Reviews for Dark Passage ( ) 1080p

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

"I was born lonely, I guess."

An escaped convict (Humphrey Bogart) undergoes plastic surgery and hides out with a pretty young woman (Lauren Bacall) while he tries to figure out who murdered his wife, the crime for which he was convicted. Excellent film noir written and directed by Delmer Daves with beautiful photography by Sid Hickox. It's the last film Bogie and Bacall did together and it's easily the most underrated of the three. Both are terrific here and have that same wonderful chemistry we all love, albeit with less sexy banter than their previous movies together. The real scene-stealer of the picture is Agnes Moorehead, who gets the juiciest role and one awesome scene in particular. Tom D'Andrea has a great bit as a talkative cabby and there are several other fine character actors in small roles.

The first forty minutes or so is filmed mostly from a first person point-of-view. We don't see Bogart's face until over an hour in, after his character has had plastic surgery. A pretty gutsy move at the time to have your big star, Humphrey Bogart, heard but not seen for such a large chunk of the movie. But it's so well-done and effective, it's probably my favorite portion of the film. Another favorite part is a little bit of business referring to a famous line of Bogie's from a past film. That sort of thing is commonplace today but wasn't then. It's a funny part in a terrific script by Daves. The movie does meander some, usually for little moments with side characters. While many of these scenes aren't necessarily needed they add something extra to the picture that I enjoyed. Definitely a must-see for Bogie fans.

Strange and gripping yarn in which the camera sees through Bogart's eyes and only hear his voice

Absorbing and worthy suspense film about killings , entangled relationships and dark secrets , dealing with an inmate who escapes from San Quentin (San Francisco) to prove he was framed for the murder of his spouse . A man convicted (Humphrey Bogart as an escaped convict and for the first 40 minutes you don't see the star , only hear his voice) wrongly jailed of murdering his wife breaks out of prison and works with a woman to try and prove his innocence . He undergoes plastic surgery and it is only after when the camera turns on his new face ; he is subsequently aided and hidden by a beautiful girl (Lauren Bacall in an ordinary glamorous character as a valiant woman who hides him from the authorities , her scenes with Bogart are delightful), as he tries to find the real murderous . And , if you don't know the story , you'll be hard put to unravel its solution .

This first-rate but slow-paced picture draws its riveting tale and power from the interaction of finely drawn roles as well as drama and emotion . Twisted film Noir about murders , troubled relationships , treason , dark secrets ; being based on the novel by David Goodis also titled "Dark Passage¨ and screen-written by the same director ; though stars can quite compensate for some far-fetched moments . It has a good realization , an original script , haunting atmosphere , intriguing events ; for that reason madness and murder prevail . Exciting as well as rare film , possessing a mysterious and fascinating blend of gripping thriller , serenity , baroque suspense in which especially stands out the portentous performances , evocative cinematography in black and white by Sid Hickox and magnificent musical score by Franz Waxman . This is pure cinema from the first to the last shot, where there's nothing left and each image has its sense and meaning . Perhaps the most unusual adaptation on Noir Film , this results to be a tough and tortuous thriller . Additionaly , the subjective camera record Humphrey's impressions while he listens to people talk . A neat cinematic trick that was utilized to equally nice effect a year later in ¨Lady in the lake¨ with Robert Montgomery . Here Bogart is extraordinary and as cool as ever , his scenes with Lauren Bacall are awesome though underplayed compared to those they shared in The Big sleep and To have and to have not . Supporting cast is frankly well , such as Agnes Morehead who overacts shrilly , Bruce Bennett and Clifton Young .

