Friday, 8 January 2010


In his introduction to the film on the current DVD critic and historian Leonard Maltin quite rightly says that DARK PASSAGE is not a great film, just a good solid one. In all technical departments the film is indeed first class, it looks good and it is superbly cast and has some excellent dialogue and atmosphere. What lets it down is a plot that is so full of unlikely coincidences that however generous you want to be to the film one starts to disbelieve. Without giving away the story too much, what are the chances that a convicted killer on the run just happens to get in a cab with a driver who not only recognizes him but is sympathetic enough to take him to a friendly plastic surgeon that he just happens to know? The film is full of unlikely events like this. But, that said, it is Bogart and Bacall and some great character actors in a moody film noir that is very well directed by Delmer Daves so there is a lot to enjoy if you can get past the plot weaknesses. The studio had severe reservations about the use of the first person camera in the first third of the film - Bogart's face not being seen until well into the movie - but, although not a fan of this gimmick, I thought it worked very well here, much better than in Robert Montgomery's THE LADY IN THE LAKE. I loved the final wordless reunion of Bogart and Bacall - romantic indeed! Rating : a generous ***


Cerpts said...

This stuff happens all the time. The thing that would've made the movie A LOT more believeable and credible is if they took the bandages off his face and he looked like Agnes Moorehead!

I remember seeing THE LADY IN THE LAKE and I agree the POV camera throughout the whole movie annoyed me.

Weaverman said...

For the $200 Bogey paid for the op he was lucky that he looked like Bogey.