Do you like old black and white movies? I do. I’m not sure why exactly, but they give me comfort. Maybe it’s the simpler time, I don’t know. But, I’ve always enjoyed them and have felt a little like I was born in the wrong era. One of my absolute favorite film noir is “Dark Passage.” I started enjoying film noir in college when I took a film class and had to watch “Double Indemnity.” If you haven’t watched that one, add it to your list. “Dark Passage” stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. What’s interesting about this film, besides the story and gorgeous scenery of San Francisco, is that Humphrey Bogart, a huge star at the time doesn’t even show his face until approximately 62 minutes into the film. IMDB gives us some great trivia on the film. Check it out and let me know what you think…I even have the movie poster framed in my home office!
- The actual 1937 Art Deco apartment building used in the film (located at 1360 Montgomery St. in San Francisco) is still standing as of 2023. The apartment (No. 10) is marked by a cardboard cut-out of Humphrey Bogart, which can be seen from the street. The site is visited frequently by fans of vintage film noir. The unit has one bath, one bedroom and 861 square feet, and was last sold in 2016 for $1.5M.
- The third of four films made by husband and wife Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. The other three are To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), and Key Largo (1948).
- The $900 that Vincent paid for his late wife’s ring in the early 1940s would be equivalent to about $15,000 in 2021.
- Warner Brothers studio head Jack L. Warner was not pleased to discover that the face of one of his biggest stars, Humphrey Bogart, is not seen for the first half of the movie. By the time Warner knew this, the film was too far along to be changed.
- The first film in which Humphrey Bogart wore a full hairpiece.
- The photo of Vincent before surgery is shown in the newspaper and elsewhere. It represents the height of photo manipulation of the day, with carefully masked double-exposures and careful airbrushing. The lower half of the face is that of character actor Kenneth MacDonald. The upper half, from just below the bridge of the nose, is that of Bogart himself.
- On at least one of the days in which the crew were filming Humphrey Bogart‘s on-location scenes at the Golden Gate Bridge, more than 1,500 fans turned out to watch the filming process.
- Irene (Lauren Bacall) drives a 1946 Ford Super Delux Station Wagon. It is often called a “Woody” because of the extensive use of wood in the body panels and doors. Original base price was $1,617 (~$22,700 in 2023). An example in average condition in 2023 can sell for $100,000 or more.
- Toward the end of the movie when Vincent Parry is driving Baker around San Francisco while discussing how much Baker intends to extort from Irene Jansen, they start near the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge (Marine Drive). That road scene is spliced to a discontinuous location under the north end of the Bridge (Conzelman Road) without traversing the bridge first.
- The fancy upholstered headboard on Irene’s bed was a feature of the modern Hollywood styled bed, which also lacked a traditional footboard. This allowed for the use of opulent bedspreads and quilts to cover the mattress with no obstruction. The fact that Irene is shown as a (presumably) single woman owning a double bed might have raised a few eyebrows with the censors.
Let me know what you think when you watch it!