Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

In a Lonely Place (1950)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

In a Lonely Place (1950)

In Nicholas Ray's bleak black and white film noir classic about a volatile Hollywood screenwriter who became a murder suspect and was provided an alibi by his neighbor - an aspiring actress:

  • the scene in which beautiful but cool blonde next-door apartment neighbor and would-be starlet Laurel Gray (Gloria Grahame) - first viewed voyeuristically in a window frame - provided an alibi during questioning in a detective's office, for cynical, hard-living, self-destructive and volatile Hollywood screenwriter Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart); he had been accused of murdering hat-check girl Mildred Atkinson (Martha Stewart): (Dixon: "She was standing on her balcony in a negligee," AND Laurel: "I believe he was looking at me"); she then bluntly described why she paid attention to her new neighbor and took an interest in him almost immediately: ("I noticed him because he looked interesting. I like his face")
  • later, Dixon complimented Laurel on providing a life-saving alibi, based upon his face: ("It's a good thing you like my face. I'd have been in a lot of trouble without you"); Laurel then gave a classic response to Dixon when he attempted to kiss her: ("I said I liked it. I didn't say I wanted to kiss it")
  • in an unforgettable dinner conversation scene, murder suspect Dixon Steele's convincing 'visual' re-enactment of his idea of the strangulation murder in a car to his cop buddy Det. Sgt. Brub Nicolai (Frank Lovejoy) and his wife Sylvia (Jeff Donnell): ("Brub, you sit down there. Sylvia, you sit there on Brub's right. Now, you're the killer. You're driving the car. This is the front seat...If she'd been killed before she got in the car, the murderer would've hidden her body in the back. In that case, he couldn't have dumped her out without stopping. Now, you're driving up the canyon. Your left hand's on the wheel....She's telling you she'd done nothing wrong. You pretend to believe her. 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 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")
  • Dixon's famed line of dialogue, a line of script written for some future work, that he told to Laurel while driving together: "I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me." - she repeated the phrase back to him - but hesitated on the last sentence
"I was born when she kissed me. I died when she left me. I lived a few weeks while she loved me."
"I lived a few weeks while you loved me. Goodbye, Dix"
  • in the film's unhappy ending, Laurel's teary murmered words of goodbye to him as he walked away after their relationship had deteriorated, and he disappeared through an outer archway to the street: "I lived a few weeks while you loved me. Goodbye, Dix" - she was repeating the bittersweet words from Dix's script while leaning wearily on her apartment's door frame

First View of Neighbor Laurel Gray

Providing Alibi for Dixon Steele

Vivid Re-Enactment of Strangulation


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