Saturday, April 15, 2006

dark passage

Before saying a few things about this one, i have to make an observation which puzzled me a bit, although making me very proud. As probably any person with some interest in movies noticed, IMDB not only has a list of Top 250 movies as voted by users, but also lists with votes by genre. In this latter category, each genre has a Top-rated list of titles, and a Bottom-rated list of titles. All genres but one: film noir is the only one which only has a Top-rated list.
As for Dark Passage, it's the first Delmer Daves i watch, and it's also the third (i hope i'm not wrong) in the famous Bogart-Bacall series of movies. Noir thriller, it uses the subjective camera technique in the first part, doubled by first-person narration and manages to create quite an atmosphere. We get to see what escaped prisoner Vincent Parry -wrongly accused to have murdered his wife - sees, we get to share his fear of not being caught, we practically get into his shoes, all careful and afraid. Until he gets lucky enough to find a taxi driver who recognizes, yet believes in him. So Vincent decides that the best way to be able to hide from the police, as well as from all the people who spotted his pic in the newspapers is to have his face arranged. To get a plastic surgery, that is. And this is the gimmick of the movie. Only after he gets a new face, can we step out of Vincent's shoes and get a grip while observing him from the outside. Only then, does the camera move off, that is. What follows is typically noir, with Lauren Bacall performing beautifully as the caring, loving woman by his side, as well as Agnes Moorehead acting impressively as the psychotic, obsessed one. So...hold your breath and cross your fingers, and don't miss it if you're a noir addict.

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