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2,412 Ratings

In a Lonely Place

Directed by Nicholas Ray
United States, 1950
Crime, Drama, Film noir


Screenwriter Dixon Steele, faced with the odious task of scripting a trashy bestseller, has hat-check 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 tells against him.

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In a Lonely Place Directed by Nicholas Ray
While keeping the homme fatale at the center of Hughes’s novel, Ray shocked viewers with a denouement possibly creepier than that of the book. In the novel Dix is a remorseless, cold-hearted killer. In the movie, though, he is equally capable of love as well as murder. For those who long to see the misanthrope redeemed by love (and really, who does not?), it is Dix’s killing off his love affair that cuts to the quick. His remorse is almost unbearable.
June 29, 2017
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In his 1950 noir masterpiece In a Lonely Place we find what is perhaps the director’s most tragic exploration of identity.
June 02, 2017
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Numerous Hollywood movies celebrate the redemptive power of love. Few trace, step by step, the progress of a love affair that brings about a protagonist’s redemption only to disintegrate, canceling hope irrevocably. That is the fate of Dixon Steele in Nicholas Ray’s In a Lonely Place (1950). Dix carves it out for himself after little more than three weeks of romantic bliss with his neighbor Laurel Gray. The cause is his inability to subdue his violent temper.
August 23, 2016
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