The motion picture produced in enough budget by Jack L. Warner and Jerry Wald was well directed by Delmer Daves . Daves employs the highly original and brilliantly successful device of telling the tale entirely in the first person through the eyes of the principal role who is rarely seen except in bandages . Nice work by Delmer Daves in demonstrating his skill at all areas : as technical , using all kind of resources for illustrating the interesting as well as dramatic story with an engaging screenplay , adding great actors , attractive filmmaking and enjoyable narration . Daves was a Western expert , including his characteristic use of landscape , for the reason he lived a long time of his boyhood with the Navajo and Hopi Indian tribes as he realized the notorious trail-blazing ¨Broken arrow¨ the first movie for many years not treat the Indians as cannon-fodder for the cavalry , which made the picture unpopular in some quarters . He went on directing the suspenseful ¨3:10 to Yuma¨, other pro-Indian as ¨The last wagon¨ and about Modoc Indians as ¨Drum beat¨ , the Shakespearian style of ¨Jubal¨ , ¨Return of the Texan¨ and ¨Cowboy¨ which a fairly spectacle about a long cattle drive . From 1959 Delmer Daves becomes embroiled for the remainder of his career with teenage love epics and very popular films but so-so direction at the Box-office successes as ¨A summer place¨, ¨Parrish¨, ¨Susan Slade¨, and ¨Rome adventure¨, among others . And of course , he realized Noir films such as ¨The red House¨ and this ¨Dark passage¨ that is absolutely recommended . Rating : Above average , it is a nice tale with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing .

Not Quite Noir By Numbers

"Dark Passage" is a 1947 Warner Brothers film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. That sentence telegraphs a few things about the film: it's a film noir with murders, betrayals and a femme fatale. A little formula isn't fatal for a film noir, since the genre is dependent on how human the archetypes can become -- is the existential hero believable? Is the femme fatale just tragic and mysterious enough to be alluring? Is the hero's faithful but ill-fated friend more than a plot device? As noir goes, "Dark Passage" is a bit too generic, but as filmmaking goes, it's a clever experiment that works more often than it fails. As a bonus, Agnes Moorehead turns in one of the most unexpected performances in cinematic history, and that alone makes "Dark Passage" worth viewing.

As a man falsely convicted of killing his wife, Bogart plays a standard noir hero with a troubled past and no future. To compensate for his commonness, director Delver Daves shoots most of the first part of the film from Bogart's perspective, which, as a choice, turns out to be more of a gimmick than a thematic choice but the early scene of being in an oil drum rolling down hill is pretty cool anyway. The movie is, naturally, concerned with finding out who murdered Bogart's wife, and the plot is a little muddled and weighted down with too many expository scenes. (Howard Hawks had just directed Bogie & Bacall in "The Big Sleep" and demonstrated that the more complicated the plot, the less important the exposition. I guess Daves didn't pay attention.) Bacall shows up as Bogart's helpmate, there are creepy supporting characters speaking strange monologues (another noir trademark), and enough weak but interesting men to keep the plot moving forward. But aside from the camera work, the most remarkable thing about "Dark Passage" is the casting of Agnes Moorehead as the de riguer evil woman. Sure, we can all know that Ag can play a domineering rhymes-with-witch, but who thought she could play a sexually voracious one? Her character of Madge is never fully explained, but seems to be an annoying rich woman whom everyone must tolerate because of her social position. To be bearable, Madge must be attractive in some way, and since the stately Ms. Moorehead exudes all the smoldering sensuality of a Mother Superior, she has to act sexy, which she's just talented enough to do. You've seen in "Citizen Kane," "The Twilight Zone" and "Bewitched," but you've never seen her like this. Check her out.

Point-of-view photography: great art or movie gimmick?

