|Bogart--after we finally see his face.|
|Parry escapes in a barrel; one of the|
few opening shots not in first-person.
|Lauren Bacall as Irene.|
|Bogart in bandages.|
|Stevenson as the plastic surgeon.|
Although the entire cast is first-rate, the supporting players (many of whom I was unfamiliar with) deserve to be highlighted. Journeyman actor Tom D'Andrea has a terrific extended conversation with Bogart in a taxi cab, the latter's face hidden in shadows. As the craggy plastic surgeon, Houseley Stevenson does nothing to initially instill confidence (he confides to Parry: "I perfected my own special technique twelve years ago before I was kicked out of the medical profession."). Finally, there's Rory Mallinson, who hits all the right notes as Parry's none-too-bright, trumpet-playing friend. One could also argue that the city of San Francisco plays a supporting roles as well, as Daves' camera lovingly captures its architecture and streets.
Surprisingly, Dark Passage was not a hit for its two stars. Allegedly, Jack Warner was displeased with it because Bogart's face wasn't shown until an hour into the 106-minute film. Yet, that very "limitation" has contributed significantly to its reputation, Indeed, Dark Passage has aged well and taken its place as one of the finest film noirs and a testament to Delmer Daves' innovative qualities as a filmmaker.