Dark Passage, 1947
visit the film locations
San Francisco: Flights: San Francisco International Airport
Dark Passage location: Lauren Bacall’s impossibly stylish pad: 1360 Montgomery Street, San Francisco
Delmer Daves’s 1947 noir makes excellent use of real locations around San Francisco., as framed convict Vincent Parry (Humphrey Bogart) escapes jail, meets Irene Jansen (Lauren Bacall) and is transformed by plastic surgery into somebody who looks just like Humphrey Bogart. In fact, to avoid showing Parry’s pre-Bogie face, the entire opening sequence of the movie uses a radical subjective point-of-view.
The prison from which Parry escapes (in a barrel) is San Quentin, Marin County, across the Bay from San Francisco (seen in several other movies, notably 1958’s I Want to Live, with Susan Hayward winning an Oscar as a woman on Death Row). The striking spinning barrel shot is repeated in another San Francisco-based movie, Foul Play.
On the road south, Irene Jansen is stopped and questioned by the law, in a scene seemingly copied, this time by Alfred Hitchcock, for Psycho.
Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, Irene gets an attack of paranoia by the marvellous art deco toll gates. The gates have, however, been updated since the Forties.
Amazingly unchanged is Irene’s impossibly stylish deco apartment, where Vincent Parry hides out. It looks like an art director’s fantasy, but you can still see the silver, white and glass marvel at 1360 Montgomery Street at Filbert Street. When the house was up for sale in 1996, a lifesize cutout of Bogart was cheekily exhibited in the window. It’s at the top of the Filbert Steps, the endless stairs up which Parry struggles after his plastic surgery at the beginning of the movie.