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Introduction to Volume III

American Film, 1946 to 1975

3. 1946 to 1975

1. Setting the Stage

Published Online: 13 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470671153.wbhaf103

The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film

The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film

How to Cite

2011. Introduction to Volume III. The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film. 3:1.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 NOV 2011


In 1949, Nicholas Ray directed In a Lonely Place (1950), the second film produced by Santana, Humphrey Bogart's production company. Bogart plays Dixon Steele, a cynical Hollywood screenwriter at a desperate point in his career whose romance with a beautiful neighbor, Laurel Grey, played by Gloria Grahame, restores not only his creativity but also his passion for life. In a Lonely Place, however, is not a story of revival but one of self-destruction. Wrongly accused of a murder but displaying the kind of wild mood swings and violent tendencies that make him a likely suspect, Steele frightens his lover into mistrust. His paranoia and violence strangle their love just as Steele almost strangles Laurel in the closing scene. After a couple weeks of intense love and work, the protagonist finds himself no better, and perhaps much worse, than before, still confined in a lonely place.