Dark Passage (1947)

Dark Passage, Delmer Daves. 1947. My favorite of the Bogie/Bacall films. The first 40 minutes is POV from Bogie’s character—an incredible feat if you consider the size of the cameras at the time. And it isn’t just a trick: the effect adds depth to the story. At its heart the film presents an existential crisis that plays directly into the noir ambiance—through POV, we become the main character. Switching that character’s identity mid-way through the film throws the authenticity of identity into question; along with the attendant intangibles like purpose, intention, and culpability. Thank goodness a goddess like Bacall is there to kiss our ouchie and make it all better; otherwise we’d be in a Camus novel, and that’s no fun at all.

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