In a Lonely Place

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(1950) ★★★★

Film4: Thursday 9 July, 2.55pm

Humphrey Bogart as moody screenwriter Dixon Steele, prime suspect when the police are puzzled by his apparent indifference to a hatcheck girl’s murder, last seen exiting his apartment late at night. He doesn’t think he’s in trouble “unless you plan to arrest me for lack of emotion.” Martha Stewart’s innocent Mildred had been summarising the plot of a bestseller for Bogart, who’s been hired to script the book but would prefer not to read it. “I do hope it’s going to be in Technicolor,” she says breathlessly. “I’ll be sure to suggest that to the producers,” says Bogart insincerely. Classy dark thriller with deeply neurotic characters and an extremely sour attitude to Hollywood’s workings. Released in the same year as Billy Wilder’s Sunset Blvd, it’s one of the best films from the frustratingly inconsistent director Nicholas Ray (Rebel without a Cause, Johnny Guitar). There’s fine support, too, from the wonderful Gloria Grahame, perfectly cast as Dix’s deceptively cool lover. She’s Bogart’s alibi and he’s sticking to her. An erratic personality with a violent past and a volatile temper, Dixon Steele is a character ideally suited to Bogart’s quick-witted ambivalence. No wonder Miss Grahame is so spooked.

Certificate: PG
Duration: 90min

Other Showings Time & Date
Film4 Wednesday, 15 July at 11:00AM