IN A LONELY PLACE

(1949)
With Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame, Frank Lovejoy, Martha Stewart
Directed by Nicholas Ray
Black and White
Reviewed by JL

Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel    A bleak little noir that's part murder mystery, part character study, and part mordant Hollywood satire, IN A LONELY PLACE was also a deeply personal work for director Nicholas Ray, in that many elements of the story paralleled Ray's own disintegrating marriage to actress Gloria Grahame, the film's leading lady.  Humphrey Bogart plays a burned-out Hollywood screenwriter too lazy to read the novel he's supposed to be adapting for his next screenplay.  The hatcheck girl at his local hangout has read the book, so Bogey invites her back to his apartment, offering to pay her if she'll tell him the story.  When the girl is discovered murdered the next morning, Bogart is the number one suspect.  Grahame plays the cool blonde who provides him with an alibi and with whom he soon begins an affair.  Bogey delivers one of his strongest performances in one of his most underrated films. 5 - JL


     Bogart is more than great in one of his least-mentioned classic roles, but Gloria Grahame!... Well, all I can say is that she so good as Bogart's new love that I didn't even recognize her as the same actress who played the trampy Violet in IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.  I literally thought I was seeing this actress for the first time and kept thinking "Man, she's amazing... why have I never heard of her before?". 4½ - JB

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