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Dark Passage was the third time Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall shared the screen. Once again, the couple’s chemistry helped accentuate the film noir genre and deliver a satisfying tale.
Go behind the scenes below!
1. Bogart liked the project.
Bogie, like other stars such as Bette Davis, was sometimes at odds with the studio over what his next project would be. This time though, he saw Dark Victory was a way to team up with his wife, Lauren Bacall, again. The film was written by Delmer Daves who had written the classic An Affair to Remember (read about that here) and the adaption of The Petrified Forest, which Bogart appeared in.
2. Another film noir was a huge help.
In 1946, Robert Montgomery directed and starred in Lady in the Lake, in which the camera acted as the eyes of the main character. While many assumed that this film noir inspired Dark Passage, it was actually the other way around. According to Delmer Daves, the “camera-as-man” method was giving Jack Warner cold feet about the film. After explaining the dilemma, Montgomery decided to prove it could be done so Daves could use the technique. The plan worked. Bogie later said, “I can just hear Jack Warner scream. He’s paying me all this money to make the picture and nobody will even see me until it’s a third over.” At the time, Humphrey was paid approximately $450 thousand a year.
3. Bogie’s health took a turn.
While filming, Bogart began to suffer the side effects of alopecia areata due to a vitamin deficiency. His hair began to fall out, and he was forced to wear a wig to conceal bald patches. “He panicked - his livelihood hung in the balance,” remembered Lauren Bacall. Thankfully, it was reversible with a change of diet and scalp treatments. Also a relief, Bogart was already supposed to wear a wig for his next movie, The Treasure of Sierra Madre (read about that here).