Noir double-bill at the Heights Theatre

  • Article by: COLIN COVERT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 8, 2013 - 11:35 AM
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“In a Lonely Place” stars Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame.

Noir double-bill

The Heights Theatre presents a double-bill of fine, moody melodramas from Columbia Pictures Monday in its ongoing noir series. “In a Lonely Place” is the last of the great Bogart films. He stars as a cynical screenwriter accused of killing a young girl until neighbor Gloria Grahame offers him a false alibi. Bogart’s tough-guy audacity is peeled back to reveal a tormented insecurity and violent temper that make Grahame fear he actually killed the girl. Some have interpreted the romantic, fatalistic film as a commentary on Bogart’s real-life heavy drinking, others as a reaction to director Nicholas Ray’s acrimonious relationship with Grahame, his wife. They divorced soon after filming ended.

There’s a more Gothic mood to “My Name Is Julia Ross,” a twisted thriller from B-movie maestro Joseph H. Lewis (who went on to make the spree-killers-in-love classic “Gun Crazy”). Like a condensed, scarier version of Hitchcock’s “Rebecca,” it stars Nina Foch as a young woman held prisoner by a psychotic mother and son who try to brainwash Julia into accepting that she’s the son’s amnesiac wife. It’s a 64-minute gem with a memorably creepy turn by George Macready as the unstable, knife-fondling mama’s boy. Both films are presented in 35mm and feature inventive camerawork by Burnett Guffey, an Oscar winner for “From Here to Eternity” and “Bonnie and Clyde.” (7:30 p.m. Mon., “In a Lonely Place” and 9:30 p.m. Mon., “My Name Is Julia Ross,” $8 for the double feature, Heights Theatre, 3951 Central Av. NE., Columbia Heights, 763-788-9079.)

COLIN COVERT

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