Classic Movie Review: In A Lonely Place (1950)

In A Lonely Place
Directed by Nicholas Ray
Starring Humphrey Bogart, Jeff Donnell, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid, Art Smith, Martha Stewart, Robert Warwick
Columbia Pictures

Deteriorating from the inside-out are the rotten inner demons of Hollywood screenwriter Dixon Steele. Along with that is the man’s inability to create a workable script for directors; he’s on a cold streak of late and his rigid attitude has a lot to do with that. But topping both of these soul-eating disparities is the fact that Steele’s cold world is made possible by the lack of any love interest in his life. All of these bleak assets enunciate his tragedy of being present in a lonely place. The only thing with him in this lonely place is his anger that he can’t govern.

Humphrey Bogart plays Dixon Steele, a great name for a character, and it is a different role that we have come to associate with Bogart. Here is a role that has the traits of two of his more famous characters; the ruthless Fred C. Dobbs in, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and the cool-as-a-cucumber Rick Blaine from, Casablanca. With In A Lonely Place, Bogart has the effortless aptitude to play both a man we sympathize with, and a man we wouldn’t care if he were to be thrown to a den of starving lions. It’s one of Bogart’s prime, unflinching acting roles.

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