Dark Passage

directed by Delmer Daves
Category: "Suspense"
Year of Release:1947
Date Added:01/24/2008
Date Watched:04/09/2005
Description:A man convicted of murdering his wife escapes from prison to prove his innocence ...

Humphrey Bogart ... Vincent Parry
Lauren Bacall ... Irene Jansen
Bruce Bennett ... Bob
Agnes Moorehead ... Madge Rapf
My Rating:7

Reviews for Dark Passage

Review - Dark Passage

Vincent Parry, wrongly imprisoned for murdering his wife, escapes in the back of a truck. Cornered not far away, he waylays a driver of a passing car (Baker) and takes his clothes. He’s about to take off in the car when Irene Jansen drives up and calls him by name. She convinces him to go with her and brings him to her apartment in San Francisco. It turns out her own father died in prison after being wrong accused of murdering his wife, and the similarities in the two cases made Irene sympathetic to Parry. She had been painting in the hills nearby when she heard about the prison break and went looking for him.

Irene buys Parry new clothes. He takes off but is soon recognized by the cab driver who is taking him to the house of his friend Fellsinger. It turns out the cabby is also sympathetic. He takes Parry to a plastic surgeon who reconstructs his face. When Parry returns to Fellsinger’s flat, he finds Fellsinger murdered. He makes his way across town on foot to Irene’s place and holes up for a week until his bandages can come off.

Irene has to put off Bob, her sometimes-boyfriend and Madge, a woman who used to date both Parry and Bob. Madge is a vindictive woman who doesn’t like it when anybody has anything she can’t have. The newspapers report that Parry is now also wanted for Fellsinger’s death.

When Parry’s bandages come off, he decides to head for Peru. Irene wants to come with him, but he doesn’t want her to have a life on the run. He goes to a diner but almost immediately arouses the suspicions of a policeman. He flees and holes up in a hotel. There’s a knock on the door and Parry opens it to find Baker with a gun. It turns out Baker is a small-time crook who sees an opportunity for some blackmail. If Irene doesn’t give him $60,000, he’s go to the cops, collect his $5,000 reward for capturing Parry and get Irene arrested for abetting. Parry agrees to take him to Irene’s, but when Baker slips and reveals that he intends to hit her up for all her money, Parry jumps him. They fight over Baker’s gun and Baker falls off a cliff to his death — but not before revealing to Parry that the person who trailed him to Fellsinger’s was Madge. Parry puts the clues together and figures out that Madge killed not only Fellsinger but his wife too. He goes to her house and confronts her. She dodges him and falls out a window to her death.

Parry takes off for Peru, but not before calling Irene and telling her where she can meet him down there. At the end of the movie, she joins him.

OK, maybe Parry didn’t actually kill anybody, but I wouldn’t want to be around him for long. Everywhere he goes, people die. It was really a pretty silly plot, although the characters were interesting and it was well-enough acted. I never really lost myself in it because of the implausibility and the strange shooting device they used — for the first half of the movie, until Parry’s bandages came off, his face was never shown. Instead it was shot from his perspective, as though looking though his eyes. This wasn’t always effective. The love interest didn’t make much sense either. Irene risked her life and fell in love based on absolutely no personal knowledge. And the coincidence that she happened to know the woman who killed Parry’s wife was hard to take.
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