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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
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.
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.