when Mildred, a hat-check girl he knows, is found murdered. Immediately he gets an alibi from a neighbour, Laurel, and equally quickly, he recognises that this is a woman who meets his standards: the question is, as suspicion of his involvement in Mildred's death continues, can he make himself meet hers?

This is a wonderful study in trust and suspicion and the limits of love; Bogart's performance is impressive simply because he is prepared to go well over the limits of our sympathy in the name of emotional truth. The scene where he explains imaginatively to a cop and his wife how the murder might have happened is a spine-chilling, creepy portrait of amoral artistic brilliance. Gloria Grahame is equally fine as the woman who lets herself love him, for a while.

On the DVD: In a Lonely Place comes with an excellent documentary in which Curtis Hanson (LA Confidential) explains the importance of the film to him and discusses its place in the work of Bogart and the director Nicholas Ray; there is also a quick interesting documentary about the restoration and digitisation of classic films. The film is presented with a visual aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and with restored Dolby Surround sound that does full justice to the film's snappy dialogue and the moody George Antheil score. --Roz Kaveney

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By The Bookworm on 15 Mar. 2004
Format: DVD
This is a dark, beautiful film from director Nicholas Ray, best known for "Rebel Without A Cause". Ray was one of Hollywood's outsiders with a reputation for dark, edgy pictures that went against the grain of what a commercial movie should be. "In A Lonely Place" finds the brilliantly-cast Bogart as a weary, volatile, couldn't-care-less screenwriter who is mistakenly suspected of the murder of a young girl. The mysterious, ice-cool blonde nextdoor (Gloria Grahame) gives him an alibi... but why? The pair proceed to seduce each other but their complex relationship is put to the test by Bogart's insecurities and barely suppressed temper... is he capable of murder after all?
It's a powerful, well-written film with a suitably moody L.A feel, a terrific anti-hero performance from Bogart (proof of his acting chops and why he was such a big star), and a fittingly well-wrought climax. One of my favourite '50s movies.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Henry Ireton VINE VOICE on 27 Mar. 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is a wonderful exploration of psychological doubt. What seems at first to be a simple film noir full of wise craching and sexy women turns into an interesting exploration of relationships- of how to maintain and not maintain relationships wherein one of the partners is unstable in some way. The actors turn in fantastic performances, Bogart as people have said above is flawless in his portrait of Dixon but Gloria Graham is wonderful too- torn between her doubts about Bogart and her love for him. You can see the chemistry crackle between them- they have some marvellous exchanges of dialogue which light up the set with wit, but you can also see why this man is a potential wife beater, a potential murderer. Bogart gives us a thug who is tender and kind, who protects an actor who is out of work and a drunk, who wants to write only films he will be proud of- instead of a pure thug- we have a nuanced portrait of a man who might be a murderer. Quite simply this is possibly the best noir of all the ones I have watched- a wonderful wonderful experience which all should share.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Georgia on 2 Feb. 2003
Format: DVD
"I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me." Dixon Steele
Humphrey Bogart plays Dixon Steele, a Hollywood Screenwriter with a violent nature. After he is called upon to write a screen play for a trashy book, he engages the help of Mildred Atkinson (Martha Stewart) to summarise the book for him at his house. (Atkinson is young, naive and annoying; I think she is the only thing that overcasts a great movie).
Atkinson eventually leaves to go home (she goes to a cab station) and we never see her again. Nor does anyone else; she's been brutally murdered and dumped at a roadside.
Having been the last person to see her, Steele is naturally suspected by the police. However, his alibi is backed up from his beautiful neighbour, wannabe actress Laurel Grey (Gloria Grahame.)
A standard film would then centre on the budding romance between Steele and Grey, but "In a Lonely Place," to its credit, does not. Instead the end result of the film makes you want to see it all over again, despite the ending (I will not spoil it for those who have not seen it!) It is a really powerful film, and due to the great acting you definately empathise with the characters, and understand the conflicting emotions of love and fear.
This is a good film, and one I would recommend buying.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. M. Waller on 4 Jan. 2010
Format: DVD
Have you ever come across the bizarre prejudice when people say "I don't like black and white movies. They're boring!" No? Well you're lucky. I have met too many like this. I tell them that my first experience of a black and white movie was "In a Lonely Place". A key scene which still replays in my mind is the one where Bogart is about to smash a rock on some poor innocent guy's head. It's scary. Makes Reservoir Dogs look like Teletubbies. Yeah, black and white is boring. I never forgot this movie since. It scarred me. I realised the power of film subconsciously and it haunted me ever since. Bogart is incredible in this film. He plays a screenwriter who is suspected of murdering a young girl. The only person that believes him is Gloria Graheme, but even she's not sure. You know how it is. You've just met a girl and you got a murder charge hanging over your head. Just your average Rom Com then. Anyway, from first scene til last, this film grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. The whole film is tinged with terror. Bogart is incredibly bi-polar in this movie and he even make Dobbs from Sierra Madre look a little quaint. A great double bill would be "In A Lonely Place" and "Sunset Boulevard", both films about Hollywod in a sideways kind of way and both film are incredibly sinister. They were both made around the same time and once seen are rarely forgotten.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By doctor oz MB,MRCP on 31 May 2009
Format: DVD
This is a cross between a taut film noir and a dark character study of the pressures of being a movie celebrity and is still provocative and original on all counts of the account of a moody and cynical burnt out hollywood writer.

The smouldering atmosphere ,the ugliness of the show business to it's own protagonists ,the mockery of the film writer's professional compromises is as relevant a satire today.

Bogart gives a solid,brilliant portrayal as a deluded,disillusioned intellectual craving for love ,while gloria Grahame as a smouldering archetypal blonde starlet is looking for emotional security form a man who himself is disintegrating .

Disguised as a murder mystery where bogart is a prime suspect and even his lover ,who is his only alibi is sceptical herself of his guilt evolves into a complex character study of a man on the brink of self destruction yet with a wish to salvage his soul .

The star-crossed lovers virtually clash in a rage on screen with their distrust of each other despite a fragile bond love shared in their sceptical minds ,the encounters vary from deeply tender intimacy to almost schizoid frenzy which terrifies with the intensity of bogart's rage .

NICHOLAS Ray is a director to celebrate and goes for a realistic logical approach to create a dark classic which makes present day satirical interpretations of the golden age of hollywood look like a mere spoof ,this is cinema at it's subtle psychological fascinating best but extremely powerful and thought provoking with great acting by the whole cast .

The desperation of the characters is so powerful it almost oozes from the screen and keeps you spellbound ,a rather bizarre but memorable exploration of the underbelly of the american dream by the sceptics and the desperate and yet totally convincing and very entertaining as well.
I loved every moment of this masterpiece .
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