In a Lonely Place


In a Lonely Place (1950), directed by Nicholas Ray (They Live by Night, Rebel Without a Cause) and starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame, is a film noir based on the Dorothy B. Hughes (1947) novel of the same name. I've heard the book is still a compelling read, and I'd say the movie holds its own as well despite the now outdated male-female power dynamic (in Hollywood films) and lead actors' 20-year-plus age difference. I read that the film was criticized after its release for the unhappy ending. This, though, I felt was refreshing, and kind of the point of the story, in which a screenwriter is a suspect in a murder investigation over the same two weeks he's falling hard for his neighbor. The cops keep hounding the guy, and this weighs on him, the girl, and ultimately their relationship, which eventually breaks down and then apart. What did they expect? It's noir. And great to see Bogey not playing the toughie who never loses his cool but rather the toughie who does, then spirals out of control.

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