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Dark Passage


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It has been awhile since I last saw this film but, as always, it's interesting to say the least. The plot seemed extremely far fetched. How did Bacall know that Parry was in the bushes and WHY did she stop to help?




Supposedly because her father was unjustly accused of murder but the angle of Irene suddenly coming to Parry's rescue with lodging and support was extremely unbelievable. So was Bogart looking like the invisable man for awhile. Also, after surgery, I did not think he looked younger then his previous self which we saw in the photo. On the contrary, he looked about the same age.





The one bright spot in this film was Agnes Moorehead. Loved how she became the focus in the confrontation scene between her and Bogart. She has always been underrated as far as I'm concerned and deserves to be SOTM. (please, TCM)

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My mistake, I meant to say that he would look younger. My fingers where typing faster then my brain. lol




I can't say that this is a favorite of mine but the lighting of the film was exceptional. It conveyed the "closed in" feeling of the Parry.




My Favorite Bogart film will aways be CONFLICT. Suspense at it's best.






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I love *Dark Passage* !


Actually, if I'd known someone was going to start a thread about it, I'd have saved what I wrote about the film to post here. However, since I don't feel like composing a whole new comment about it, and since I'd probably say almost exactly the same thing anyway, I'm going to copy my post about *Dark Passage* from the "Lauren Bacall" thread, and paste it here.

Hope nobody thinks it's kind of cheesey to do that.But, as I say, I'd like to contribute to this thread, since this film is one of my favourite Bogart/noir movies. And I don't see the point of re-writing my comment about it. Here goes:


"Oh yeah, *Dark Passage* is a fave of mine.


It "works", even though it shouldn't - completely implausible plot, incredibly nosey characters ( everyone Bogart's character meets asks the poor guy a million questions), and how come everyone knows everybody else? - "Madge knows everyone", Bogart says darkly about the unlikely femme fatale in this unusual noir.



But despite all the unlikely characters and plot turns, *Dark Passage* is a joy to watch. It's chock full of memorable bizarre scenes and settings, like the nightmarish plastic surgeon visit in the middle of the night, the struggle under the highway/bridge between Bogart and the small-time crook, and of course beautiful mysterious San Francisco, playing like a major character itself. All those stairs. All those majestic old buildings. Lauren Bacall's incredible Art Deco apartment ( as someone pointed out.)



I get so frustrated, watching the scene in the diner, when Bogart/Vincent/Alan has left Bacall's place to strike out on his own ( and hopefully escape to South America.) On the way, he decides to stop for a little 4:a.m. breakfast at some deliciously seedy diner. He picks up a paper ( presumeably to see if there's anything about him in it) while waiting for his bacon and eggs, and the cook asks him what part of the paper he wants to read.



Why didn't Bogart ( Vince/ Alan) just say he liked to read while eating breakfast, he doesn't care what? Nope, he blows it by talking about some sports event that's already passed, alerting the plainclothes cop who's been lurking around to ask him a ton of nosey questions.

But then, if he hadn't , Bogie would have escaped and we wouldn't have had the whole final act of the movie.



Oh, one more thing. Gotta love Agnes Moorehead in this. ( in everything, for that matter.) This woman is so much fun to watch."



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Bravo, Miis W. Great post. I hadn't read this before. I'm so glad you decided to repost this. Couldn't agree with you more. *Dark Passage* has always been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. The film was shown quite a bit on TV when I was growing up. It's one of those tapes I go to quite often. Great cast, it's just a Terrific noir.

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It's fun to see everyone discussing DARK PASSAGE. It was the one I focused on last night, because I was more familiar with the other three.


I really like this film, too. I think you know right from the start that it is meant for entertainment value and nothing loftier. So once the pressure is off, you can sit back, relax and just enjoy it, implausibilities and all.


My guess is that a routine programmer like this probably would've been mediocre if given to Zachary Scott and Alexis Smith, two other Warners contract players at this time that could easily have done it. But with Bogart and Bacall, you get something extra special. Add Agnes Moorhead to the mix and it can't lose.

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Dark Passage is the least celebrated of the four Bogart-Bacall films but I've always been very fond of it.


One of the reasons I enjoy watching it is because of the quirky character performances that the film has. Not only the conniving Agnes Moorehead, but also Clifton Young (he of the pronounced toothy smile) as a blackmailer, as well as Houseley Stevenson as the plastic surgeon ("I'll make you look older but I'll make you look good").


My favourite, though, has to be Tom D'Andrea as the talkative cabbie. His story about the taxi passenger with two goldfish in a bowl as they go up and down San Francisco's hilly climbs has got to be something of a minor anecdotal classic. ("And two tireder goldfish you never saw").


D'Andrea had that everyman face and great laid back delivery that helped to make it a small but vivid characterization. I wish that D'Andrea had had that many good opportunities in other films.




Houseley Stevenson and Tom D'Andrea

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Tom - and anyone else who might have the answer - I have a question about that cabbie.


Ok, yes, Tom D'Andrea as Sam, the helpful and talkative cab driver who helps Vince out, is a major minor character, if you know what I mean.

I agree with you, I like this character, and that's probably due almost entirely to who plays him. I notice what a boyish face he has every time I watch this film. Maybe not super young, but there's something boyish about his looks. He is very recognizable,


So, my question is this: When Bogart/Vince/Alan leaves Irene's apartment for the second time, he calls a cab. The cabbie rings the apartment buzzer, but Vince is taking his time saying farewell to Irene. So finally the cabbie knocks on the door, and Vince/Alan opens it.

Who is the cabbie standing there? Whoever it is takes a long look at Vince's face, long enough to make us nervous.

My husband says it is Sam - Tom D'Andrea- and the whole reason they use him again is to show that even he doesn't recognize the man he introduced to the plastic surgeon. I agree, this would make sense, plot-wise. And it would be a very effective reprise of the Sam/cabbie character.


