In a Lonely Place (1950)

92 or 95 mins | Film noir | August 1950

Director:

Nicholas Ray

Producer:

Robert Lord

Cinematographer:

Burnett Guffey

Editor:

Viola Lawrence

Production Designer:

Robert Peterson

Production Company:

Santana Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

According to a 4 Oct 1949 LAT news item, many scenes in this film were shot in Romanoff's café, a well-known Hollywood restaurant. Modern sources, however, report that the film was largely shot on a studio sound stage, and "Paul's Restaurant" was merely "inspired" by Romanoff's.
       The courtyard apartment scenes were filmed at Columbia Studios, but the set was a duplication of the real courtyard from the Villa Primavera Apartments at 1300-1308 North Harper Avenue in West Hollywood, where director Nicholas Ray had lived during his early days in Hollywood. When Humphrey Bogart's character, “Dix,” tells his visitor, “Mildred Atkinson,” to catch a taxi just around the corner on Santa Monica Boulevard, the geography is correct. However, the story implies that "Dix" lived in Beverly Hills, because he is taken to Beverly Hills City Hall at 455 North Rexford Drive after Mildred's death.
       According to modern sources, Ginger Rogers was considered for the role of "Laurel Gray."
       During filming Nicholas Ray separated from his wife, Gloria Grahame. Ray has been quoted in modern sources as stating that if the studio had known about their separation, he would have been fired, so they kept it secret. The film depicts a realistic romance between two disillusioned people. "Dix" tells "Laurel" that his idea of two people in love is a guy cutting grapefruit and a girl, "sitting over there," half-asleep. At the end of the film "Laurel" quotes a line from his script that reveals "Dix" as a romantic: "I was born when you kissed me. I died when you left me. I lived a few weeks while you loved me."
       Hadda Brooks, who performed the ... More Less

According to a 4 Oct 1949 LAT news item, many scenes in this film were shot in Romanoff's café, a well-known Hollywood restaurant. Modern sources, however, report that the film was largely shot on a studio sound stage, and "Paul's Restaurant" was merely "inspired" by Romanoff's.
       The courtyard apartment scenes were filmed at Columbia Studios, but the set was a duplication of the real courtyard from the Villa Primavera Apartments at 1300-1308 North Harper Avenue in West Hollywood, where director Nicholas Ray had lived during his early days in Hollywood. When Humphrey Bogart's character, “Dix,” tells his visitor, “Mildred Atkinson,” to catch a taxi just around the corner on Santa Monica Boulevard, the geography is correct. However, the story implies that "Dix" lived in Beverly Hills, because he is taken to Beverly Hills City Hall at 455 North Rexford Drive after Mildred's death.
       According to modern sources, Ginger Rogers was considered for the role of "Laurel Gray."
       During filming Nicholas Ray separated from his wife, Gloria Grahame. Ray has been quoted in modern sources as stating that if the studio had known about their separation, he would have been fired, so they kept it secret. The film depicts a realistic romance between two disillusioned people. "Dix" tells "Laurel" that his idea of two people in love is a guy cutting grapefruit and a girl, "sitting over there," half-asleep. At the end of the film "Laurel" quotes a line from his script that reveals "Dix" as a romantic: "I was born when you kissed me. I died when you left me. I lived a few weeks while you loved me."
       Hadda Brooks, who performed the uncredited song “I Hadn't Anyone Till You” at a piano bar, was listed last in the credits. She had been a local recording artist known as “Queen of the Boogie.”
       In the original novel by Dorothy B. Hughes, "Dix" was the murderer. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
20 May 1950.
---
Daily Variety
17 May 50
p. 3.
Film Daily
15 May 50
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Nov 49
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
17 May 50
p. 3, 6
Los Angeles Times
4 Oct 1949.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
20 May 50
pp. 301-02.
New York Times
18 May 50
p. 37.
Variety
17 May 50
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MUSIC
Mus score
Mus dir
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B. Hughes (New York, 1947).
SONGS
"I Hadn't Anyone Till You," words and music by Ray Noble.
COMPOSER
DETAILS
Release Date:
August 1950
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 17 May 1950
Production Date:
25 October--1 December 1949
Copyright Claimant:
Santana Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 August 1950
Copyright Number:
LP290
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
92 or 95
Length(in feet):
8,385
Country:
United States
PCA No:
14256
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

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. When asked if anyone saw Mildred leaving his apartment, Dix mentions his new neighbor, aspiring actress Laurel Gray. Laurel confirms Dix's story, but the police are not convinced of his innocence, partly because he does not seem upset by the murder and partly because of his violent past. At Captain Lochner's instigation, Brub invites Dix to dinner. After the meal, Dix enacts his theory of how the murder was committed so realistically that he frightens Brub's wife Sylvia. Laurel and Dix later fall in love, and the contented Dix stops drinking and starts writing again. The police have not dropped their investigation of Dix, however, and summon Laurel to the station for more questioning. Laurel is convinced of Dix's innocence, even though Martha, her masseuse, tells her that Dix severely beat his former girl friend. One night, after a beach picnic with Brub and Sylvia, Dix learns that Laurel did not tell him about her second ... +


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. When asked if anyone saw Mildred leaving his apartment, Dix mentions his new neighbor, aspiring actress Laurel Gray. Laurel confirms Dix's story, but the police are not convinced of his innocence, partly because he does not seem upset by the murder and partly because of his violent past. At Captain Lochner's instigation, Brub invites Dix to dinner. After the meal, Dix enacts his theory of how the murder was committed so realistically that he frightens Brub's wife Sylvia. Laurel and Dix later fall in love, and the contented Dix stops drinking and starts writing again. The police have not dropped their investigation of Dix, however, and summon Laurel to the station for more questioning. Laurel is convinced of Dix's innocence, even though Martha, her masseuse, tells her that Dix severely beat his former girl friend. One night, after a beach picnic with Brub and Sylvia, Dix learns that Laurel did not tell him about her second meeting with the police. Sensing Laurel's distrust, a furious Dix drives home so recklessly that he causes an accident and then beats up the other driver. Only Laurel's intervention stops Dix from hitting the driver with a rock. Gradually, Laurel begins to fear Dix's jealousy and his temper. When Dix proposes marriage, Laurel only accepts to avoid an argument with him. Determined to leave Dix, Laurel gives Mel his finished script, without his consent, hoping that if it is well received, Dix will not be as upset by her departure. During a small engagement party at Paul's, Dix angrily slaps Mel when he learns that he gave the script to the producer. Although the producer loved the script, the party is ruined. Later, Brub telephones the restaurant to tell Dix that Henry Kessler, Mildred's boyfriend, has confessed to the murder, but Dix has already left. When Dix learns that Laurel is secretly planning to leave on the day of their wedding, he starts to choke her, but is interrupted by the phone. Brub tells Laurel about Kessler's confession, but it is too late to save her relationship with Dix. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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