Tough, gleaming black-and-white noir has Humphrey Bogart portraying an escaped convict in San Francisco who is helped by a well-meaning girl played by Lauren Bacall, Bogart's new bride in real-life. The cinematography by Sid Hickox is vivid throughout, though his first thirty minutes are used as POV photography from Bogart's eyes, and it's a tricky but ultimately taxing maneuver cinematically (awaiting Bogart's elongated emergence, we have too much time to gaze at Bacall playing nursemaid, her nostrils flexing, her hair and attire perfectly in order). The slim story would surely take a backseat to the star-duo if they were allowed to actually emote, but this script puts the squeeze on them right from the start (where Bacall comes in makes little sense, and her romantic involvement with Bogie is a puzzler; it's left up to the viewer to decide since the script is busy exhausting itself trying to make everybody in the cast fit into the puzzle). The locations are fun (and that's a dandy elevator up to Bacall's luxurious apartment), Agnes Moorehead has a great time as a shrike, but the other characters are negligible. There's a big scene where Bogart gets pulled away from his breakfast by a cop that goes nowhere, and the ending is a little too breezy for a glowering drama like this. **1/2 from ****

Coincidence City

The least known of the four Bogey and Bacall movies and deservedly so has to be Dark Passage. The other three have become classics to some' degree and this one hasn't.

There are just too many coincidences and too many plot holes for the good ship Dark Passage to float. Lauren Bacall just happens to be out painting when Bogart crashes out of San Quentin, she just happens to know some of the principals in the case that sent Bogart up in the first place, Bogart happens to get into a cab where a friendly helpful cab driver happens to know a good plastic surgeon. It's all too too unreal.

Yet Dark Passage does have its good moments. Bacall and Bogey are smoking up the screen as they did in To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, and later in Key Largo. Agnes Moorehead steals the film from both of them with an over the top performance which is a text book example of overacting. My guess is Agnes was simply trying to overcome a bad script.

Delmer Daves who is a fine director for outdoor films, westerns like Jubal and 3:10 to Yuma is also not the right director for Dark Passage. If Alfred Hitchcock had directed it with a better script, Dark Passage may very well have been the best instead of the worst of the Bogart Bacall teamings.

One character I really liked though was Clifton Young who first picks up Bogart on the road after the escape. Bogart slugs him when he catches wise, but later Young returns for some blackmail. He's a two bit punk, very much along the lines of Elisha Cook, Jr. in The Maltese Falcon and you really are happy when he meets his fate.

Dark Passage also helped the great Richard Whiting-Johnny Mercer standard, Too Marvelous for Words get a revival. Didn't cost the brothers Warner a dime as they owned the rights to the song, it having been introduced in the Ruby Keeler musical, Ready, Willing, and Able. Just like As Time Goes By got a revival from Casablanca.

But we remember Casablanca a whole lot more than Dark Passage.

That guy Baker was a "Little Rascal."

Sadly, or perhaps not, most condemned prisoners do not have a dame, a dude, and a plastic surgeon around to break their falls when they escape. But when Bogart busts out of the big house, San Quentin, the Good Samaritans start popping up like dandelions. His method of escape is to throw himself down a steep incline in a steel barrel. The cameraman rides tandem and becomes his eyes and point-of-view. Bogart hitches a ride with a nosy fellow I've seen before in the movies. He has deep-set eyes and a divot in his chin. Bogart quickly dispatches the mug to dreamland and ventures out into an uncertain landscape of creeps and coppers. Instead, Bogart catches a break: he discovers he has a groupie played by Lauren Bacall. She is out painting landscapes when she hears the bulletin over the radio. She knows everything about his case. She even sat in the courtroom during his trial. She felt he got a raw deal. The dude he meets is a close friend who plays the horn. He allows Bogart safe haven to rest. Incredibly, Bogart steps into the cab of yet another sympathetic character. The cabbie guides him to a doctor who wields a wild scalpel. Bogart's ex-flame also knows Bacall--and is a royal pain in the neck. The coincidences pile up higher than The Golden Gate Bridge. Bogie and Bacall may have more well known films on their resumes, but this one will keep a big fat smile on your face.

Supporting Actors Outshine Two Stars

Watching a "feature" on the DVD the other day after viewing this movie, it was interesting to hear that "Dark Passage" was never a popular film despite the headliners being Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

That was because studio head Jack Warner was displeased that Bogart's face wasn't shown for the first half of the film and so he didn't give the movie much publicity. The fact Bogey's face didn't appear for quite a while apparently didn't settle well with the public, either.

