Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • A
  • Film-Noir, Thriller
  • 1947
  • 106 mins

Dark Passage

Dark Passage

Synopsis

Bogart is a man on the run and Lauren Bacall his saviour in this tense and stylishly atmospheric film noir thriller

About

Dark Passage was Bogart and Bacall's third feature as a couple following on from the successes of To Have And Have Not (1944) and The Big Sleep (1946). Billed as a compelling romance, Dark Passage is, in fact, a very different movie. Firmly in the tradition of late 40s film noir, it is primarily the tale of escaped prisoner Vincent Parry (Bogart) and his bid to clear his name and find out who framed him for the murder of his wife. Bacall plays his independent and wilful rescuer Irene, who hides him from his pursuers, nurses him when he undergoes plastic surgery to change his identity, and falls for him along the way.

It's a dark, surreal and slightly implausible tale. An unusual vehicle for such a star as Bogart - he doesn't show his face until at least halfway through the film. The first third makes inventive use of first-person camera technique, never showing the actor's infamous face. For much of the second third, he appears mute and in bandages after having undergone the quickest and most effective facelift in history. Much more successful, technically, than the much cited earlier attempt to introduce subjective camera into film, 1947's Chandler adaptation Lady In The Lake, it's an intriguing device which adds to the already tense atmosphere and sense of growing paranoia as Parry is tracked down by police and other foes.

The film also benefits from its suitably gothic location of San Francisco and some wonderfully oddball supporting characters such as Agnes Moorehead's psychotically jealous Madge and Tom D'Andrea's lonely cabby. However, it never quite hits the high notes and is rather slowly paced in parts and lacks the fiery, smart dialogue from other Bogart/Bacall vehicles.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Bruce Bennett, Agnes Moorehead, Tom D'Andrea, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, Clifton Young
  • Director: Delmer Daves
  • Writer: Delmer Daves, David Goodis
  • Producer: Jerry Wald
  • Photographer: Sid Hickox
  • Composer: Franz Waxman

In a nutshell

Bogart's Parry sure is a guy with plenty of trouble and Bacall provides intelligent and gutsy succour, but this competent and interesting thriller just never quite makes it to classic status.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    Maidan

    Documentary portrait of the winter 2013/14 Ukrainian demonstrations in Kiev against the pro-Moscow presidency of Viktor Yanukovych and for a greater integration with Europe.

  • Film4

    The Confessions Of Thomas Quick

    Brian Hill's chilling documentary about Sweden's most notorious serial killer

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Guests announced for Film4 FrightFest 2015

    Barbara Crampton, Rick Wakeman, James Cosmo, Toyah Willcox, Neil Marshall and Bernard Rose amongst dazzling array of guests set to re-animate FrightFest... Scream Queen legend Barbara Crampton is F

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Toby Amies on The Man Whose Mind Exploded

    Ahead of the TV premiere of The Man Whose Mind Exploded, Film4.com editor Michael Leader speaks with director Toby Amies about his fascinating documentary about the friendship he forged with the colou

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share