In a Lonely Place (1950) – Film-Noir

Starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame with direction by Nicholas Ray, the film is about a struggling screenwriter with a hot temper. Dixon Steele (Bogart) has not written a good script in a while but then one evening he has an enthusiastic young woman explain a novel he is supposed to adapt since he has not read it. Everything goes seemingly normal however the next morning she is dead and Steele is the main suspect. The police investigate, including Steele’s detective friend, but a neighbor gives an alibi which seems to save Steele. Soon Grahame begins to fall in love with him and vice versa. However, she soon realizes his violent side and second guesses Steele’s innocence since he has such a violent history. Although they are to be married it is broken off when he finds out she was going to leave. Only then does Grahame find out he was indeed innocent but the damage is already done and their relationship cannot be saved. This is a pretty good film noir with powerful characters.

4.5/5 Stars

The Big Heat (1953) – Film-Noir

*Contains Spoilers

Starring Glen Ford, Gloria Grahame, and Lee Marvin, with direction by Fritz Lang, the film follows an everyday cop named Dave Bannion (Ford). This film-noir begins with a mysterious suicide of a cop. Soon Bannion is on the case trying to put the facts together and then everything heats up. First, a young woman he talked with is found beaten to death, then his wife is brutally killed by a car bomb. Enraged by the death of his loved one, Bannion obsessively seeks justice. Everything becomes clear when he comes to the realization that one man controls the town through his influence and strong-armed tactics. With his badge taken away, Bannion meets Grahame’s character and she falls for him. However, her thug boyfriend (Marvin) scalds her face and so she becomes determined to help Bannion and she even commits murder. Fatally wounded by the thug, she dies but her actions close the case and bring along justice. Fittingly Bannion is promoted to sergeant by the end of the film and starts on a new case.

4.5/5 Stars