If you like a "smart" film, "Dark Passage" is one of "THE" best.
I will acknowledge, The Big Sleep (although, Martha Vickers, who plays Lauren Bacall's sister is more interesting than Bacall in this film), Maltese Falcon (which is tedious and pretentious), To Have And Have Not (there's some good performances but after repeated viewing they wear on you), Key Largo (a GREAT film in which ALL actors are great and Claire Trevor deserved the Oscar), however, Bacalls "acting" was almost a stereotype from the start. She REALLY shines BRILLIANTLY in Dark Passage - the whole PREMISE for this film is the beginning setup in which we don't see Bogarts face - DUH... it's part of the PLOT man!... and it sets up the WHOLE FILM.
To watch Agnes Mooreheads face when she finally realizes that... well... I won't give it away but, trust me, WATCH HER FACE - it is a magical moment of film!
Talk about "film noir"?... THIS IS IT... AT IT'S BEST!
Are some people so lame that they don't know it IS Bogart at the beginning of the film? Do you HAVE to see a "recognizable" face?... The "FACE" of a Film Star?? before you allow yourself to appreciate the fact that the director is treating the audience with respect for our "intelligence" that we can "survive" without seeing Bogarts face for a while?
Anyway, once Bacall got away from the rigidity of the "STUDIO MACHINE", she started to relax in her acting and became the actor she always SHOULD have been and HAS been to date...Read more ›
The premise for this movie is indeed improbable, and the idea that someone would want to change into the Bogart time-worn face is laughable. However, the interplay between the Bogarts is electric, and she never looked any sexier. The San Francisco art deco buildings and scenery is an added bonus. Agnes Moorhead, certainly one of our most underrated radio and film actresses, was never better as the catty friend. As a variation of film noir, though, this is fun to watch and gets better with each viewing.
Based on a David Goodis novel, director Delmer Daves also took over responsibility for the screenplay and weaved an engrossing if not always plausible story centred around Vincent Parry (Bogart) who we see in the first scene making his escape on the back of a truck from San Quentin Prison. Picked up a few minutes later by artist Irene Jansen (Bacall), who happened to be doing some painting in the surrounding hills as the prison siren went off, Vincent finds himself suddenly with a staunch ally in his quest to get to the bottom of his wife's murder. Irene takes Vincent back to her apartment in San Francisco where her attraction to him becomes immediately evident.She explains that her sudden determination to help him despite the personal risks to herself, is the result of her interest in his case and the firm belief that he was framed for his wife's murder.Read more ›