In a Lonely Place

Critics Consensus

Led by extraordinary performances from Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame, In a Lonely Place is a gripping noir of uncommon depth and maturity.



Total Count: 40


Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,251
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Movie Info

Screenwriter Dixon Steele, faced with the odious task of scripting a trashy bestseller, has hatcheck girl Mildred Atkinson tell him the story in her own words. Later that night, Mildred is murdered and Steele is a prime suspect. His record of belligerence when angry and his macabre sense of humor tell against him. Fortunately, lovely neighbor Laurel Gray gives him an alibi. Laurel proves to be just what Steele needs, and their friendship ripens into love. Will suspicion, doubt and Steele's inner demons come between them?


Humphrey Bogart
as Dixon Steele
Gloria Grahame
as Laurel Gray
Carl Benton Reid
as Capt. Lochner
Frank Lovejoy
as Det. Sgt. Brub Nicolai
Art Smith
as Mel Lippman
Jeff Donnell
as Sylvia Nicolai
Martha Stewart
as Mildred Atkinson
Robert Warwick
as Charlie Waterman
Morris Ankrum
as Lloyd Barnes
William Ching
as Ted Barton
Alice Talton
as Frances Randolph
Jack Reynolds
as Henry Kesler
Pat Barton
as Hatcheck Girl No. 2
Cosmo Sardo
as Bartender
Don Hanin
as Young Driver
Billy Gray
as Young Boy
Melinda Erickson
as Tough Girl
Jack Jahries
as Officer
David Bond
as Dr. Richards
Myron Healey
as Post Office Clerk
Robert Lowell
as Airline Clerk
Davis Roberts
as Flower Shop Employee
Laura Kasley Brooks
as Lady Wanting Matches
Frank Marlowe
as Parking Attendant
Michael Lally
as Bar Patron
John Mitchum
as Bar Patron
June Vincent
as Actress in Convertible
Charles Cane
as Angry Husband in Convertible
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Critic Reviews for In a Lonely Place

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (39) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for In a Lonely Place

  • Jan 30, 2019
    Psychologically complex noir that deserves repeated viewings.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Jan 23, 2018
    Humphrey Bogart turns in an outstanding performance in this gritty film noir about an aging screenwriter suspected of murder. One evening he takes a young checkroom woman home with him to talk about a book, and after she leaves that night, she's strangled in a car and dumped. His neighbor (Gloria Grahame) provides what seems to be an alibi, and then the two begin having an amorous relationship. The police, however, continue investigating him, and they have reason to, because Bogart is quite a hothead. He has a 'take no prisoners' approach to life, is unafraid of police questioning, and lets his fists do the talking when he flies into a rage, which he does several times. There is a pathos to Bogart's flaws, which seem to have doomed him to life 'in a lonely place', despite his big heart and authenticity as a person. He just can't help himself when he does things he later regrets, and yet he "he has to explode sometimes," as his agent puts it. He always apologizes afterwards, sometimes in quiet ways, and he's also fiercely protective of friends, including an old actor with a predilection for drinking. He's aging, fighting the system, and fighting himself. We can't help but feel for him, even if he scares us. Bogart's eyes in the moments when he's explaining what must have happened during the murder to his police friend and his wife are truly frightening. It's hard to believe he wasn't nominated for an Oscar for his performance. In one of the most touching scenes, he's driving with Grahame and says "I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me." They're lines he's trying to work into one of his scripts, but one senses real pain from his past. In another fantastic scene, the two are in the kitchen after she's read his script, and he's clumsily trying to cut her a grapefruit for breakfast. In what defines his gruff yet tender character, after she's complemented the love scene in the script, he says "That's because they're not always telling each other how much in love they are. A good love scene should be about something else besides love. For instance, this one. Me fixing grapefruit, you sitting over there, dopey, half-asleep. Anyone looking at us could tell we're in love." Grahame falls for him, and as improbable as the romance may seem, the pair have chemistry, and play their conflicted roles well. She shows great range as their relationship goes through stages, and without spoiling anything, I'll just say that things get difficult for her as Bogart gets erratic, and she realizes he may have committed the crime. Director Nicholas Ray is taut in his story-telling, and there is a wonderful atmosphere to the film, such as when the two are in a nightclub sitting at a piano with other couples as Hadda Brooks performs "I Hadn't Anyone Till You", drinking and murmuring to one another. "Anything you want to make you happy?" he asks. "I wouldn't want anyone but you," she whispers. There is a sophistication to how people dressed and spoke in movies like this one, a coolness to the way they drank and smoked, and yet it's juxtaposed with violent passion and tragic flaws. The overall emotional effect of the film is like a punch to the gut, and much stronger because of its revised (and apparently improvised) ending. This is no-nonsense, fantastic film noir.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 19, 2017
    Bogie plays a misunderstood artist who's a bit better than the typical Tinseltown hacks, who finally finds his Muse. Only it happens just as he is accused of murder. Can love find a way in a world w/o love? The work is okay, but the love angle is hard on the eyes, hard to believe. Nonetheless the commentary on the emotional stability of the creative persona is spot on and worth the investment.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2013
    I love it when Bogart really works a character and he does so in abundance for Nicholas Ray. It is a film noir but one that avoids delving into cliche.
    John B Super Reviewer

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