That was their loss: this is a fine film. The stars of it, really - the actors who put the spark in the story - aren't Bogey and Bacall anyway but the supporting actors. I can't recall a movie where the supporting cast was so good, so entertaining, as in this film.

Before naming them, let me preface by saying Bogart and Bacall still give good performances and Bacall still had a face in those early days that was mesmerizing BUT the people who make this movie click are:

Tom D'Andrea as the cab driver; Houseley Stevenson as the strange and extremely interesting plastic surgeon; Clifton Young as the blackmailer; Tory Mallison as Bogart's old best friend and Agnes Moorhead as the villainous snoop. These people are fantastic.

As an escaped convict on the run, we only see what Bogart sees until plastic surgery turns him into the familiar face we recognize. That sort of thing - seeing only what one character sees, using the camera as his eyes, was done in another noir, "Lady In The Lake," but not done as successfully as in this film. Here, it works as we meet these other weird characters as Bogart sees them. Actually, every character including Bacall's, is a bit odd. The script doesn't always make sense, either, to be honest, but it's fun to play along.

It was a simple but effective story with some neat twists along the way and pretty good suspense here and there, too. I think it's a very underrated film noir and very glad the long-awaited DVD gave it a nice transfer. This is another example of a classic film that looks far better on DVD than it ever did on tape. I hadn't realized how well-photographed this movie was until I saw it on disc.

The Softer Side of Bogart and Bacall

The absorbing documentary featurette on the DVD edition of the 1947 mystery DARK PASSAGE (DP) suggests that Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall's participation in the star-studded Committee for the First Amendment, intended to defend colleagues called before the HUAC, might have been the reason that DP wasn't as big a hit as the real/reel-life couple's earlier screen collaborations. However, I suspect that audiences past and present may have found DP harder to cozy up to because, instead of the cool, insolent, wisecracking Bogart & Bacall of TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT and THE BIG SLEEP, this film version of David Goodis' novel THE DARK ROAD presents a more melancholy, vulnerable Bogart & Bacall -- which is not at all a bad thing, just unexpected from this star team at that time. That Bogart & Bacall chemistry is still there, but it's sweeter here, as if they'd decided to let down their collective guard and allow tenderness to take over. Instead of the cocksure Bogart character we all know and love, DP protagonist Vincent Parry is wary, fearful, fumbling in his attempts to clear himself of his wife's murder and elude the cops like he escapes from prison in the film's opening scenes. His only allies include the mysterious Irene Jansen (Bacall), who followed his case during his trial and ends up in a position to help hide him while he proves his innocence, and Sam (Tom D'Andrea), a kindly, lonesome cabbie who steers Parry to a back-alley plastic surgeon (Houseley Stevenson) to get a new face to help him fly under the law's radar.

1947 was The Year of the Subjective Camera, with DP's first hour shot from Bogart's point of view and Robert Montgomery's film adaptation of Raymond Chandler's LADY IN THE LAKE (which I've discussed elsewhere on the IMDb) using the technique throughout. Unlike LADY..., DP's plastic surgery gimmick provides a good plot reason for the audience not to initially see Bogart's face, though we frequently hear that unmistakable Bogart voice to make up for it. We also get to see the lovely Bacall and lots of spellbinding character actors in lieu of Bogie. There isn't an uninteresting face or a bad performance in the bunch, with standout performances from the leads, D'Andrea, Stevenson (wise, kindly, and vaguely sinister all at once), Rory Mallinson as Parry's musician friend, the ever-dependable Bruce Bennett, cheap hood Clifton Young (with an oily grin and a cleft chin that looks like it got lost on the way to Cary Grant's face), and especially the magnificent Agnes Moorehead as Madge Rapf, the kind of woman who won't join any club that'll have her as a member, a stylish dame who spreads stress and misery wherever she goes. Sticking her nose into everyone's business, Madge manages to lure people to her and push them away at the same time, and if she can't have you, she'll make damn sure nobody else canhave you, even if that means murder. With her delivery dripping honey one minute and venom the next (especially in her climactic scene with Bogart), the quicksilver Moorehead's commanding presence and her unconventional, undeniably striking good looks ensure that you can't take your eyes off her whenever she's on screen.

