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
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?
From the Back Cover
Humphrey Bogart stars as Dixon Steele, a screenwriter who is faced with the odious task of scripting a trashy best-seller. He enlists hat-check girl Mildred Atkinson to tell him the story in her own words.
Later that night, Mildred is murdered and Steele is a prime suspect; his record of belligerence when angry and macabre sense of humour implicate him. Fortunately, lovely neighbour Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame) gives him an alibi. Laurel proves to be just what Steele needed, and their friendship ripens into love.
Will suspicion, doubt, and Steeles inner demons come between them?
Humphrey Bogart In A Lonely Place