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19 October 2005

Dark Passage (1947)

Humphrey Bogart (Vincent) and Lauren Bacall (Irene)

Directed by Delmer Daves (screen- writer for An Affair to Remember)

From Hollywood Video: "A man who was framed for a murder escapes from jail and has plastic surgery to alter his features. He hides at a woman's apartment while waiting to heal from his surgery and get on with his new life."

In my effort to see all of the Bogey/Bacall flicks, this makes number three of four (I'm not going to count Two Guys from Milwaukee). I'm seeing a trend however - it is doubtful that any subsequent pairing will be better than their incomparable debut, To Have and Have Not. As Keven said, even the DVD extras were damning by faint praise, suggesting that it was an average flick remembered primarily for reuniting a favorite pair on screen.

The innovative first- person camera work was interesting for the first few minutes, especially as he escapes from San Quentin, but after the first HOUR, I was just waiting for Bogey to show up. There can hardly be any sparks between two leads if one of them is not on screen. However, the steady first-person camera did linger lovingly over Baby's amazing face (I mean, just look at her!), which was a nice change from The Big Sleep when she was hardly in the film at all. Otherwise, Agnes Moorehead, Endora from the TV series Bewitched, was playful and nasty, and there were a number of mysteries that seemed hastily resolved and then ignored by the conclusion.

But it was nice that Bogey and Bacall got to finish the movie in each others' arms, dancing together in a tropical paradise, with Bogart gently pressing her hair to his face. Of course, these films are made all the more appealing when you know that they were really in love and stayed together until his death in 1957. Unlike so many modern couples who rely on their off-screen romance to propel on-screen chemistry, it seems to have been so effortless for these two. No wonder critics and audiences forgive this lack-luster film, just to see them together again.

Blogger Mircalla said...

Is she still alive?

Blogger carrie_lofty said...

Yes - in her 80s, I think. She'll have been in three films by the end of this year :)

Blogger carrie_lofty said...

Here's a picture of her from the Nicole Kidman film Dogville from 2003.


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