If you're looking for a tight mystery plot, look elsewhere. While DP has many suspenseful moments, it's primarily a character study and a mood piece about loneliness, redemption, and starting over, with a strong undercurrent of postwar paranoia, all underscored beautifully by Franz Waxman's stirring music (with contributions by an uncredited Max Steiner). The bus station scene is a touching example of this. But the reactions of people who meet Parry with his post-op face and new name, "Allan Linnell," are so suspicious I wondered if writer/director Delmer Daves (who cameos as the photo of Irene's doomed dad. His real-life kids have bit parts, too) was indicating that Parry was really projecting his own paranoia onto the people around him. His new name in particular makes people look at him like he just dropped in from the planet Neptune: "Linnell? That's a very unusual name." What's so freakin' unusual about it?! What, it's not blandly Anglo-Saxon enough? I wonder if John Linnell of They Might Be Giants fame ever had to field such questions...but I digress... :-)

Even when DP drops the subjective camera style so we can see Bogart in all his glory, the visuals are striking thanks to Sid Hickox's moody black-and-white photography (although with the emphasis on Madge's love of all things orange, I can imagine a partly-colorized version a la SIN CITY, with everything black-and-white except Madge's orange clothes and belongings... :-) and some innovative visual techniques. I particularly liked the use of the glass floor when Bogart discovers a dead body -- a tip of the hat to Alfred Hitchcock's THE LODGER, perhaps? Speaking of Hitchcock, DP and Hitch's 1958 classic VERTIGO might make an interesting double feature since they share themes of loss, loneliness, new identities and fresh starts as well as a San Francisco setting. If you want to see a softer side of Bogart & Bacall, DP is well worth watching. You may also enjoy the DVD's other fun extras, like the original theatrical trailer (for me, the hyperbole of that era's movie trailers is part of their charm) and SLICK HARE, one of the Bugs Bunny cartoons affectionately lampooning Bogart (rumor has it that Bogart liked to pal around with the animators at Warner Bros.' "Termite Terrace" and he actually did his own voice work for SLICK HARE and 8-BALL BUNNY).

You're too marvelous, too marvelous for words....

"Dark Passage" offers a different take on the San Francisco noir genre. This is a movie in which we get to know about the story that unfolds in front of us told in narrative style by the hero, who is never seen until about one hour into the picture. Delmer Daves, adapting the David Goodis novel has created something seldom seen in this type of films, in which, the hero's presence is required at all times.

The film has a great style, as it offers a view of the San Francisco of the 1940s in ways that hadn't been seen before. The director was lucky to be able to open up the book in excellent ways to keep the viewer hooked from the start. The 'moderne' style of that era is seen in glorious detail, especially Irene's apartment, where much of the action takes place. The effect of the glassed enclosed elevator makes a dramatic contribution to the look of this movie.

The story of an innocent man, falsely condemned to prison for killing his own wife, parallels other movies. What's unusual here is that the presence of this convict is seen in another light with his own slant in to what really happened to the dead woman. There are other elements in the film that make it appealing. as the relationship between the escaped man, Vincent Parry, and the woman who rescues him, Irene Jansen.

Sidney Hickox's stylish cinematography is one of the best assets of the film. The crisp images that one sees of the city, or the surrounding areas, add to the enjoyment of watching the mystery unfold. The mood is set by the swing music of the time as Frank Waxman's score is heard. Richard Whiting contributes the great song one hears in the background.

