This review was originally written as part of my USA Road Trip series for French Toast Sunday.

Curly (Gordon MacRae) loves Laurey (Shirley Jones), but pretends he doesn’t. Laurey loves him right back but is too stubborn to say so. Jud Fry (Rod Steiger) the farmhand lusts for Laurey too. Laurey’s friend Ado Annie (Gloria Grahame) is betrothed to Will Parker (Gene Nelson), but he can’t get Annie’s father’s permission until he has at least $50 to his name. Whilst Will has been earning the money in Kansas City, Annie has blossomed somewhat as a woman, and found herself with plenty of suitors, believing her most recent conquest, travelling salesman Ali Hakim (Eddie Albert), wants her for his wife. Laurey’s Aunt Eller (Charlotte Greenwood) watches everything with a wry smile and a disapproving eye, making remarks that aren’t funny, but which everyone in the film laughs raucously at anyway. Also: everyone sings.
Continue reading

In a Lonely Place

There’s only so much planning I can do towards what I’m going to watch when, but in the end a lot of this challenge will be left up to fate, when I come across films to watch, what films are available to rent, and if some are shown on television. Last Sunday, fate dealt me a kind hand when, after Something for the Weekend, the gods of weekend TV saw fit to show In a Lonely Place at a time when I had nothing else planned. And so, without any planning or preparation, another film has been crossed off.
In a Lonely Place sees Humphrey Bogart play with his romantic persona as Dixon Steele, a thriller writer suspected of murder after he invites a girl back to his apartment to hear a story idea, and the next morning she is found dead. Steele is known to have a temper, and is prone to violent outbursts, and Bogart plays this barely-suppressed rage masterfully. The scene where he describes how he thinks the murder took place is gripping.
I liked the way we are kept unsure for most of the film as to whether Steele is guilty of the crime. We assume he’s innocent, but he very easily couldn’t be, a feeling shared by his neighbour, drawn close to Steele during the investigation.
Choose film 6/10