7.6/10
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146 user 69 critic

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:

IN DANGER AS VIOLENT AS THEIR LOVE!!! (one-sheet poster) 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

Warner Bros. introduced the theme song, "Too Marvelous for Words," ten years earlier in Ready, Willing and Able (1937), sung by Ross Alexander to Ruby Keeler dancing on the keys of a giant typewriter. See more »

Goofs

During the final confrontation between Vincent Parry and Madge Rapf, she doesn't recognize him at first because he's had his face altered by plastic surgery. But she previously knew him well enough she should have recognized his voice immediately, even if it came from an unfamiliar face. See more »

Quotes

George Fellsinger: Gert didn't hate you. Gert just didn't care for you. There's a difference. She would have walked out on you if she'd have found somebody permanent. She wouldn't frame you when she was dying. She was no prize package, but she wouldn't frame you. Madge framed you. Madge wanted to hook you, and when she found she couldn't have you, she framed you, sent you up for life. We both know that.
Vincent Parry: My attorney couldn't shake her story. Maybe someday she'll get run over or something.
George Fellsinger: That's what I pray for ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stepfather III (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Too Marvelous for Words
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Performed on record twice by Jo Stafford
Also played on the jukebox at the bus station
Also played at the cafe in Peru and during the end credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating film noir
15 November 2000 | by jnyby83See all my reviews

Wow, we are really asked to believe a lot in this film. Typically movies can only get away with one or two unlikely plot elements, but somehow I still enjoyed 'Dark Passage' despite numerous key elements' implausibility.

The film opens to a shot of convicted felon Parry (Bogart) in a barrel in back of a truck headed down the road. He shakes the barrel, takes a nasty roll and staggers out. It's just the first of many doubt-inducing sequences.

The film, with its plot problems aside, is really an excellent film noir study. We are taken through most of the first half of the film from the first-person Parry (Bogart) view. I found this fascinating, despite wooden dialogue and continuous unrealistic steadiness of the camera. I think the base story of 'Dark Passage' is superb, with all its film noir elements. I especially like the first-person view, which then transforms through a surrealistic imagery scene of plastic surgery, into the normal third-person view.

One plot element I particularly take issue with is that, although Parry gets a new face, we are asked to believe that his distinctive Bogart voice cannot be recognised by the closest of his acquaintances. He makes no effort whatsoever to account for this, and this is given no thought in the slightest.

The film is one I would personally love to make - I would like to direct the thing myself, and revise the script a bit, make it more real in dialogue and plot primarily. This is a feeling I've not oft encountered, because I've almost always felt a director has done, even when he presents a wrong point of view, a better job than I could do. Due to my love for the story here I was torn - torn I tell you - in my selection of a vote for this film, but arrived at 7. I took off for the unrealistic factors, but made sure to preserve the respectability of the film. It is, incontestably, a classic - and in my opinion, just because a film is old doesn't mean it is. I respect this film.


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