Dark Passage (1947)

This is One of Those Movies for Me

Dark Passage, while not the best picture of all time, certainly was entertaining and engaging.  I suppose anytime you get Bogie and Bacall together, it's just hard to not enjoy the movie!  I

think the premise was fun escaped convict trying to prove his innocence and has back-alley plastic surgery.  In it's own odd way, the movie definitely drew me in! You know how sometimes you happen to watch a movie at just right moment in your life, and for whatever reason it just sticks with you?  This is one of those movies for me.  The first time I saw it I had come home from a long double shift in the ICU and Dark Passage had arrived from this new DVD service called Netflix (can you imagine?).  I was tired, and it was raining out, so I plopped on the sofa and put this is.  For whatever reason - I had a moment of gemutlichkeit and this movie just stuck!

A timeless classic

Another part of what attracts me to the movie is that it's kinda timeless in that we still see movies with a similar premise - can we say The Shawshank Redemption?  Also, I agree with Bosley Crowthers (you'll see in a minute) in that the director makes excellent use of mid-1940s San Francisco itself as a co-star!

Two cents from two voices

Today we have two contemporary reviews of Dark Passage. The first is from my favorite movie critic, Bosley Crowther of the New York Times on September 6, 1947. I love his take! "The city of San Francisco, which is liberally and vividly employed as the realistic setting for the Warners' "Dark Passage," now at the Strand, scores the major pictorial triumph in this melodramatic tale of love which has Humphrey Bogart and his helpmeet, Lauren Bacall, as its ordinary stars. For Writer-Director Delmar Daves has very smartly and effectively used the picturesque streets of that city and its stunning panoramas from the hills to give a dramatic backdrop to his rather incredible yarn. So, even though bored by the story—which, because of its sag, you may be—you can usually enjoy the scenery, which is as good as a travelogue."

And from Variety

The December 31, 1946 edition of Variety kind of gave this movie a bit of a mixed review, "Dark Passage has a sharp, brutal opening, macabre touches throughout, and a thick, gruesome quality. What starts out as a thriller switches en route into a sagging, psychological drama, but recovers in time to give out with the satisfying gory stuff. Lauren Bacall's charm and Humphrey Bogart's ruggedness count heavily in a strange treatment of a murder story, which if it doesn't withstand scrutiny, does sustain mood and interest."  I guess they were just saying something similar to my take - a good, not great, movie with some kind of allure.

Don Malcolm over at Film Noir of the Week has an excellent synopsis and review, definitely worth checking out!

Vincent Parry (Bogie): I hope I'm not a coward when you start in.
Dr. Walter Coley (the back-alley plastic surgeon): We're all cowards. There's no such thing as courage. There's only fear, the fear of getting hurt. And the fear of dying. That's why human beings live so long.

RATED: Between Good and Great!

WATCH IT AGAIN: Definitely!

DO I WANT TO OWN IT?:  No need it's on all the outlets

Thanks for stopping by - see ya at the movies!

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