The film is dominated by Humphrey Bogart, which says a lot about his power as an actor, and as a personality. When one considers he is actually not seen completely until after an hour into the movie, it speaks volumes of how the actor and the director were able to pull it through. The Irene Jansen of Lauren Bacall is another of the things that work in the film. Ms. Bacall's radiant beauty dominates every scene she is in. This actress had such a style that no matter what she is doing, she pulls our attention to her. The camera loved Ms. Bacall.

The other best thing going for the film is the strong performances Mr. Daves has obtained from his cast. Agnes Moorehead makes a phenomenal appearance as the evil Madge Rapf. Her last scene with Mr. Bogart stands as one of the best moments in a film noir of the era. Ms. Moorehead's expressions as she is confronted with the facts, keep on changing as she absorbs everything being thrown at her. Clifton Young who plays Baker, the opportunistic would be criminal, is also effective, as he adds a layer of intrigue with an angle we didn't figure out existed. His fight with Parry at the bottom of the Golden Gate bridge is beautifully choreographed. Finally, the kind cab driver Sam, who helps Parry assume a new identity, as played by Tom D'Andrea is one of the highlights of the film, as well as the plastic surgeon, portrayed by Houseley Stevenson.

This film, while not perfect, shows how well Delmer Dave's gamble paid in his conception for the film.

...just shows not all oldies are goodies

4 out of 10... add 3to 4 to 5 to (reading some of the reviews on IMDb) 6 points depending on how much of a Bogart/Bacall coolaid drinker you are. With the exception of the beginning of the film, which I'll admit is very interesting, this script is a disaster. Sounded like some hack writer aping "film noir" speak or some has been writer aping himself. The film is unwatchable after Bogart recovers from the plastic surgery.Many of the lines play more like a satire of film noir than actual film noir. All the actors approach this pretty earnestly, more's the pity. Agnes Moorehead gives the worst performance of her career (Endora was more nuanced). But I did believe Bacall loved Bogey, both in the film and in real life...can I join the club, now?

Agnes Moorehead steals the show!

Even if she has only two or three scenes she steals them all.And it speaks volumes when the stars are Bogart and Bacall.

This is my favorite B/B among the four films they made together."The big sleep" has a plot I've never understood -Hawks used to say it was the same to him-,"to have and to have not" fails to excite me (Bogart a resistant and Gaulliste at that!"Key Largo",on the other hand, is a close second to Daves' movie .

Not that the subjective viewpoint/camera was that much new.Robert Montgomery filmed his hero the same way in 1946 ("Lady in the lake" ,and we only saw his reflection in the mirrors).Hitchcock knew the technique as well and he used it with virtuosity during short sequences.But Daves who is best remembered for his westerns ("broken arrow") pulls it off effortlessly.The depth of field gives a dreamlike atmosphere to the first sequences with Bacall and the surgeon -dream which becomes nightmare during the operation when Bogart sees in his bad dream all the characters involved in the story- There are plot holes of course,particularly Madge 's character .Parry is in Irene's house and presto here she comes.It takes all Agnes Moorehead's talent to give this woman substance.

The first third is Bogartless,as an user points out.But he could add that the last third is almost Bacallless too.

Only the ending,which I will not reveal of course ,is not worthy of a film noir!Maybe the producers imposed it.

Totally unconvincing star thriller which succeeds because of its professionalism?

Bogart's third teaming with Lauren Bacall was in "Dark Passage," a murder-mystery film which depended upon contrivances rather than good scripting to see it through?

The film opened with the use of a subjective camera (MGM used it throughout their "Lady in the Lake" that same year) with Bogart's off-camera narration establishing the plot as we watch our hero escape from prison with the intent of finding the real murderer of his wife, the crime for which he had been wrongfully jailed?

Once he meets up with Bacall and goes to a plastic surgeon, the subjective camera is forgotten as Bogart now utilizes his own face and carries on the investigation?

"Dark Passage" was energetically directed and written by Delmer Daves who used some atmospheric location shots in San Francisco to underscore his drama? The film included an unusual number of bizarre and eccentric characters, all competently played?

