MOVIE REVIEWS

Dark Passage (1947)

ADD TO MY FAVORITES
8/10 NR 01 hr 46 min

September 27, 1947

Share your thoughts. We appreciate it!

By John Chard January 30, 2017

Dark Passage, light journey.

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Vincent Parry has been imprisoned in San Quentin for murdering his wife, he escapes at sets about clearing his name. After being picked up, and then hidden by Irene Jansen (who has followed his case closely), Parry gets a tip from a cab driver which leads him to an underground plastic surgeon. After being given a new face, Parry must keep away from the police and find out just who did in fact kill his wife?

OK, so the plot isn't much to write home about, but the star appeal of the leads and a quite simply brilliant supporting performance lifts this noirish thriller way above average. Humphrey Bogart is Vincent Parry and Lauren Bacall is Irene Jansen, so it's with a tinge of sadness that Dark Passage is considered the weakest film of the four collaborations from the special duo. And though in plot and screenplay that may well be true, I maintain that the sexual chemistry here is as electric as it is in The Big Sleep. Has to be said, though, that both Bacall & Bogart are playing second fiddle to a waspish turn from Agnes Moorehead as Madge Rapf, she ups the ante and grabs the attention span when the film drifts close to a stand still.

The clever camera technique of viewing the events from Vincent's eyes works well for the first third of the film (we never see Vincent's face), but heavy with Bogarts' narration, this loses impact once Vincent gets his new face. The mysterious element to the plot doesn't quite get the jolt that it should because sadly we know it's Bogart from the off, So when the reveal comes about it just falls a little flat. Still, the film works as a more than serviceable thriller, with great acting and a very tidy turn of events in the ending make Dark Passage recommended viewing for noirish thriller fans. 7/10

'Only the Brave' - The story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots falls short of a heroic tribute

'Only the Brave' - The story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots falls short of a heroic tribute

October 19, 2017

Josh Brolin plays Eric Marsh in the woefully inadequate firefighter tribute '...

The Foreigner – A Deep Action Film

The Foreigner – A Deep Action Film

October 19, 2017

Jackie Chan still has it and you definitely don’t want to push him too far.

Professor Marston & The Wonder Women – A Slow Biopic

Professor Marston & The Wonder Women – A Slow Biopic

October 19, 2017

Now here’s a story that you probably haven’t heard of. At least I haven’t. Ev...

HAPPY DEATH DAY (2017) REVIEW

HAPPY DEATH DAY (2017) REVIEW

October 18, 2017

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! SO, I DON’T HAVE TO PICK UP THE PHONE!!!

Best new movies to see this month

Best new movies to see this month

October 17, 2017

Looking to see the best movies this month? Read Critic Reviews, Contributor R...

What Movie Should I Watch This Weekend?

What Movie Should I Watch This Weekend?

October 16, 2017

Looking for a movie to watch this weekend? Blade Runner 2049, Geostorm, Snowm...

Happy Death Day Review

Happy Death Day Review

October 16, 2017

From Blumhouse Pictures and the minds behind the Paranormal Activity franchis...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) – A Smart Dysfunctional Family Dramedy

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) – A Smart Dysfunctional Family Dramedy

October 14, 2017

Netflix has been hitting it out of the park this year with their original fil...