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Dark Passage (1947)

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A man convicted of murdering his wife escapes from prison and works with a woman to try and prove his innocence.

Director:

Delmer Daves

Writers:

Delmer Daves (screen play by), David Goodis (from the novel by)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Vincent Parry
Lauren Bacall ... Irene Jansen
Bruce Bennett ... Bob
Agnes Moorehead ... Madge Rapf
Tom D'Andrea ... Cabby - Sam
Clifton Young ... Baker
Douglas Kennedy ... Detective
Rory Mallinson ... George Fellsinger
Houseley Stevenson ... Dr. Walter Coley
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Alvin ... Blackie (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Bogart plays a man convicted of murdering his wife who escapes from prison in order to prove his innocence. Bogart finds that his features are too well known, and is forced to seek some illicit backroom plastic surgery. The entire pre-knife part of the film is shot from a Bogart's-eye-view, with us seeing the fugitive for the first time as he starts to recuperate from the operation in the apartment of a sympathetic young artist (played by Bacall) for whom he soon finds affection. But what he's really after is revenge. Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

TOGETHER...AND TORRID AGAIN! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 September 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Das unbekannte Gesicht See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Piura is a popular coastal Peruvian tourist destination, especially for surfers who make the most of its beaches. See more »

Goofs

Dr. Coley tells Vincent to sleep flat on his back, but when Irene enters the bedroom where he's sleeping, it's clear he slept with a pillow. See more »

Quotes

Irene Jansen: [seeing Vincent after he shaves] It's unbelievable. but it's good. I think I even like you better.
Vincent Parry: Well, don't let it give you any ideas.
Irene Jansen: What kind?
Vincent Parry: Don't change yours. I like it just as it is.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Masters of Sex: Love and Marriage (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Avalon
(uncredited)
Music by Vincent Rose
(based on "E lucevan le stelle" in the opera "Tosca" by Giacomo Puccini)
Played on the car radio at the beginning
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Saving Face
18 July 2004 | by Ben_CheshireSee all my reviews

Bogey is an escaped prisoner. Bacall helps him stay escaped. To maintain his anonymity he has a face-change operation.

It is a gimmick film, but the gimmick doesn't just serve its own purpose - it highlights a theme of faces, and what faces tell you about the person beneath.

You can tell when something is being explored onscreen for the first time - its done more thoroughly and more excitedly than it ever will again. Think back to that first film about the phenomenon of email (Disclosure) or the internet (The Net), or what about the first film exploring chronology-changes (Citizen Kane) or hide-the-protagonist (The Third Man), or the excitement of acting (Streetcar Named Desire). That initial excitement is never really matched again - after that it becomes just another device, or a reference. The thing here is partly first-person narration (this came out the same year as Lady in the Lake), but wholly plastic surgery, the idea of changing your appearance.

First-person narration is actually quite rare in cinema. Lady in the Lake is one of the only examples where they stick with it for an entire picture, resorting to gimmicks like having Robert Montgomery looking in a mirror. Its used to great effect in the first half of Dark Passage, in order to hide Bogart's face. It was partly mechanical. Its a face-change movie. Instead of starting with Bogart and changing his face to a different actor, they wanted to pretend he looked like a different person (which we only see in a few photographs), and then after the operation he just looks like Bogart. But what the device of hiding his face does is create suspense, and focus on the issue of faces, which is a recurring theme throughout.

And it works to the positive for this film: what's the best way to hide someone's face? Put us behind their eyes! You never see your own face unless you're looking in the mirror. So until his operation, we see through Bogey's eyes - and the result is quite cinematic. It really frees up the movie, unshackling it from the static trappings of most studio pictures of this era. Instead of us just looking on from the edge of a set, which ends up looking like a stage, we're really taken into the action - its marvellous!

And, to save the best till last - Bacall absolutely burns up the screen in this. She sets the celluloid on fire. Any single shot of her in this movie is magic. Just being onscreen and being magic, its the definition of the X-factor.

9/10. What a star-vehicle for Bogey. This was his Third Man. And Bacall is sensational!


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