I was born when she kissed me, I died when she left me

That great TCM bumper about director Nicholas Ray introduced me to his work, and reading for the blog post put a name on the dark Bogart movie in the clips: In a Lonely Place. Netflix sent the movie along, and I liked it so much late one night I now have to recommend it to you.

“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.”

It’s one of the fastest and tightest movies I’ve seen from that era. It’s what critics claim is one of Bogart’s best and most human movies. It’s both noir and an ¬†independent. It’s a testament to restoration, making must-watches of the extras. It’s the chorus for that Smithereens’ song. Its narrator, the script, is unreliable, charmed and fatefully omnipotent.

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