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Vincent Parry (Bogie), imprisoned after accused of murdering his ex-wife, escapes and in an effort to disguise himself, gets reconstructive plastic surgery. This bandage-wrapped refuge sets the tone (and POV—for the first half hour of the film, we don’t even see Bogie) for Dark Passage, the least loved (undeservedly so!) of Bogie & Bacall’s four collaborations. Three of the four could be said to be markedly similar in their plot machinations and insistence in leaning upon the palpable tension between the stars, but Delmer Daves (3:10 To Yuma, Task Force) had a different approach with Dark Passage, which, more than any of its meddling noir fascinations, is truly concerned with a different, tender strain of Bogie & Bacall’s relationship, in this absurdist, esoteric, and stubbornly rewarding oddity.

Dir. Delmar Daves, 1947, 35mm, 106 min.

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