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MovieGal53

Dark Passage

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I'm surprised that they even had female cab drivers back in the '40s. Come to think of it, I don't know if I've seen any female cab drivers even in 2012. Haven't women entered most occupations by now? Maybe not stevedores, construction workers or bricklayers.

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Jezebelle, interesting you bringing up that point. Towards the very end of the film, there is a man and a woman in the bus station. They are 2 lonely people and have a conversation about how nobody cares about their fellow man.We are then lead to believe that they wind up with each other. Bogart overhearing their conversation is the catalyst for him to call Becall and ask her to come to Peru. I think that the attitude of helping people in trouble, especially lonely people like Bogart and Becall's characters and the man and woman in the bus station runs thru the whole film. I think that point was meant to be driven home in *Dark Passage* .

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Oh yeah I remember that. I initially thought that they were a couple but then on the bus he asked to sit with them and I realized they were strangers. So now I understand the point of the helping hands in the story, but it's still pretty funny hehe.

 

Edited by: Jezebelle on Sep 7, 2012 4:22 PM

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Fred, there's not much that dangerous about Bogart's character in this film. Any people dying around him do so from circumstances but not because of him directly. Bogie's character is a pretty sweatty one on the run himself and with a sense that he's caught in a maze of events.

 

As I said earlier, and no one else has picked me up on this, but I'll repeat it anyway, this role was an attempt by Bogart, perhaps to a subtle degree, to break away from his super cool image. This is NOT the Bogart of To Have and Have Not or The Big Sleep. In this film he's the one that needs help and, without it, he will probably perish. That's one of the reasons why I like this film. Even though it's a noirsh thriller of the '40s, Bogart plays a guy who is not in charge of the situation.

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Tom, I also thought about Bogart's character needing help and without that help he would have been caught .In my post preceeding yours, that was the point I was making. People reaching out to one and other and giving help I think that was the point of the film. (besides making a terrific noir) The selfishness that the Agnes Moorehead's character Madge exhibits brought that point home. She was the killer and throughout the film only thinks about herself and her needs. The scene where Bob and Madge are with Becall is critical in showing us what a selfish character Madge is. You gotta love this film!

 

Edited by: lavenderblue on Sep 7, 2012 5:30 PM

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MovieGal53 says that *Conflict* is her favorite Bogart film. I would say that it is Bogart's best "sleeper" film, that is to say his most underrated, unappreciated, unknown film. *Conflict* should be aired more often and occasionally shown in a prime time slot. I have always liked *Dark Passage* but rate it a notch below the other 3 Bogie/Bacall films. Agnes and the S.F. locale filming really make this one a must see.

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The responses to my original post have been thought provoking. I want to re-watch Dark Passage keeping in mind the underlying theme of "help thy neighbor." Since this film is classic film noir I truly want to develop some sort of appreciation for it. Being a fan of Bogart and Bacall it always bothered me that I had so little regard for Dark Passage. Hopefully, at some point, I will see what you all see.

 

 

 

 

*mrroberts,*

 

 

You said it best, CONFLICT is Bogarts most underrated, unappreciated, unknown film. TCM aired it not too long ago and thankfully I still have it on my DVR. It is THE difinition of true film noir. The film keeps its pace with heighted suspense until the end of the film.

 

 

 

Why Bogie was never recognized for his work in this film I will never know.

 

 

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lavenderblue, obviously we're on the same page when it comes to viewing Bogart's character in this film. This isn't the same cool Mr. Marlowe from The Big Sleep, who has every woman he encounters (including bookstore clerks and cabbies) falling all over him because they just can't resist that rugged appearance and take control persona.

 

In Dark Passage he is a scared man who needs help, and gets it from a variety of people involved with him. They are the reason that Bogart's character survives in this film. I'll be honest. I don't quite know why they all want to help him so much. Maybe it's the mother instinct in them.

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MovieGal. remember that's just my interpretation of *Dark Passage* and what I got out of the film.

Your enthusiasm for *Conflict* has me wanting to view the film again,ASAP! I haven't seen the film in many years. I'll check TCM's schedule to see if the film will be aired in the next 3 months.

