Dark Passage (Delmer Daves, 1947): USA

Reviewed by Collier Grimm. Viewed on DVD.

In this classic 1947 Film Noir, Dark Passage , Humphrey Bogart and real life partner Lauren Bacall lurk in shadow while untangling the web of deception that surrounds them. Vincent Parry (Bogart) has escaped from San Quentin in hopes of freeing himself from a life sentence for the murder of his wife. Bacall is mysteriously committed to helping Parry prove his innocence and hides him in her San Francisco apartment.

Like any good Film Noir, most scenes are set on the wet asphalt of city side streets late at night. Deep in the secrets of the city, the characters creep through darkness, deception and death. The classic Femme Fatal is played by one of the best female villains of all time, Agnes Moorehead, known best as the “Wicked Witch of the West”.

Parry’s face has been plastered across every front-page paper, and he decides his only chance for escape is to undergo plastic surgery. Up until this point the entire film has been shot through Parry’s point of view, a unique technique employed by the films director, Delmer Daves. After weeks of recovery Parry’s finally takes off the bandages and he has miraculously been transformed from the newspaper pictures into Humphrey Bogart. But does Bogart’s new mug really fool everyone?

This film is well worth the viewing for any Film Noir fan. It’s so good in fact; Dark Passage will thrill the face right off of you!

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