But the cab driver who appears at Irene's door doesn't look like Sam to me. He looks like an older, rougher man.

I don't know, maybe Sam went and had a little plastic surgery of his own !


What do others think? Is it Tom D'Andrea at the door, or another cabbie?

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It's definitely not Sam, doesn't look anything like Sam. I'm going to check the cast listing and see if the cabbie, other than Sam is listed. Be back with the info.


Just as I thought, imdb lists- Impatient Cab Driver as Patrick Mc Vey. Tell your husband it would have been a clever idea.


Edited by: lavenderblue on Sep 6, 2012 9:26 PM

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I think *Dark Passage* is an excellent film, certainly my favorite Bogart/Bacall film. Very strange and moody. I think the work of Delmer Daves deserves more attention -- his style was unique. Check out *The Red House*, Daves' film just preceding Dark Passage, also unusual.



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I've always found Dark Passage to be a very entertaining movie, despite

the too coincidental coincidences. Bacall just happened to be painting

in the mountains on the very day Bogie escaped from the joint and then

she just happened to drive by while he was knocking out the guy who

picked him up. Okaaay. I like the contrast between the way the plastic

surgeon looked--very creepy--and his expertise in his job and his humane-

ness. If you've never seen the film before, you might suspect that Sam the

cabbie and the cig smoking surgeon might double-cross Bogie, but they

turn out to be stand-up guys, relatively speaking. Yes, Agnes is a bit over

the top, but not too much to ruin things. She must have been a real busy gal,

and though it might not have been able to spell it out, she's pretty...well,

easy. Well at least at the start.


I felt sorry for ole George Fellsinger. He appeared to be a nice guy and had

that very memorable last name. Too bad he didn't see Agnes coming.


The role of the small change chiseler and blackmailer with the awful seat

covers would have been a natural for Elisha Cook, Jr., except for the fact that

Cook was usually so inept in his criminal doings that Bogie likely would have

beat him up before they even got out of the hotel room.


One might expect that the movie might end with Bogie going to the cops and

trying to clear things up, but obviously that's pretty much a fool's errand, so

he winds up in Peru with Bacall. Though he's innocent, it still feels like he has

gotten away with something, Production Code-wise.



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Has anyone ever noticed the fact that Bogart was subtlely playing with his screen persona in Dark Passage?


Even though on the surface this seems like the kind of film noirish thriller that is a natural for Bogie, the character that he plays, an innocent man on the run, is not the super cool Bogart from To Have and Have Not or The Big Sleep.


Bogart's character is decidedly NOT in control of events. He's understandably scared of the cops and, yes, he'd like to find the real killer in the process but he's primarily concerned with changing his facial features and escaping from the law. And it's the other characters in the film that come to his rescue in so many ways, a reversal of past roles for him. It's the cabbie and the plastic surgeon and, above all, Lauren Bacall that are all helping him try to get out of a jam that he seems pretty helpless to get out of on his own.


And THAT'S a big change from what Bogart fans were used to up until then. This not the first time the actor experimented with his screen image, having played (not too successfully) wife murderers in a couple of films. In his very next film after Dark Passage would come Bogart's biggest attempt to play against his screen image to date with Treasure of the Sierra Madre.


But Dark Passage certainly fits within the context of an actor playing a role somewhat alien to that of his screen persona, even if the film itself is typical of the kind of thrillers with whom he is associated.

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Dargo, did you say that *all* '40s movie cab drivers looked the same?




Did you forget about The Big Sleep? Since the script made it apparent that this particular cabbie wanted to date Bogart, maybe it's just as well that the role wasn't played by Frank Faylen or Tom D'Andrea. (NOT that there's anything wrong with that, for those reading this who may be playing with a different team).

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> {quote:title=misswonderly wrote:}{quote}If I'd known someone was going to start a thread about it, I'd have saved what I wrote about the film to post here. However, since I don't feel like composing a whole new comment about it, and since I'd probably say almost exactly the same thing anyway, I'm going to copy my post about *Dark Passage* from the "Lauren Bacall" thread, and paste it here.

*Me too:*


You might want to try reading the novel on which Dark Passage is based, also called Dark Passage. It's by David Goodis, who I've only read one other thing by- Shoot the Piano Player, which I found very disappointing. He also wrote Night Squad and...oh crap, the name alludes me, I want to say Nightfall, it was made into a decent movie with a pre-Oscar Anne Bancroft and Aldo Ray....


I was surprised by how faithful an adaptation of the book the movie is, I'd be hard pressed to name a single difference...which is why it wasn't the most exciting reading experience, but., hey, if you really like Dark Passage the movie (I have to admit, I don't think it works, but I do think it's inn-teresting) you might like the book or some of David Goodis' other works...or anything from the defunct(?), but still quite findable, Black Lizard/ Vintage Crime publishing outfit.


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Bogart's character was a dangerous guy to be around, during this movie. Within a couple of days, three people he knew died suddenly. His buddy who played the trumpet, the blackmailer who fell in the Bay and drowned, and the dame who fell out the multi-story window. No wonder he wanted to flee to South America to hide out.

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Although I loved this movie (and for some reason I cannot quite find, it is my favorite of the Bogie/Bacall pairings) I couldn't stop laughing at how accomidating the people from that town were. First Bacall's character tracked him down in the desert after he escaped prison and helped him get passed cops and bought him clothes then this random cab driver takes him to his friend's place (who happens to be a plastic surgeon) and the friend agrees to give him a new face. I enjoyed the plot, the chemistry, and the ending but the trusting and helpful people beguile me. Did anyone else find that weird and comical?


Edited by: Jezebelle on Sep 7, 2012 4:00 PM

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