Dark Passage (1947) Poster


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  • Convicted of murdering his wife, Vincent Parry (Humphrey Bogart) escapes San Quentin Prison by hiding in a barrel and meets up with sympathetic artist Irene Jansen (Lauren Bacall), whose father also got a bum rap for a similar crime. Afraid that his face is too well-known, Parry undergoes plastic surgery to change his features, changes his name to Alan Linell, and then sets out to prove his innocence.

  • Dark Passage is based on a 1946 novel of the same name by American fiction writer David Goodis [1917-1967]. The novel was adapted for the film by American film-maker Delmer Daves, who also directed the movie.

  • About an hour...62 minutes to be exact. Prior to that, Parry's face is shown only in shadow and bandages or the scene is shot looking through Parry's eyes.

  • The face in the newspaper belongs to actor Frank Wilcox.

  • After Vincent knocked him out, Baker (Clifton Young) came to just in time to see Irene give Vincent a ride. Baker caught the number on the license plate. Tracking down the plate number, he found Irene's address where he parked his car and waited.

  • After learning from Baker that it was an orange coupe that followed the taxi to George's house, Vincent pays a visit to Madge Rapf (Agnes Moorehead), pretending to be a friend of Bob's (Bruce Bennett). After flirting for a bit and discussing her love for the color orange, Madge suddenly realizes that it's Vincent Parry behind Allan Linnell's eyes. Vincent accuses her of murdering both his wife Gert and his friend George and says that he is going to turn over all the evidence to the police. At first, Madge scoffs but eventually admits that it's true. Without her admission, however, she knows that the police will see the 'evidence' as simply Vincent's theory. She backs away from him, runs behind a curtain, stumbles and falls out the window, plunging to her death. With Madge now dead and no way to get a confession from her to substantiate his 'evidence', Vincent decides to flee the country. He buys a ticket to Benton, Arizona then calls Irene. He invites her to join him in Paita, Peru. In the final scene, Parry is sitting in a cafe in Paita. The music suddenly changes to Too Marvelous for Words. Parry looks up and sees Irene entering. Wordlessly, they begin to dance with each other.

  • When Vincent described the fall to Irene, he says that she 'stumbled.' Since Vincent was no where near Madge when she fell, it wasn't murder, but some viewers deem Madge as spiteful enough that she just might have killed herself in order to incriminate Vincent.

  • Besides Dark Passage, Bogie and Bacall made four movies together. Prior to their marriage on 21 May, 1945, they starred together in To Have and Have Not (1944) (1944). Although they were married when The Big Sleep (1946) was released in 1946, many of scenes were filmed in 1944. The fourth movie in which they appeared together was Key Largo (1948) (1948). Bogie died in 1957.

  • Viewers who have seen Dark Passage liken it to The Shawshank Redemption (1994) (1994), in which a man wrongly accused of killing his wife escapes from prison and makes his way down to a little fishing village in Mexico where he is joined by a friend. In The Fugitive (1993) (1993), another man wrongly accused of killing his wife escapes from prison and sets out to find a one-armed man and prove his innocence.


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