The Essential Movie Library #53: In a Lonely Place (1950)

Humphrey Bogart is as openly ominous as you always sensed he was.

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The Movies as Life, Part One: “I was born when you kissed me, I died when you left me, I lived a few weeks while you loved me,” and if the words were meant to sound like bad movie dialogue, written by the hack screenwriter that Humphrey Bogart plays in one of his best and most unsettling performances, nonetheless when he recites them to Gloria Grahame, melodrama becomes transcendent. Emerging from the shadowed palisades between the hills and beach, with the gun-metal sea in pursuit, this is one of American cinema’s great sleepers, accruing stature with every minute since its modest release; it doesn’t just draw on the danger that ran through all of Bogart’s work but pushes it past a point of no return, the actor now as openly ominous as you always sensed he was even when tempered by sardonic idealism. 

As for Grahame, the sex that constantly was on her mind could be no more evident if her forehead were a window. She was married to the movie’s director, Nicholas Ray, and he already had a funny feeling about this strange stray kitten who slunk into his life and bed, and in whose intimate acquaintance, from first kiss to final break-up, romantics live whole lives—though he couldn’t possibly have imagined, even when they separated during production, that in another decade she would marry his stepson.

Read them all:
The Essential Movie Library #52: Talk to Her

The Essential Movie LIbrary #51: To Be or Not To Be
The Essential Movie Library #50: The Battle of Algiers
The Essential Movie Library #49: Notorious
The Essential Movie Library #48: Wings of Desire
The Essential Movie Library #47: L’Avventura
The Essential Movie Library #46: Malcolm X
The Essential Movie Library #45: In the Mood for Love
The Essential Movie Library #44: Touch of Evil
The Essential Movie Library #43: Once Upon A Time in the West
The Essential Movie Library #42: Belle de Jour
The Essential Movie Library #41: Apocalypse Now
The Essential Movie Library #40: Out of the Past
The Essential Movie Library #39: Branded to Kill
The Essential Movie Library #38: The General
The Essential Movie Library #37: Lord of the Rings
The Essential Movie Library #36: Aguirre, the Wrath of God
The Essential Movie Library #35: Raging Bull
The Essential Movie Library #34: The Rules of the Game
The Essential Movie Library #33: Chinatown 
The Essential Movie Library #32: Stalker
The Essential Movie Library #31: Weekend
The Essential Movie Library #30: Some Like It Hot 
The Essential Movie Library #29: Red River
The Essential Movie Library #28: The Passenger
The Essential Movie Library #27: Singin’ in the Rain
The Essential Movie Library #26: Heat
The Essential Movie Library #25: L’Atalante
The Essential Movie Library #24: Sunrise
The Essential Movie Library #23: His Girl Friday
The Essential Movie Library #22: Black Narcissus
The Essential Movie Library #21: Blade Runner
The Essential Movie Library #20: Persona
The Essential Movie Library #19: The Shop Around the Corner
The Essential Movie Library #18: Lost Highway
The Essential Movie Library #17: Tokyo Story
The Essential Movie Library #16: 8 1/2

The Essential Movie Library #15: City Lights
The Essential Movie Library #14: Seven Samurai
The Essential Movie Library #13: Lawrence of Arabia
The Essential Movie Library #12: Citizen Kane
The Essential Movie Library #11: Jules and Jim
The Essential Movie Library #10: My Darling Clementine 
The Essential Movie Library #9: Double Indemnity 
The Essential Movie Library #8: That Obscure Object of Desire 
The Essential Movie Library #7: 2001: A Space Odyssey 
The Essential Movie Library #6: Casablanca
The Essential Movie Library #5: The Lady Eve
The Essential Movie Library #4: The Third Man 
The Essential Movie Library #3: The Passion of Joan of Arc 
The Essential Movie Library #2: Vertigo 
The Essential Movie Library #1: The Godfather Trilogy

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