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Dark Passage (Snap Case)

4.3 out of 5 stars 499 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Bogey's on the lam and Bacall's at his side in Dark Passage, Delmer Daves' stylish film-noir thriller that's the third of four films Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall made together. Bogart is Vincent Parry who, framed for murder, escapes San Quentin and soon emerges from plastic surgery with a new face. Bacall is Irene Jansen, Vincent's lone ally. In a supporting role, Agnes Moorehead portrays Madge, a venomous harpy who finds pleasure in the unhappiness of others. The chemistry of the leads is undeniable, and they augment it here with exceptional tenderness. Exceptional too are the atmospheric San Francisco locations and the imaginative camera work that shows Vincent's point of view - but not his face - until the bandages are removed. Lest Irene get ideas, the post-surgery Vincent tells her: "Don't change yours. I like it just as it is." So do we. Year: 1947 Director: Delmer Daves Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall Special Feature: Original Theatrical Trailer B&W/106 Mins.

Special Features

  • All-new making of featurette "Hold Your Breath and Cross Your Fingers"
  • Vintage cartoon "Slick Hare"

Product Details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Mel Blanc, Arthur Q. Bryan, Bruce Bennett
  • Directors: Delmer Daves, Friz Freleng
  • Writers: Delmer Daves, David Goodis, Michael Maltese, Tedd Pierce
  • Producers: Edward Selzer, Jack L. Warner
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 4, 2003
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (499 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000B1OGG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,673 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dark Passage (Snap Case)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This film is among my favorite film noir now. What really made it for me is that it paints a lonely and shadowy emotional landscape and lets us know and attach ourselves to the characters; characters who aren't criminals or necessarily treacherous, but lonely, solitary people who live in a dark world. Essentially it's a character story, and this works so well with the noirish atmosphere. Happily for us, it achieves all this without being depressing, but entirely captivating and very intriguing.

The plot is fairly simple (well, considering its friends in the genre): an escaped convict tries to hide, has his face disfigured (into Humphrey Bogart, which is pretty funny when you think about it), and then tries to unearth some answers involving his past. During his journey Vincent (Bogart) meets up with these people who all have something in common that drives them, loneliness, and his relationships with them add a compelling depth and intensely personal nature to what could have been an average crime story. It drives the film with these instead of some labryinthian plot about a crime or a heist, although it must be said that the plot is still ridiculously exciting, and still contains loads of suspense and enough twists to keep any noir-phile captivated. San Francisco serves as the magnificent moody setting with Bogart running around the city trying to escape the cops and still take care of his own problems. His hide and seek game really grabs you, it's thrillingly done and they bring you right down into it. Bogart turns in a fine performance, playing a sympathetic character who isn't very streetwise and not much of a tough guy at all (there's one scene where he's on the verge of nausea while talking to a detective, it's a very convincing performance from Bogart).
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Format: DVD
Vincent Parry (Humphrey Bogart) has been convicted of murdering his wife; at the start of "Dark Passage," he's escaped from San Quentin and is on the run. He has no where to turn, no one to help him. However, he happens upon a helpful painter, Irene Jansen (Lauren Bacall), and things start to look up for Parry. Before long, however, trouble comes knocking.

"Dark Passage" is solid crime noir: not quite the top of the genre, but very entertaining nevertheless. Seeing Bogart and Bacall together is always a joy, although "Dark Passage" is a somewhat odd pairing -- mostly because Bogart is not seen by the audience for the first half of the movie. The gimmick is that the movie is seen from his perspective until he undergoes plastic surgery, then the new Parry emerges as Bogart. The technique is a bit stagey and awkward at times, but the talented cast pulls it through. Bogart gives a good performance, although the majority of it is essentially voice-over, and Bacall is as beautiful as ever. The supporting cast is also solid, particularly Agnes Moorehead as the meddling Madge.

Based on the book by David Goodis ("Shoot the Piano Player), the plot is pretty unbelievable, but no more improbable than many other good noir films. The cinematography is quite nice and makes good use of the San Francisco setting. Overall, "Dark Passage" is great fun -- watch it, enjoy it, and forget about the glaring plot holes.
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Format: DVD
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 escape 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 elude the law better.

1947 seemed to be The Year of the Subjective Camera, with DP's first hour shot from Bogart's point of view and Robert Montgomery's LADY IN THE LAKE using the technique throughout. Unlike LADY...
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Format: VHS Tape
This is one of my favorite movies and Humphrey Bogart is wonderful and so is Lauren Bacall. I take the video out many times and watch it and always enjoy it. The San Francisco backdrop, stylish photography and excellent performances make it a treat you won't forget.
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