Agnes Moorehead essayed a superb1y schizoid characterization as a bitchy "friend" of Bogart and his dead wife? Bacall showed definite signs of improvement in her acting and Bogart was properly bitter, sour and nonplussed?

For all practical purposes, this film marked the conclusion of Bogart's famous "image" period? Now he was to forsake his romantic leading-man roles for acting assignments which he hoped would raise him to greater heights as a performer? He was to succeed, in many cases, magnificently?

Dark Passage (1947) **1/2

Vincent Parry is a San Quentin convict wrongly accused of murdering his wife, who escapes from prison and is taken in by a gorgeous Good Samaritan (that would be Lauren Bacall as Irene Jansen). She lets him hide out at her place for awhile, but eventually Vincent takes a ride with a very perceptive cab driver who recognizes him and also has a heart of gold; he pulls his cab over to the side and just happens to know this plastic surgeon friend who wouldn't mind putting his neck on the line to alter the face of a wanted fugitive. After the operation is completed and the bandages are unspooled, Vincent Parry turns into Humphrey Bogart, and he is now able to set out to discover who really murdered his wife.

I'm not one who usually can't suspend his disbelief when watching movies, but there are a lot of contrivances here, even for me! I think the director made a poor choice in spending the first 30 or 40 minutes without showing Bogie, and even more importantly by using a very grating "point of view" camera technique to substitute for the character of Parry for far too long. This subjective viewpoint, where the camera becomes the eyes of the convict, as people look and talk at him, hand him cigarettes and so forth, is extremely effective at first but quickly grows into overkill. I think this would have been a much more interesting film if another actor was utilized to portray the pre-surgery Bogart.

Everything just falls too neatly into place, and once Bogart has his face transformed, he doesn't really get involved in too much hard detective work on his own before easily stumbling onto the real killer's identity (you can't really blame him; it's quite obvious). One begins to wonder why he even bothered with the plastic surgery. Lauren Bacall is beautiful to look at, and I can watch her doing just about anything. But I think her rapport with Bogart this time out is kind of lightweight. The real surprise of the film for me was Agnes Moorehead, who turns in a delicious performance. This is a film worth watching for its stars and a generally intriguing premise; it's just unfortunate that it couldn't have worked out a little better. **1/2 out of ****

Dark Passage is a forgotten masterpiece

Dark Passage is a forgotten masterpiece and a personal favorite. Delmer Davies captures the 1940's magic of San Francisco from hill hugging wooden stairs to fog horns to shrouded atrium elevators to some of the best character acting I've ever seen. Tom D'Andrea and Housely Stephenson are wonderful as the so smart but so decent cabbie and the end of the dark ally plastic surgeon. Agnes Morehead is persistent annoyance morphed into utter villainy personified. She is nails scraped on a blackboard good and you can't take your eyes off her Madge. Becall and Bogie tie it together with fine understated grace. The flick ends and you want to go find that little beach front café in Peru.

Interesting But Not Great

Watched this movie a while ago and although I thought the film was unintentionally funny in several parts and that there were a lot of bizare and outlandish happenings, I found it oddly compelling and pretty entertaining. On the plus side was the cool first person camera work. Though it was also seen in LADY IN THE LAKE, this type of filming always interests me. The San Francisco locations also gave the film a nice air of authenticity. The biggest plus of course is the Bogart/Becall team. The chemistry and the heat is quite obvious and Bogie comes off as charming while Becall sizzles with her "innocent" sexiness. Some things just had me shaking my head in amazement though and chuckling a little to myself. I mean, Bogart just gets into this cab and right away, the cabbie knows people because he studies faces and immediately he knows Bogart is the prison escapee even though his face is completely covered in darkness!! And just like that, the cabbie happens to know this doctor who performs facelifts and on and on it went. I mean, Bogie just happened to get into the right cab at the right time in a huge metropolis! Timing is everything I guess. And how about the cop at the diner? Just because Bogart didn't realize a certain race track was closed and because he wasn't wearing a raincoat, he was automatically a suspect who needed to go down to headquarters even though he looked nothing like his old self??? Wow! And don't get me started on Bogie's final confrontation with Agnes Moorehead! Anyway, there was still something about the film that kept me entertained and interested to the end but all in all, DARK PASSAGE in not a great film and I prefer something like THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT to this one.

