HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  In a Lonely Place My Own Worst Enemy
Year: 1950
Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid, Art Smith, Jeff Donnell, Martha Stewart, Robert Warwick, Morris Ankrum, William Ching, Steve Geray, Hadda Brooks
Genre: Drama, Thriller, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: Hollywood screenwriter Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart) stops his car at a junction in town and is noticed by a passenger in the car next to him. She says hi and acts friendly, but her boyfriend is none too happy about her behaviour and threatens him. Dixon flies into one of his rages and gets out to confront the man, but he speeds off. Calming down, the writer continues on his way and to his regular haunt, a bar where he can hang out with fellow, cynical movie people. When he arrives, he is told that there's a book a producer would like him to adapt, but it's currently being read by the hatcheck girl, Mildred (Martha Stewart): it is a fateful meeting for Dixon...

A film noir "did he or didn't he?" rather than a whodunnit, In a Lonely Place exhibited one of director Nicholas Ray's favourite themes, that of the destructive, self and otherwise, modern male. Adapted from a novel by Dorothy B. Hughes by Edmund H. North with a screenplay written by Andrew Solt, it also provided Bogart with one of his finest roles; Bogart was not the most versatile of the Golden Age stars, but cast him right and he could work wonders for your film, as he does here. In essence, here his tough guy persona is exposed as a form of psychosis, a drive to prove himself that alienates him.

We're so used to seeing Bogart as a capable character, always with the right thing to say and not afraid to use his fists if the situation called for it, that it's unsettling to see those traits used against him. What happens is that Dixon asks Mildred to accompany him back to to his home to tell him the story of the book to save him reading it himself (he's not really interested, it's simply another job to him). This she does, and after Dixon gets the idea of what the book is about, he thanks her and asks her to go call a taxi to take her home - he never sees her alive again.

Mildred has been murdered, and although the police can't prove it, they think Dixon is the killer, after all, he's notorious for his violent temper, so could this have developed into a killer's impulses? At the station, he is questioned by his old friend, now a detective, Nicolai (Frank Lovejoy) and while his cynical personality does him no favours, he does have an alibi: the woman who has moved in to the apartment across the courtyard says she saw him with Mildred. She is Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame, soon to be Ray's ex-wife) and is attracted to Dixon, but could this attraction have blinkered her to who might be a terrible criminal?

The rest of the film could have been a simple suspenser, but in Ray's hands it's more complex than that. It's more a character study than a straightforward thriller, and although there is certainly tension in the drama it's Dixon's contradictory reactions to being under suspicion that are so absorbing. For instance when he gets Laurel as a girlfriend he throws himself into his work, writing one of his finest scripts, but this is based on the book Mildred described to him, so could it be that the murder has inspired him? Then the pressure begins to crack him up, and his rages get worse: see the sequence where he nearly crashes his car and beats the other driver unconsious. Laurel is with him when he does so, and her scream may have prevented him from killing the man, and it's here we realise that we're not on Dixon's side anymore, we're on Laurel's and we're worried about her. But the story does not end in the obvious manner, and that's what is so memorable, its aching bleakness and pity. Neglected in its day, it's a cult classic on any reasonable terms. Music by George Antheil.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 8021 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: