Humphrey Bogart plays a Hollywood screenwriter suspected of murder until his next door neighbor, played by Gloria Grahame, vouches for him. Grahame starts a romance with Bogey as the investigation continues. It’s not long before Bogey reveals a hidden rage and a violent streak that make her reconsider his culpability.
In a Lonely Place is reminiscent of Sunset Boulevard, released the same year. Both films feature opportunist characters toiling in the seedy shadows of Hollywood, and both center around a relationship that goes to hell. And unfortunately, Sunset Boulevard outshines In a Lonely Place in almost every way.
Bogart is always good in anti-heroic roles, but his character is a bit too much of a hard ass for me in this one — exhibiting next to no empathy for anyone. I also didn’t feel any chemistry between him and Grahame. Director Nicholas Ray (Rebel without a Cause) and screenwriter Andrew Solt do a good job keeping the movie unpredictable and even surprising, but since the characters kept me at arm’s length, my enjoyment of In a Lonely Place is surface-level only.