In a Lonely Place

1950 film by Nicholas Ray

In a Lonely Place is a 1950 American film noir about a potentially violent screenwriter who is a murder suspect until his lovely neighbor clears him. But she begins to have doubts...

Gloria Grahame and Humphrey Bogart as Laurel Gray and Dixon Steele.
Directed by Nicholas Ray. Written by Edmund H. North and Andrew Solt, based on the 1947 novel by Dorothy B. Hughes.
The Bogart suspense picture with a surprise ending!

Dixon Steele

  • He's a smart fellow, that Lochner. A couple times, he almost had me. It was his story against mine. But, of course, I told my story better...I was smart. I covered all the angles, I have an airtight alibi.
  • It's a good thing you like my face. I'd have been in a lot of trouble without you.
  • I've been looking for someone for a long time. I didn't know her name or where she lived. I'd never seen her before. When a girl was killed - and because of that, I found what I was looking for. Now I know your name, where you live, and how you look.
  • That's the trouble with these Hollywood dames. They all have such a sketchy education. They know absolutely nothing about the community chest, but they know everything there is to know about community property. Their arithmetic is not so hot, but just ask them how many minks make a coat.
  • [about Laurel] I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me.
  • That's because they're not always telling each other how much in love they are. A good love scene should be about something else besides love. For instance, this one: me fixing grapefruit, you sitting over there, dopey, half-asleep. Anyone looking at us could tell we were in love.
  • It's much easier to get people's names into the papers than to keep them out.

Laurel Gray

  • [after the police tell her Dix is innocent] Yesterday, this would have meant so much to us. Now it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter at all.
  • I lived a few weeks while you loved me. Goodbye, Dix.

Sylvia Nicolai

  • [about Dix] He's a sick man...There's something wrong with him....He's exciting because he isn't quite normal.


Laurel takes a frightening ride with Dix.
Actress in Convertible: Dix Steele! How are you? Don't you remember me?
Dixon Steele: Sorry, can't say that I do.
Actress in Convertible: You wrote the last picture I did... at Columbia.
Dixon Steele: Oh, I make it a point to never see pictures I write.

Lloyd Barnes: Are you in any position to be choosy? You haven't written a hit since before the war. And your last picture...
Dixon Steele: So it stunk. Everybody makes flops except you. You haven't had one, because you've made and remade the same picture for the last twenty years. You know what you are? You're a popcorn salesman.

Mildred Atkinson: Before I started to go to work at Paul's, I used to think that actors made up their own lines.
Dixon Steele: When they get to be big stars, they usually do.

Capt. Lochner: [Dixon has replied with sarcasm to Lochner's questions] You're told that the girl you were with last night was found in Benedict Canyon, murdered. Dumped from a moving car. What's your reaction? Shock? Horror? Sympathy? No - just petulance at being questioned. A couple of feeble jokes. You puzzle me, Mr. Steele.
Dixon Steele: Well, I grant you, the jokes could've been better, but I don't see why the rest should worry you - that is, unless you plan to arrest me on lack of emotion.

Dixon Steele: [noting the geography of their apartments] You know, Ms. Gray, you're one up on me - you can see into my apartment but I can't see into yours.
Laurel Gray: I promise you, I won't take advantage of it.
Dixon Steele: I would, if it were the other way around.

Laurel Gray: [on a scene in Dix's script] I love the love scene - it's very good.
Dixon Steele: Well that's because they're not always telling each other how much in love they are. A good love scene should be about something else besides love. For instance, this one. Me fixing grapefruit. You sitting over there, dopey, half-asleep. Anyone looking at us could tell we're in love.

Dixon Steele: You know, you're out of your mind - how can anyone like a face like this? Look at it...
[leans in for a kiss]
Laurel Gray: I said I liked it - I didn't say I wanted to kiss it.

Dixon Steele: You know, when you first walked into the police station, I said to myself, "There she is - the one that's different. She's not coy or cute or corny. She's a good guy - I'm glad she's on my side. She speaks her mind and she knows what she wants."
Laurel Gray: Thank you, sir. But let me add: I also know what I don't want - and I don't want to be rushed.

Dixon Steele: [setting up a reenactment] You put your right arm around her neck. You get to a lonely place in the road and you begin to squeeze. You're an ex-GI. You know judo. You know how to kill a person without using your hands. You're driving the car and you're strangling her. You don't see her bulging eyes or her protruding tongue. Go ahead, go ahead Brub, squeeze harder. You love her, and she's deceived you. You hate her patronizing attitude. She looks down on you. She's impressed with celebrities. She wants to get rid of you. Squeeze harder. Harder. Squeeze harder. It's wonderful to feel her throat crush under your arm. [pause] Now, are you convinced?
Sylvia Nicolai: You forgot my hands. I could scratch his eyes out before he could kill me.
Dixon Steele: Ah, but you didn't. Your first instinct was to grab his arm, try to loosen his grip. That's where you lost the battle, just as Mildred did. I've had a lot of experience in matters of this kind. I've killed dozens of people, in pictures. [pause] No, Sylvia, I didn't do it. I assure you, I could never throw a lovely body from a moving car. My artistic temperament wouldn't permit it...You see, we so-called creative artists have a great respect for cadavers. We treat them with the utmost reverence. Put them in soft beds, lay them out on fur rugs, leave them lying at the foot of a long staircase, but we definitely could never throw them from a moving car as though they were cigarette butts.

Dixon Steele: [to man hosing down the sidewalk in front of the florist shop] Say, do me a favor, will you, pal?
Flower Shop Employee: Yes, sir.
Dixon Steele: I want to send two dozen white roses to a girl.
Flower Shop Employee: Yes, sir. Do you want to write a card?
Dixon Steele: No, there's no card. Her name's Mildred Atkinson.
Flower Shop Employee: Mildred Atkinson. Yes, sir. What's her address?
Dixon Steele: I don't know. Look it up in the papers. She was murdered last night.
Flower Shop Employee: Yes, sir.

Laurel Gray: Dix doesn't act like a normal person. You don't go around hitting people, smashing cars, torturing your best friend. I'm scared of him. I don't trust him. I'm not even sure he didn't kill Mildred Atkinson.
Mel Lippmann: Laurel! You're going too far.
Laurel Gray: Am I? Have you forgot what you asked me when we first met? You weren't sure of him either, and you knew him better than anybody else. Why can't he be like other people?
Mel Lippmann: Like other people - would you have liked him? You knew he was dynamite - he has to explode sometimes! Years ago, I tried to make him go and see a psychiatrist. I thought he'd kill me! Always violent. Well it's as much a part of him as the color of his eyes, the shape of his head. He's Dix Steele. And if you want him, you've gotta take it all, the good with the bad. I've taken it for 20 years and I'd do it again.
Laurel Gray: You make me feel ashamed, Mel.

Laurel Gray: I'll stay with you, Dix, I promise. I'll stay with you. I love you, Dix. I'll marry you. I'll go away with you. Take me...
Dixon Steele: You'd run away from me the first chance you get.
Laurel Gray: Don't act like this, Dix, I can't live with a maniac.
Dixon Steele: [choking her] I'll never let you go.


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