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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly Remarkable Film, 8 Feb. 2011
This review is from: In A Lonely Place [DVD] [2003] (DVD)
In A Lonely Place (1950)

The director, Curtis Hanson, has said that great films tend to be the results of great collaborations between actors and directors, and as examples he offers films like The Searchers, (Ford and Wayne 1956), Vertigo (Hitchcock and Stewart 1958) and A woman Under The Influence, (Cassavetes and Rowlands, 1974). He also includes, In A Lonely Place, (Ray and Bogart 1958) as a fine example for successful collaboration

Nicholas Ray has been quoted to say, " Bogie had seen my first film, They live by night, and had admired it greatly. He approached me to make Knock on any door, optioned me for a second film and exercised the option immediately in the form of In A Lonely Place." The film, which is based on the novel of the same title, by Dorothy B Hughes, was reshaped into a brilliant script by the screenwriter, Andrew Solt. The film, under the guiding hand of Ray, swiftly moves on to illustrate how loneliness and violence can in certain circumstances be interconnected.

Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart), a writer who has seen better days, is presented by his agent Mel Lippman (Art Smith) with a copy of a best seller to adapt into a movie screen play . Mel asked Dixon if he would read it and decide overnight. Loathe to have to read the trashy novel, Steele is relieved to find that the hatcheck girl at the bar has read the book and was agreeable to accompany him to his apartment that evening to relate the plot to him verbally. This he accepts, and when she has completed the task he sends her home in a taxi.

The following morning, a detective, Brub Nickolai (Frank Lovejoy) calls to accompany Dixon to Beverly Hills police department as the girl has been murdered. He is a suspect, primarily because he is known for his violent temper and physical assaults on others. Laurel Gray ( an impressive Gloria Grahame, the then wife of the Director) provides him with a good alibi. A warm relationship, which soon turns into love, develops between the two. She brings tranquillity to his life and he soon produces the required screenplay. In the meantime, the police and especially Captain Lochner (Carl Benton Reid) are convinced that he is their man and pursue him with unrelenting pressure.

But as Dixon's fits of violence begin to erupt for the slightest of reasons, and his paranoiac jealousy and suspicion of Laurel increase, things start to deteriorate. Will those personality traits eventually succeed in destroying her love and affection for him ? Will they add to her fear of him and fuel her suspicion of his guilt? Dixon's paranoia intensifies, and being unable to cope with his fury, a terrified laurel wonders if he is the killer after all.

Gripping stuff.
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