Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

In a Lonely Place

(1950)

Classic film noir directed by Nicholas Ray. Humphrey Bogart is a troubled screenwriter who is suspected of murdering a hatcheck girl. Gloria Graham is his next-door neighbor who corroborates his alibi. She’s telling the truth, and they fall in love, but she is troubled by his violent nature. His temper is uncontrollable. She begins to think he may have murdered the girl after all. And when he finds out about her doubts and her plans to leave him, he comes within an inch of strangling her, saved at the last moment by a phone call. That pretty much puts an end to the relationship. It’s interesting to observe that, in 1950, it was probably meant as a tragic ending. Not to me, not in 2011. She got very lucky. He would have killed her eventually—he still may, he’s that crazy—and I was happy to see her rid of the maniac.