In a Lonely Place begins with screenwriter Dix Steele (Humphrey Bogart) deciding whether he should take a job adapting a popular romantic thriller for the movies. Not wanting to read the book himself, he asks the coat-check girl (Martha Stewart) at his favorite restaurant for a synopsis. In a Lonely Place itself is adapted from a novel—Dorothy B. Hughes’ masterful deconstruction of post-war manhood—and at first it seems as if director Nicholas Ray has a similarly dismissive attitude towards Hughes’ work. Significant liberties are taken with the plot, while Bogart’s Dix is a much more romantic figure. True, as in the book, he’s a murder suspect. (It turns out that coat-check girl is killed the night that she and Dix meet.) Yet we also get a sense of the rugged charm that prompts his mysterious, glamorous neighbor (Gloria Grahame) to tell the police why she’s still drawn to him: “I like his face.” (Grahame is wildly entertaining; you get a full performance from her, then bonus ones from each of her eyebrows.) In its third act, however, the movie—and Bogart’s portrayal—begins to curdle. Ray and cinematographer Burnett Guffey light Bogart’s blunt mug from below, highlighting the weariness, creases, and shadows. Bogart, meanwhile, leans into the very qualities Hughes exposed in her novel: anger, venality, possessiveness, insecurity. And, yes, loneliness. Without his admirers—on screen or in the audience—the classic noir male is revealed to not be a noble man apart, but a violent man-child incapable of living in community.