by John Farr
John Farr discusses one of Humphrey Bogart’s great movies, directed by Nicholas Ray.
In A Lonely Place (1950)
What It’s About:
Volatile screenwriter Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart) finds himself in hot water, needing to clear himself of a murder rap. Fortunately his new sexy neighbor Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame) is on-hand to supply Dixon with an alibi. Then, as she gets to know him more intimately, Laurel begins to second-guess her own memory. Has she helped a murderer go free?
Why I Love It:
Nicholas Ray’s first-rate noir entry defines everything a whodunit should be. Bogie seems tailor-made for the role of the tortured, enigmatic writer, while Grahame lends a sultry, heavy-lidded allure to the character of Laurel. (Trivia note: Grahame was actually married to the director at the time, but they split soon after.) Probing, literate and atmospheric, this is one “Place” very much worth visiting.