Thursday, July 16, 2009

RV!: In a Lonely Place (1950)

RV!: In a Lonely Place (1950) Dir: Nicholas Ray Date Released: May 1950 Date Seen: July 15th, 2009 Rating: 4.25/5

This is probably my favorite Ray film at the moment. The vicious nature of Bogey's jaded character really stings this time around now that I feel more assured in thinking that the flimsy deus ex machina ending is a cop-out. I think Dix did it. 

What frustrates me this time around however is how Bogart keeps covering his face with his mitts and prevents himself from showing us that he can bring to the table the tired menace that in other scenes he exhudes with non-chalance. See my mention of this in my piece for The Onion's New York Decider on the Nicholas Ray retro at Film Forum.


  1. I've never seen the ending as a copout, probably because it's actually as bleak as it would be if he actually *had* killed that girl. The tragedy is that Dix's hopes for a creative rejuvenation are destroyed, his relationship is destroyed, he's thrown back into the alcholic, despairing abyss in which he began the film and from which he only briefly emerged. What's important is not whether Dix actually killed this girl or not, but that everyone, including the woman he loves, thinks he would be *capable* of it -- he has that darkness in him. That's what makes the character, and the film, so interesting: the actual mystery, the did-he-or-didn't-he aspect, is immaterial.

  2. I agree with you for the most part, particularly about how knowing whether or not he did it is immaterial, which is why I don't like having someone say: "Oh yeah, he didn't do it. Case closed." I also find that line he has about how it took Mildred's death for him to find her to be the best bit of suggestion in the film. Though I still wonder: how did Mildred's beau confess? Why was he shot? That dangling plot thread is so tantalizing in its untidiness that it drives me crazy in a very good way.