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lavanderblue,

 

 

 

It's good to hear other opinions and thoughts in regard to film. A person takes away different perceptions each time they sit down to watch a movie; whether it be an old favorite seen for the upteenth time or something new. By sharing how you or other board members view a plot acts as a learning experience for me. I am always open to having my opinions changed. 8^)

 

 

 

 

What amazes me about CONFLICT is that no matter how many times I see the film the suspense is always there. It's as if I am seeing it for the first time. Hopefully TCM will air it in December for Bogart's birthday.

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Moviegal good post. I did check the schedule and unfortunately it's not scheduled in the next 3 months. I'm sorry I missed it the last time it was on. It's wonderful to love a film, isn't it?

Tom, we are in agreement on *Dark Passage*, I'm glad you see what I see in the film. Sure, I'd help him, but I'm a very mothering type. LOL

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I liked that too. As I was watching I saw that he wasn't "calm cool and collected" but nervous and untrusting. It was endearing because I saw a man who needs help and love, gets it and is in awe that he recieved it; not the Bogie who gets help and love but ultimately doesn't need it.

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MovieGal53: Bogie was never recognized for his work in the one film but he was selected the greatest male film star in the history of American cinema by AFI. They can't pay attention to all of his work, gotta leave some love for the other actors.

 

 

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Here are a few images from a film we all seem to like:

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR-KoOgySuOXUC1aqhqvUP

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRR3EYCNPppwl_U9ZV-7BM

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTul1qxYZSEgc6ztd3nj0-

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSiB08k6PgQAiTI_ZRtfXh

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTqqsBtmgFwC4V2tstRK4r

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQu0GM3dwZaBLwfLsknVRg

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTG3PBteDWyIYN9gAT1wrC

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS3L_SGHr_yVYZi4mKZ46B

 

DP_BacallBetter.jpg

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRj6W8VLtzSHGqgWv2uM-h

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTPfS8z0MzvbLauAsRlr9m

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQhkQmgMVGhfzjiGmrlYQm

 

I don't care how implausible Dark Passage is. I like this film. I like this film a lot. And that ending, when Bogie and Baby are reunited in Peru, all to the beautifully haunting sounds of Too Marvelous for Words. Why can't life be like that? I guess that's why we watch the movies.

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"Why can't life be like that. I guess that's why we watch the movies". You said it, Tom. If only.How perfect was that ending. Just too marvelous for words! ;)

 

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Topilled wrote:

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

TB:

 

 

This movie was never "a routine programmer", even if it may have turned out routine in your opinion. It was conceived by Warner Brothers as a star vehicle. They saw it as a perfect vehicle for their top male star, Humphrey Bogart, and his wife, Lauren Bacall, who had scored big and reached stardom in her two previous teamings with Bogie. So the studio did not go into this project to do a "routine programmer". Besides the two top stars, the fact that it had some location shooting tells you it is NOT a programmer, since location work was expensive and far from routine in the 40s.

 

 

 

 

 

Now, two other contract players could have done this, such as those you mention, but the studio would most likely have not invested a budget big enough to accomodate filming in the San Francisco bay area. THIS would have possibly emerged a "routine programmer"; and it would not preclude having Agnes Moorehead, since character actors and supporting players were thrust into As, Bs and inbetweens. Btw, routine and mediocre seem to mean much the same to me.

 

 

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True sentiments I certainly agree with, Lavenderblue, Arturo, and Tom, and thanks for the images. And a "routine programmer" it was not. The location costs, wardrobe, and a Mercury Theater supporting player like Agnes Moorehead and the nagging, unrequited Bruce Bennett, and chatty cabby Tom D'Andrea all signal a product the front office hoped to be an 'A' list attraction. The script, penned by Delmer Daves from the David Goodis novel, had hinges that opened doors to the unexpected.

 

And that song, "Too Marvelous For Words," the Johnny Mercer/Richard Whiting tune was first featured in 1937's *Ready, Willing, and Able* with Ruby Keeler, but came into its own larger realm of popularity when it was featured as the love theme for *Dark Passage.* One of my favorite film tunes!

 

Bacall also had some stylish ensembles in that film because she is a stylish gal.

