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Classic Movie Review: In A Lonely Place (1950)
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In A Lonely Place
DVD
Directed by Nicholas Ray
Starring Humphrey Bogart, Jeff Donnell, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Carl Benton Reid, Art Smith, Martha Stewart, Robert Warwick
1950
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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DVD Review: Paramount Centennial Collection: ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and ‘Sabrina’
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Sunset Boulevard and Sabrina
2-Disc Collector’s sets
The Paramount Centennial Collection
Directed by Billy Wilder
Starring Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olsen, Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn
Paramount Home Entertainment
Release date: November 11, 2008

In my mind, there is a Holy Trinity of filmmakers. Three directors who, among all their work, you could find any and every reason for watching a film. There’s Akira Kurosawa, there’s Stanley Kubrick”¦

And then there’s Billy Wilder.

Wilder lived the longest, died the latest, won the most Oscars, displayed the most versatility and yet somehow, for some strange reason, is the most underseen and underloved among this recent group of self-styled movie geeks. Yeah, everyone’s seen The Shining and A Clockwork Orange, and yes there are some who try to boost their cred by watching Seven Samurai, but it’s depressing to see how few have seen at least one Wilder film”¦. Or even name one.

With the possible exception of Howard Hawks (who made films as dissimilar as The Big Sleep, Rio Bravo, His Girl Friday and the original The Thing), no mainstream Hollywood director has ever shown Wilder’s utter refusal to be pigeon-holed into one kind of movie. Wilder made films as disparate as The Apartment and Double Indemnity. As Stalag 17 and The Seven Year Itch. As the long lost Ace In The Hole and the woefully underrated The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.

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