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In a Lonely Place (1950)
In a Lonely Place (1950)
In a Lonely Place (1950)
In a Lonely Place (1950)

Film Studies

Cinema Classics Seminar:
In a Lonely Place

Monday, February 7, 2022, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm
ON SITE: $25 for members, $35 for non-members
REMOTE CLASSROOM: $15 for members, $20 for non-members  
Instructor: Lisa DeNight, Discussion Moderator, BMFI

Director Nicholas Ray’s Hollywood career spanned a panorama of genres—western, melodrama, film noir—and was decidedly non-conformist in its approach to form and content. Yet it demonstrated a strong auteurist through line: critical empathy for the outsider—even if, as in the case of Ray’s haunting 1950 masterpiece, In a Lonely Place, that outsider is ostensibly a Hollywood insider. 

The film tells the story of a Tinseltown screenwriter (Humphrey Bogart) who becomes the prime suspect in a brutal murder while falling in love with the woman who provides him an alibi (Gloria Grahame). The picture’s Hollywood commentary is multivalent, including a compelling deconstruction of one of cinema’s most legendary masculine icons: Humphrey Bogart himself, a public persona inextricable from the brooding, world-weary hero he embodied in earlier films like Casablanca and The Big Sleep. Bogart and Ray produced In a Lonely Place independently through Bogart’s own production company, resulting in a professional—and personal—investment in this film for both men. During production, Ray’s marriage to the film’s female star, Gloria Grahame, was falling apart, adding another interesting layer of self-examination to the mix. 

Broadening from the film’s self-reflexive explorations, In a Lonely Place also endures as an exceptionally sophisticated film noir, one of the most incisive depictions of the post-war violence, anger, and paranoia simmering in the American soul that Hollywood ever produced. Join us to delve into this iconoclastic, complex film and the societal milieu that informed it. 

Are you interested in “just” seeing this movie? Additional showtimes can be found here.

Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. All students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. In addition, those who attend the seminar on site at BMFI receive a ticket to see it on the big screen, as well as popcorn and a drink.

Please note: There are two ways to attend in this seminar:

  1. On site, at BMFI, in one of our theaters: Registration and seat selection must be done in advance, online, via the “ON SITE” button under the “Course Information” heading. There will be no walk-up registrations for this seminar. In addition, this seminar is being offered on a VacCinema day at BMFI, when only fully vaccinated students may attend on site. Each individual will be asked to show proof of vaccination by presenting their vaccination card or a clear photo of it, as well as photo ID, prior to entering BMFI. Please arrive early to allow adequate time for this process. You may visit the VacCinema page for further information.
  2. If you wish to attend in our Remote Classroom, please do so via the “AT HOME” button under the “Remote Classroom” heading. You will be able to livestream the pre-screening lecture and participate in the post-screening discussion, but the movie is not included (nor are popcorn and a drink, we’re sorry to say).

 Please email BMFI education coordinator Jill Malcolm with any questions.

Course Information

On Site VacCinema

  • Monday, February 7 · 6:30 pm
Remote Classroom
At Home
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