Fascinating film noir

Wow, we are really asked to believe a lot in this film. Typically movies can only get away with one or two unlikely plot elements, but somehow I still enjoyed 'Dark Passage' despite numerous key elements' implausibility.

The film opens to a shot of convicted felon Parry (Bogart) in a barrel in back of a truck headed down the road. He shakes the barrel, takes a nasty roll and staggers out. It's just the first of many doubt-inducing sequences.

The film, with its plot problems aside, is really an excellent film noir study. We are taken through most of the first half of the film from the first-person Parry (Bogart) view. I found this fascinating, despite wooden dialogue and continuous unrealistic steadiness of the camera. I think the base story of 'Dark Passage' is superb, with all its film noir elements. I especially like the first-person view, which then transforms through a surrealistic imagery scene of plastic surgery, into the normal third-person view.

One plot element I particularly take issue with is that, although Parry gets a new face, we are asked to believe that his distinctive Bogart voice cannot be recognised by the closest of his acquaintances. He makes no effort whatsoever to account for this, and this is given no thought in the slightest.

The film is one I would personally love to make - I would like to direct the thing myself, and revise the script a bit, make it more real in dialogue and plot primarily. This is a feeling I've not oft encountered, because I've almost always felt a director has done, even when he presents a wrong point of view, a better job than I could do. Due to my love for the story here I was torn - torn I tell you - in my selection of a vote for this film, but arrived at 7. I took off for the unrealistic factors, but made sure to preserve the respectability of the film. It is, incontestably, a classic - and in my opinion, just because a film is old doesn't mean it is. I respect this film.

The worst of the Bogie-Bacall pairings

A con named Vincent (Bogart) breaks out of prison to be befriended by a woman (Bacall) who sympathizes with his case which was akin to her father's. He gets a new face and tries to discover who really killed his wife and then his best friend. This is a rather tedious, unoriginal movie, with none of the snappy, quick dialogue that films of this era often display. It's slow-paced - lingering on humdrum scenes, repeating unimportant information such as Vincent's doctor's advice - and fairly predictable, even unintentionally comic (the silly anesthesia scene). The first half of the movie, we don't see Vincent; instead we see the action from his eyes. Perhaps that was interesting then, but I felt it added nothing to the movie. Morehead, as the dead wife's shewish friend (this is one of those movies where the good guys act predictably good, and the villains act only nasty) chews the scenery something awful in her confrontation scene with Bogie. Good acting by Bogie and Bacall, plus some scenes with a delightfully bullying thug, help save the film from being a total waste. 4/10.

This is a GREAT MOVIE!!!

Bogart made three unforgettable landmark films: Maltese Falcon, Big Sleep, and Dark Passage. Of the three, Dark Passage is the least known, which is tragic, because it measures up to the other three and in many ways surpasses them for atmosphere, characterization and psychological mood. Based on a novel by David Goodis, who also wrote the novel that Shoot The Piano Player was based on, it hits top marks in rankings of films in the categories of Film Noir, Existentialism, Dostoyevskian outlook and Kafkan world-view. Filled with forever unforgettable scenes and quotable lines, heart-wrenching views of fog-bound 1940s San Francisco and characters who seem to be stand-ins for the all our own private inauspicious never-to-be famous or successful friends and acquaintances, it's a brilliant metaphor for that dying species: the "individual". Also, of all the Bogart/Bacall pairings, it was the softest, tenderest & most romantic. Movies like this should be on some kind of everybody's-required-viewing-list.