Film Notes: In a Lonely Place (1950) directed by Nicholas Ray


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

USA / 94 minutes / bw / Santana/Columbia Pictures Dir: Nicholas Ray Pro: Robert Lord Scr: Andrew Solt Story: adapted by Edward H. North from the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes Cine: Burnett Guffey Mus: George Antheil Cast: Humphrey Bogart (Dixon Steele), Gloria Grahame (Laurel Gray), Frank Lovejoy (Brub Nicolai), Carl Benton Reid (Capt. Lochner), Art Smith (Mel Lippman), Jeff Donnell (Sylvia Nicolai), Martha Stewart (Mildred Atkinson), Robert Warwick (Charlie Waterman), Jack Reynolds (Henry Kesler)

Summary Plot: Screenwriter Dixon Steele is known for his belligerent temper, especially when drinking. This, coupled with his refusal to work on material he dislikes, has kept Dix unemployed for a long time. After meeting his agent, Mel Lippman, at Paul’s Restaurant to discuss a possible project, Dix invites Mildred Atkinson, the hat check girl, to his apartment to tell him the plot of the novel he may be assigned to adapt. Mildred dutifully relates the story, and Dix pays her and sends her off to a taxi stand. Early the next morning, Brub Nicolai, a policeman and Dix’s former army buddy, takes Dix to the police station, where he learns that Mildred has been brutally murdered. (Read full summary at American Film Institute here) Release Date: 17 May 1950

Although lesser known than his other work, Bogart’s performance in this film is considered by many critics to be among his finest and the film’s reputation itself has grown over time along with Ray’s.The film is now considered a classic film noir, as evidenced by its inclusion on the Time magazine “All-Time 100 List” as well as Slant Magazine’s 100 Essential Films. In 2007, In a Lonely Place was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” (source: Wikipedia).

Film critic Roger Ebert wrote: “In a Lonely Place” has been described by the critic Kim Morgan as “one of the most heartbreaking love stories ever committed to film,” and love is indeed what it’s really about. It has the look, feel and trappings of a film noir, and a murder takes place in it, but it is really about the dark places in a man’s soul and a woman who thinks she can heal them. …. If there is one key element of film noir, it is the flawed hero. That, usually joined with a distinctive visual style and tone, defines the genre. The hero is sympathetic but weak, often haunted by mistakes in the past or fatally tempted by greed or lust. He is likely to discover himself capable of evil he had never dreamed of, and is consumed by guilt and fear. Bogart embodies this noir quality flawlessly in “In a Lonely Place.” He plays a good man with a hot temper who can fly into a rage when he drinks. This gives Dixon a Jekyll and Hyde quality that Laurel awakens to, leading to later scenes of terror. The monster inhabiting him is an acting-out of self-loathing, which infects his success and dooms his happiness. He foresees his fate when he quotes to her a line just written in his new screenplay: “I was born when you kissed me. I died when you left me. I lived a few weeks while you loved me.” (Read the full review here)

Notas de cine: En un lugar solitario (1950) dirigida por Nicholas Ray

Argumento: Steele, un guionista con fama de conflictivo y violento, tiene que afrontar la difícil tarea de adaptar un best-seller de nula calidad literaria. Casualmente se entera de que Mildred, la chica del guardarropa del club que frecuenta, ha leído la obra en cuestión. Decide entonces llevársela a su casa para que le cuente el argumento. Pero, a la mañana siguiente, la policía se presenta en su casa y le comunica que Mildred ha sido asesinada, y Steele se convierte en el principal sospechoso. (Film Affinity)

Aunque menos conocida que otros de sus trabajos, la interpetación de Bogart en esta película está considerada por muchos críticos como una de sus mejores actuaciones y la reputación de la película ha crecido con el tiempo, junto con la reputación de Nicholas Ray. La película ahora está considerada un clásico del cine negro, como lo demuestra su inclusión por la revista Time en su lista de las “100 mejores películas de todos los tiempos”, así como entre las 100 Películas Imprescindibles de Slant Magazine. En el 2007, En un lugar soliatrio fue seleccionada para su conservación en el Registro Nacional de Cine de los Estados Unidos por la Biblioteca del Congreso como “cultural, histórica o estéticamente significativa”. (Fuente: Wikipedia).

Ésta es probablemente la historia más triste y desesperanzada de Nicholas Ray, y también la más romántica: Nací cuando ella me besó. Morí, cuando me abandonó. Viví unas semanas mientras me amó”. En un lugar solitario es una película que fácilmente podría encuadrarse dentro del género negro, pero el género es para Ray una excusa, un pretexto para encuadrar a los personajes en un contexto donde lo verdaderamente importante son sus sentimientos. (En El espectador imaginario)

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2 thoughts on “Film Notes: In a Lonely Place (1950) directed by Nicholas Ray

  1. Nice review, with so much information. I want to read the book and watch the movie in 2015, but we will see if that happens.

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