Here's one from her early modeling days:

lauren-2.jpg

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I enjoy Dark Passage but it is my least favorite B&B movie, and would be ranked around 10th as Bogie movies go. The main reason being Bogie isn't in the first 13 or so of the movie and that the best scene has him hiding in a room (the one where the love triangle have a face off). But the setting of the movie in SF is a treat. The wife and I go there at least once a year, and then head to Napa for the wines.

 

Too Marvelous for Words is one of my favorite songs. Love that 37 version (the one with the typewriters I believe). Rudy was sometimes challenged as an actress but I still find her a treat. Her cuteness just knocks me over.

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Thanks *lavenderblue*. I'm sorry to hear that *Conflict* is not being scheduled during the remaining months of this year. Your researching is appreciated. Maybe the TCM store has it on DVD. (crossing fingers)

 

 

 

 

 

*Jezebelle* ,My gosh, I had forgotten that AFI bestowed such an honor on Bogart. Thank you for jogging my memory.

 

 

 

 

:)

 

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I let the post that you wrote, time-stamped Sep 8, 2012 12:15 PM reverberate in my conscious mind for nearly a day before attempting here to reply to it.

 

All I can say is that once again you have misconstrued and misappropriated a comment of mine. I see what I wrote as praise for the way Bogart and Bacall could elevate average or slightly above-average material. I feel that launching into a game of semantics about the definition and use of routine versus mediocre is counterproductive to an intelligent discussion. I am sure they are not synonyms but I will not waste time arguing that with you.

 

I do not consider DARK PASSAGE an A-film. I consider it a medium-budgeted picture with A-caliber stars. We can argue whether the script and the original source material has the same pedigree as a project like TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT, but why expend the energy on a trivial point?

 

Anyway, I felt embarrassed, not for me, but for others having to read your post about what I had stated earlier in the thread. It seems like a wet-noodle lashing that reduces everyone's level of professionalism around here, and what for? Besides, I continue to stand by what I wrote earlier in the thread anyway, so it accomplishes little if nothing at all.

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I love Houseley Stevenson as the surgeon. He was the real-life father of actor Onslow Stevens, probably best known as Dr. Edelman in HOUSE OF DRACULA.

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*,,,your post about what I had stated earlier in the thread. It seems like a wet-noodle lashing that reduces everyone's level of professionalism around here, and what for? Besides, I continue to stand by what I wrote earlier in the thread anyway, so it accomplishes little if nothing at all.*

 

 

 

The problem I have, and to which I feel a need to respond, is that half a century after the collapse of the studio system, many people do not understand much about the system. So when someone here states something that seems to confuse or misrepresent an aspect of that system, I will try to clarify it, as I understand it to have been. A term like "routine programmer" will convey something very specific to me, but seemed at odds with what was being discussed. Not because you feel that DARK PASSAGE is a routine movie; obviously, many others here have expressed similar sentiments, and you are entitled to it. My issue is with "programmer", since this is a term that is now not in common usage, and over which there is some uncertainty. A programmer IS an A-film, if on the lower end of the budget range for A films. A programmer CAN have top stars. What makes a programmer thus is its lack of prestigiousness, both in conception and execution, "routine" if you will. My contention is that in 1946-47, as DARK PASSAGE was being prepared, filmed and released, WB saw it as an important vehicle for two of its top stars, who had clicked as a team, personally, professionally AND with the public. Its budget WAS above that for a programmer, allowing it to use the then newly popular location shooting (that in itself lifted it out of being a programmer); its promotional budget likewise was not that of a programmers'.

 

 

*I do not consider DARK PASSAGE an A-film. I consider it a medium-budgeted picture with A-caliber stars.*

 

 

DARK PASSAGE, no matter if it turned out a classic or routine, IS most definitely an A film; maybe not with the biggest budget of the year, but an A film nonetheless. Even programmers, by definition, are A films. So this is why I comment, NOT because you feel it turned out routine, but because you feel that that does no make it a A film, but a programmer (which are also A films). This is a misuse or re-definition of the terms A-film and programmers from how they were known back during the studio era.

 

Edited by: Arturo on Sep 9, 2012 1:35 PM

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I've seen PBS run DR. ZHIVAGO and THE DIRTY DOZEN within days of TCM airings. Around Memorial Day, AMC and TCM aired THE GREEN BERETS within hours of each other.

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