HANGOVER MATINEES: Hollywood Gothic - In A Lonely Place

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“Nobody comes out of this one unscathed, nobody looks good in the end, thereby making it a perfect noir.” —Barry Gifford, Adventures in Film Noir

No Hollywood Gothic series would be complete without a noir entry—and In a Lonely Place is one of the best. When Humphrey Bogart’s contract at Warner Brothers expired, the first film he made with his own production company was this shadowy classic where Hollywood was not just a dark place, but an ugly one. Bogie plays a bitter, alcoholic screenwriter with a serious temper problem suffering from creative exhaustion, stuck doing assignments he hates for people he doesn’t respect. When a hatcheck girl he knows shows up murdered, he’s the prime suspect—and even he isn’t sure whether he did it or not. Wannabe actress Gloria Graham puts up his alibi, but the downward spiral starts to become too much for the burgeoning romance. Graham’s ongoing divorce with director Nicholas Ray permeates the film with a extra tension that, together with Ray’s own tumultuous relationship with Hollywood, make this a potent and wicked thriller that would send any has-been writer back to his cottage to lick his wounds.

Dir. Nicholas Ray, 1950, 35mm, 94 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!