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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.
- All-new making of featurette "Hold Your Breath and Cross Your Fingers"
- Vintage cartoon "Slick Hare"
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A Bogart and Bacall. This film is a must for any serious movie collector, if you can forgive some of the oddly lucky happenings in the Bogart character's favor. Bacall is beautiful, and complicated, yet has the strength of her character dialed in.
Overall, an enjoyable movie that proves that a movie doesn't need foul language, a lot of unnecessary skin exposure and sex, to tell a reasonably compelling story.
A good part of this movie is told from first person point of view. There is a reason for it and even though it's an adjustment, it does serve the story. The story itself has shades of gray. While there are clear protagonists, this isn't "The Fugitive". Bogart isn't trying to find the killer of a wife that he loved. His marriage was all but over and he's cynical about love. He's trying to find the killer to clear his name. Very few of the characters like each other here. And most are up to no good. And that makes for a good crime flik!
Bogart knew how to use his voice, but he was consummate actor with his body and face. He can't use them in the first part of the film, and therefore can't elevate a so-so script. When the camera starts to show his face, then it picks up steam for a while despite a script but it's too late. All the tension that a better script and/or more experience with the technique could have built in the first hour is lost. Key relationships seem underdeveloped to me. But it is worth watching for fans of Bogart and Bacall or either one and film noir.