“ Genre: Drama / Parental Guidance / Director: Nicholas Ray / Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid, Art Smith ... / DVD released 2003-01-27 at Sony Pictures Home Entertainment / Features of the DVD: Subtitled, PAL „
* Prices may differ from that shown
RELEASED: 1950, Cert. PG
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 94 mins
DIRECTOR: Nicholas Ray
PRODUCER: Robert Lord
SCREENPLAY: Andrew Solt
MUSIC: George Antheil
Humphrey Bogart as Dix
Art Smith as Mel
Martha Stewart as Mildred
Gloria Grahame as Laurel
Frank Lovejoy as Brub
Jeff Donnell as Sylvia
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Filmed in black and white, In A Lonely Place is an art noir movie where Humphrey Bogart plays the lead role of Dix, an ex-WW2 veteran turned screenplay writer.
When Dix befriends a hat-check girl who offers to tell him the story of a book she's read which he needs to write a film screenplay for but is too lazy to read the book for himself, he is then the main suspect in a murder case when the girl is found dead the following day.
Dix's new neighbour, Laurel, steps forward and provides an alibi for him, hoping to clear his name and perhaps later persuade him to have some words in the right ears to enable her to become a movie star.
Despite Laurel's alibi, the police continue to keep an eye on Dix, as his ex-army colleague Budd, who joined the force after his army discharge, is aware of Dix's volatile nature and tendency towards irrational outbursts of intense anger.
As Dix and Laurel continue to assert his innocence, they fall in love...but Laurel becomes nervous of a future with Dix once she sees his temper in action.
That sets the scene and to find out Dix's fate and whether he and Laurel do or don't walk off into the sunset together, you must see the film for yourself.
In A Lonely Place is very typical of a batch of rather good art-noir films which came out of the period from around 1947-ish until the mid-1950s. Perhaps it isn't as well-known as some of the others and thus could possibly have been bypassed by even the film buffs, but it is nonetheless an interesting piece of cinema.
The film score is exactly as one would expect from a drama made in 1950....highly orchestrated, distinctly over the top and laden with either intense or romantic violins, depending on what is happening on the screen at any given moment. I am a great lover of these art-noir films from this particular era, but the 'in your face' musical aspect is something I can do without. However, I must accept that to merely be a fashion, and it was a passing phase.
Another fashion issue is the acting style. All of the cast from In A Lonely Place play their parts in a slightly overdone, rather dramatic way, but for its day and within the limitations of trend, the whole cast comes across as more than satisfactory. Although Humphrey Bogart does speak his lines in the voice style he is famous for, this is actually, in my opinion, one of his best roles. If you can rid your mind of any associated clichés spoken in a Bogart-style voice, thereby rising above it, you can then appreciate Bogart in this role at his probable best, and in this film he particularly excels at conveying - through voice intonation, body language and facial expression - a likeable, but volatile man whose moods can flip from one extreme to the other seemingly without reason or provocation.
I found In A Lonely Place quite an easy storyline to understand, it containing few or no confusing bits, but I am at a loss to comprehend the relevance of the title to the storyline. Maybe I have blinked and missed some kind of subtlety?
There are many sub-characters in this film, with my favourite of them being a lovely, humorous man who is always as drunk as a skunk, but his role is quite minor and whilst searching through the cast-list, I'm unable to work out which actor played his part.
In A Lonely Place is quite a tense film, but there are light-hearted moments to balance out the proceedings and as a whole, is quite enjoyable. I do recommend giving it a watch if you are a fan of 1940s/1950s art-noir material, but it won't be for you if you like a lot of action. There is a car chase at one point in the film, but it is almost laughably tame compared to what we have become used to in more recent times. In A Lonely Place also isn't something to watch if you'd consider it to be dated, as it is definitely and very noticeably rooted in the past, being very much a product of its own era....as are all films.
My recommendation would be to say yes, watch it if you can switch your mind back to another era and take the film exactly for what it is, but don't expect wild special effects, glorious technicolour, method acting, etc. etc. etc.
At the time of writing, In A Lonely Place can be purchased from Amazon as follows:-
New: from £3.23 to £999.00 (!!!)
Used: from £3.23 to £3.89
A delivery charge of £1.26 should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
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