Dark Passage

  • Directors: Delmer Daves
  • Producers: Jerry Wald
  • Writers: Story, David Goodis, Screenplay, Delmer Daves
  • Genres: Film-Noir, Thriller
  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Agnes Moorehead

Convicted murderer Vincent Parry escapes from San Quentin prison. He is picked up on the road and sheltered by Irene Jansen, an artist who has taken a personal interest in his case.

Helped by a friendly cabbie, Sam, the fugitive Parry gets a new face from a plastic surgeon, thereby enabling him to dodge the authorities and look for his wife’s real murderer.

He has difficulty staying hidden at Irene’s because of nosy Madge Rapf, a spiteful woman whose testimony sent him up to prison. Madge keeps stopping by Irene’s apartment, particularly after she fears Parry might come after her next.

Parry’s best friend is found murdered, so he becomes the logical prime suspect. A blackmailer named Baker also traps Parry and tries to extort money from Irene to keep from turning over Parry to the cops.

The story’s climax features the killer realizing the true identity of the man behind the new face.

The Petrified Forest

  • Directors: Archie Mayo
  • Producers: Hal B Wallis
  • Writers: Robert E Sherwood, Charles Kenyon, Delmer Daves
  • Genres: Crime, Drama, Romance
  • Actors: Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Genevieve Tobin, Dick Foran

This 1930s drama is set in the Petrified Forest area in northern Arizona. Hitchhiker Alan Squier, who sees himself as a failed writer, wanders into a roadside diner. The diner is run by Jason Maple (Porter Hall), his daughter Gabby, and her grandfather (Charley Grapewin), “an old man who was missed by Billy the Kid.”

Gabby’s mother was a French war bride who fell in love with Gabby’s father when he was a young, handsome, uniformed American serviceman. They married and moved to the remote Petrified Forest desert in Arizona. Gabby’s mother found her husband a “dull defeated man” and moved back to France when Gabby was a young child. She now sends Gabby poetry. Gabby dreams about visiting Bourges to study art. Gabby shows Alan her paintings and reads him a favorite Villon poem. Alan finds Gabby’s eagerness and optimism touching and refreshing.

Duke Mantee, “world famous killer” and his gang appear, and hold everyone hostage. When Gabby is out of the room, Alan signs over an insurance policy on his life to Gabby. He asks Duke to shoot him. “It couldn’t make any difference to you, Duke. After all, if they catch you, they can hang you only once…” And to another character, he explains: “Living, I’m worth nothing to her. Dead — I can buy her the tallest cathedrals, and golden vineyards, and dancing in the streets.”