9/10
Bogart and Grahame Are Great
4 July 2005
Very adult film about a surly Hollywood writer, a would be actress, and a murder. Among the very best Bogart performances, yet this film is practically unknown. Top notch acting across the board. Bogart and Grahame are a terrific team (she is the designing actress), but also good are Frank Lovejoy, Jeff Donnell (as his wife), Martha Stewart (no not that one) as the murder victim, Art Smith as the agent, and Robert Warwick (just wonderful) as the washed-up actor. Everything in the story revolves around Hollywood and movie making, but this is NOT really a film about Hollywood; it's a murder mystery. Great script is full of memorable lines, and all the supporting actors are sharp. Ruth Warren is funny as the maid, and Ruth Gillette is really spooky as the masseuse. Carl Benton Reid is the Lieutenant, and William Ching another officer. But the center is Bogart's harsh, unrelenting character. His Dixon Steele must rank with his best characters. And we never get to know him, nor is there any apology for his toughness. He seems almost psychotic--very rare for the hero of the 1950s movie. This also rates as one of Grahame's best performances. A truly unique Hollywood movie all round. In a Lonely Place still rates as an undiscovered gem.
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