Nicholas Ray’s film noir IN A LONELY PLACE has the unique distinction of being less about a murder – one that may or may not have been committed by Humphrey Bogart’s troubled screenwriter Dixon Steele – and more about the emotional turmoil raging inside him, brought to a boil under the murder’s long shadow of doubt.
Much of the violence in LONELY is emotional and involves the stunning Gloria Grahame. Just as identical magnets repel one another, these two lovebirds are ultimately too isolated within themselves to forge a lasting union.
The murder investigation hangs over everyone like a dark cloud. Steele’s paranoia intensifies. His near-fatal assault of a road rage rowdie sends Grahame’s suspicions into overdrive.
IN A LONELY PLACE is heart-wrought noir. No redemption, no easy answers, no possibility of re-union. The parting shot lingers long, long in your mind.